Jin Young Ko takes the big leap and gets a huge rankings bump!

Jin Young Ko delivered a knock-out performance and takes her place among the best of the best in the women’s game ~

Jin Young Ko delivered a magnificent 72 holes of championship golf last week at Mission Hills. She wasn’t the longest off the tee. She sent a ball into the water. She occasionally found the rough and she missed a few putts.

But the total package was beautiful.

Ko, who was one of my favorites to win her first major championship title at the 2019 ANA Inspiration, didn’t disappoint. She never lost her rhythm.

In the pressure-cooker environment that envelopes every golfer who has ever dreamed of making that victorious leap into Poppy’s Pond, Jin Young Ko epitomized mindfulness, serenity, and grace.

Until the last putt dropped and the tension of the past four days poured out, right there on the 72nd hole. All of us who had spent most of our Sunday watching Jin Young Ko keep pace and stay the course knew we had watched the emergence of champion.

Ko, of course, was (and is) a proven closer.

She brought a résumé with 10 KLPGA titles on it to her LPGA rookie year. She notched her first victory as an LPGA member at her Tour debut, the 2018 Women’s Australian Open. She easily captured the Tour’s 2018 Rookie of the Year honors.

Now, with four LPGA victories added to her record, the 23-year old Ko has ascended to the top of the world rankings.

It’s a stunning, but not surprising career move for a player who has spent six years polishing and refining a beautiful natural golf swing.

The 2019 season just got very interesting. I can envision a year-long eight-way battle among Jin Young Ko, Ariya Jutanugarn, Sung Hyun Park, Minjee Lee, Nasa Hataoka, Nelly Korda, Lexi Thompson, and Carlota Ciganda that will fire the #DriveOn! movement to new heights.

Next: From Annika to Ariya, women at the game's pinnacle

LPGA Tour

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