After Lydia Ko ended 2023 winless on the LPGA Tour, she opened her 2024 season with a bang. She earned her twentieth profession win on the Hilton Grand Holidays Match of Champions at Lake Nona Golf and Nation Membership, her house course.
In doing so, she grew to become simply the fifth lady in LPGA historical past to earn greater than $17 million throughout her illustrious profession.
Coming into Sunday, Ko held a slight lead over Alexa Pano. She carded a 2-under 70 to get to 14-under and win by two over Pano. However the event was by no means actually unsure within the ultimate spherical, as Ko was in full management.
This week confirmed a distinct facet to Ko as she seemed like her previous self. The New Zealander went bogey-free on Friday and Saturday to provide herself momentum.
On Sunday, she recorded 4 birdies and two bogeys, together with one on the 18th for a stress-free end.
Ko began her 2024 season prep firstly of January. With this occasion at her house course, it was essential to her.
“There have been positively nerves, however rather less simply because it’s my house course,” Ko stated. “To see so lots of the members come out and clap and cheer me on, I feel that was the most effective a part of this week.”
She grew to become the simply fifteenth LPGA member to document 20 profession victories. This feat additionally means she is one level away from qualifying for the LPGA Corridor of Fame.
“I believed two was shut, and now one is basically, actually shut,” she stated. “I’m proper in entrance of the door. I feel my mindset was, ‘Hey, I’m going to do all of the issues I can do and attempt to do job of that.’ If it occurs, it occurs. If not, simply not meant to be within the Corridor of Fame.”
Regardless of being so near this historic feat, Ko desires to maintain the identical mindset she all the time had.
“To present myself a greater probability of it now after successful this week is basically cool, however hopefully nothing adjustments internally,” Ko stated. “Try to play and proceed to play stable golf and see the place that places me.”
Photograph by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Pictures
She might not have received a sanctioned LPGA occasion in 2023, however Ko did win the unsanctioned Aramco Saudi Women Worldwide, introduced by the Public Funding Fund. Ko additionally received the Grant Thornton Invitational with Jason Day in December.
Final 12 months confirmed loads of ups and downs for Ko, however that victory with Day gave her momentum heading into the brand new 12 months. There’s a quick turnover for the 26-year-old as she’s going to tee it up in Bradenton, Fla., subsequent week for the LPGA Drive On Championship.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf workers author for SB Nation’s Enjoying Via. For extra golf protection, remember to comply with us @_PlayingThrough on all main social platforms. It’s also possible to comply with her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.