The 2018 LPGA rookie of the year, Jin Young Ko, has made quite a name for herself in one short year. She was named GOLF’s 2019 Player of the Year, going up against legendary golfers such as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Brooks Koepka.
The golf community is well aware of the talent in this young rising star. But, the rest of the world is wondering where this incredible golfer came from and what makes her tick.
Ko’s incredible career
Ko experienced her first major championship in 2019 at the Dinah Shore (ANA Inspiration) tournament. She went on to win the Evian in France, the Founders Cup, and the Women’s Canadian Open. These four victories earned her the bragging rights for more wins than any other woman in a season. Ko is currently ranked as the LPGA’s No. 1 golfer in the world.
Throughout three different tournaments, the championship golfer managed to play 114 consecutive holes without a bogey. This beats Woods’ record of 110-holes in 2000 when he was playing the best golf of his career.
LPGA veteran Christina Kim spoke of Ko’s dominance on the course, saying, “I mean, I’m thrilled if I can go nine holes without a bogey. Seriously, it’s beyond insane that she went 114. What Jin Young did this year is as close to playing perfect golf as anyone ever has.”
Jin Young Ko’s path to success
Ko started golfing at the age of seven and credits her parents for being the most influential force in her remarkable career. At the age of 18, she started playing professionally on the LPGA of Korea Tour, winning ten times from 2014 to 2017.
In 2018, Ko joined the LPGA Tour, playing in 25 events. She was named Rookie of the Year after placing in the top 10 out of 13 tournaments. A year later, she won her first major LPGA championship, elevating her to the No. 1 status in the Women’s World Golf Rankings. With four victories under her belt, she became the LPGA Rolex Player of the Year for 2019.
The LPGA phenomenon ranked No. 1 on the 2019 Money List with $2,773,894 in earnings. She led the league with a scoring average of 69.06 and 79.56 percent greens in regulation. She also held the top position in 2019 for playing 64 rounds under par, with 47 rounds in the 60’s. Closing in on 25 years of age, Ko has an astonishing career earnings of $3,932,899.
Ko’s personal life
Ko recently appeared on “15 Things You Don’t Know About Me“, revealing that her favorite dessert is blueberry cheesecake tarts, and her favorite food is her mother’s Korean braised short ribs. Her favorite movie is The Fast and the Furious, and she loves listening to Ed Sheeran, John Legend, and Maroon 5. Ko’s favorite U.S. city is Chicago and finds the Thornberry Creek at Oneida in Wisconsin to be the most beautiful golf course. Ko loves to read and was excited to learn from her English teacher the meaning of “when nature calls.”
How Ko is dealing with COVID-19
Despite Ko’s incredible 2019 season, she has not been seen on the course since last November. She is currently in South Korea with her family awaiting the return of the LPGA season, which was suspended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In September, Ko will hopefully have a chance to defend her ANA title. In the meantime, she is enjoying some time to herself by reading, meditating, and “doing a lot of cleaning.” The world’s best golfer continues to work out and is going to the range every day to keep her skills sharpened.
The LPGA schedule is expected to resume on July 23, 2020, in Sylvania, Ohio, for the Marathon Classic. Golfweek reports that players will be allowed to temporarily forego the use of a caddie throughout the rest of the 2020 season. LPGA commissioner, Mike Whan, announced that the 2020 LPGA earned status will be retained for the 2021 season, allowing for the condensed schedule.