Jin-Young Ko - World Number 1

July 08, 2022 | R. Forgues


Jin-Young Ko, world number 1 

While having just celebrated her 27th birthday (the day before yesterday), Jin-Young Ko once again looks to be one of the main contenders for the final victory at this new edition of The Amundi Evian Championship. Once again this year, the South Korean has been impressive on the LPGA Tour (the North American women’s golf professional tour) where she has not missed the cut since the start of the season.  Less than two weeks before the first round of the major championship, the world number 1 seems equipped with every she needs to claim a second win on the prestigious course at the Evian Resort Golf Club, The Champions Course, after her victory in 2019.

Three years ago, Jin-Young Ko reigned supreme on the LPGA Tour.  During that season, the Seoul-native (South Korea) produced 114 bogey-free holes in a row, a record in the history of the North American tour, and won two majors (ANA Inspiration, The Amundi Evian Championship). At the end of 2019, the world number 1 had two wins to her name and seemed comfortably settled at the highest level of women's world golf.  Unfortunately for her, the world health crisis caused by Covid-19 suddenly imposed a slowdown on her meteoric rise.  In 2020, she only took part in four of the eighteen tournaments on the LPGA Tour.

In the wake of her 2019 season, Jin-Young Ko bounced back in 2021 and won five titles between July and November (Volunteers of America Classic, Cambia Portland Classic, Cognizant Founders Cup, BMW Ladies Championship, CME Group Tour Championship) on the LPGA Tour. At the end of the year, she shared the spotlight with the American Nelly Korda, who finished behind her on the Money List and just ahead of her in the rankings for the season's scoring average.  The only flies in the ointment were that she won neither a major nor an Olympic medal (9th at the Tokyo Olympics).

In Evian, the South Korean is in her element.  She has quite simply never missed the cut here.
Her least favourable result remains an honorable 60th place at the last edition, while she finished 28th in 2015, 39th in 2016, 26th in 2018 and won the event in 2019.  She did not compete in the tournament in 2017 and the 2020 event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  It appears that the current leader in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking does not fear The Champions Course. Last year, she finished her fourth round with three birdies in a row on 16, 17 and 18 (4-under on the final eight holes), fuel for thought for this coming 21st July.

When she tees up on the 1st hole on the challenging Champions Course, Jin-Young Ko will begin her sixth participation in Haute-Savoie. She will be out to win her third major championship title.