Ko Jin-Young Wins ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open
South Korean Jin Young Ko has held her nerve to lead from start to finish and win the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open at Kooyonga Golf Club in Adelaide.
Playing in her first tournament as an LPGA member, Ko shot a 3-under 69 to post a four-round total of -14 and win by three shots in the South Australian capital from compatriot Hyejin Choi.
Australian LPGA rookie Hannah Green was third on -10 from fellow Aussie Katherine Kirk who shot the round of the day to finish on 9-under on the difficult Koyonga course.
The win earns Ko US$195,000 and 500 points in the race to CME Globe. It also means she will now play in next week’s Honda LPGA Thailand tournament at Chonburi.
Ko, 22, started her round with two birdies and was never headed despite Choi closing to within one stroke midway through the round.
She said she was quite nervous during the round but knew the victory was hers when she holed a birdie putt on 17.
Ko said the win was particularly significant for her as it came on Korean New Year’s Day.
“I will meet Angel Yin and I think we will party tonight on the beach,” she said.
It is the second year in a row a South Korean has won the tournament following Ha Na Jang’s victory at Royal Adelaide in 2017.
As well as being a world-class wine-producing state, South Australia has also positioned itself as a hub for elite women’s sport and hosts annual international cycling event the Women’s Tour Down Under.
It is the third year in a row the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open has been held in Adelaide following successful events Royal Adelaide and The Grange.
It was announced this week that the South Australian capital will continue to host the event until at least 2021.
The players praised the quality of the Kooyonga course with former World No.1 Ariya Jutanagarn, who finished tied for seventh, saying it was among the tougherst on the LPGA tour.
Green, 21, said it was great to be contending in her national open particularly in her rookie LPGA year.
“I was proud of myself with how I handled myself … all around, it’s been a good week,” she said.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start.
“My goal was to get into every major, and I know that’s quite hard, being a rookie this year, so hopefully I’ve made enough money and keep making money to make sure that I’m definitely in.”
Marina Alex was the highest placed American, finishing in a tie for fifth on 7-under with Aussie No.1 Minjee Lee.
Fellow American Emma Talley was a shot back on -6 with a host of players including Charley Hull, the highest-placed Brit.
Talley, playing only her second LPGA event and ranked 354 coming into the event, said it was great to finish in the top 10.
“It was pretty just a consistent week for me,” she said.
“I’m really happy and really excited for Arizona.”
via The Lead South Australia