Jin Young Ko considers victory over Nelly Korda at Singapore her most significant career achievement; Danielle Kang purchases beer to show gratitude to the HSBC grounds crew members and volunteers

Mar, 2023

Jin Young Ko grabbed her towel and walked up to the 18th green, wiping her eyes. Her face was etched with the emotion of the last year. Ko defended her title at HSBC Women’s World Championship after sustaining a wrist injury in 2022. She called it the most significant victory of her career.

As the tears started to pour out, she doubled her efforts on the final green.

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Ko said, “It’s going be big momentum for my life,” and closed with a 69 to defeat Nelly Korda two strokes. This was Ko’s first win in 12 months.

Ko has won at least one title each of the six previous seasons. Ko, 27, has won 14 LPGA titles in her career, including two majors. A $270,000 check from a winner moves her up to 22nd place on the LPGA career money lists, surpassing Yani Tseng with $10,680.535.

Sentosa Golf Club was hit with a month’s worth rain. LPGA players had to endure a series of rain delays. The last one occurred Sunday, when the last group was at the 16th hole.

Korda said, “I honestly didn’t know if it was going to finish the final hole.” Korda made birdie at 18 to make solo second. Ayaka Furue, Allisen Corpsuz, Danielle Kang and Danielle Kang finished in a third place.

Many fans had hoped for the showdown between Ko & Korda to take place last season, before health problems halted them both.

Ko said, “It’s always difficult to play with Nelly. Especially on Sunday.” “We played together yesterday and today was our second time. There were many times we could play together in 2021. She seems to have hit farther than last year. She doesn’t hit as hard this year, so I don’t even look at her ball. I didn’t see her ball or her playing. It’s difficult but I love Nelly.

Nelly Korda from The United States tees up on the fifteenth green during Day Four at the HSBC Women’s World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club, March 05-2023 in Singapore. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images).

This was the 15th performance of the HSBC, also known as “Asia’s major.” Only two other players have won the HSBC in Singapore. Ko joins Inbee, who is on maternity leave and is the only two-time champion.

Ko put off her winter training in December in order to rest her wrist. She went to Europe to visit the Northern Lights of Finland and The Louvre in Paris.

Ko said, “I believe it brings me good luck because it’s really difficult to see the Northern Lights in Finland or Iceland.”

Ko spent a month in Vietnam with Si Woo Lee, her former swing coach. She said that she gained a lot of confidence from their time together. Ko also began to meditate during offseason, feeling that it brought more balance to her daily life.

She said, “I’m just trying the course,” and added that she just wants to hear birds sing and feel the wind and air.

A player who often wondered if her body would allow her to return to the form that won her the LPGA, she found joy in the little things.

Corpuz’s third top-five finish in her career was this. She is now closer to her No. Corpuz has now achieved her No. 1 goal of being on the Solheim Cup team.

Corpuz said, “Really happy how I played,” especially after birdieing the last hole. It was amazing to watch them play and almost feel like I am keeping up with them.

Kang was proud to leave Singapore, noting that she continues to test wedges and balls and that she likes the progress made.

Before Kang left, she gave out beers to all who helped make the week possible.

She explained that “normally what we do in America is my caddie, and I, go buy cases beers and I have him help load them up and give them back to the grounds crew and other things.” “This week, I thought that the volunteers did an amazing job. So we added the volunteers.

It’s not cheap in Singapore but it’s okay. They did a tremendous job keeping the course in championship condition. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able play or finish 72 holes. I wanted to thank them and share a beer with them.


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