Jin Young Ko regains top spot in world ranking with second win in a row

Jin Young Ko takes a selfie with her latest trophy

Jin Young Ko won her fourth tournament of the year, the BMW Ladies Championship in Korea, to regain the top spot in the world ranking.

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Jin Young Ko is on a roll.

The 26-year-old South Korean notched her second victory in as many starts at the BMW Ladies Championship in Busan, Korea. Ko also won the Cognizant Founders Cup earlier this month, bringing her 2021 victory tally to four.

With the win, Ko will also overtake Nelly Korda to reclaim the top spot in the world ranking, a position she held for 100 consecutive weeks until Korda took over in June. Korda has three wins this season, including a major (the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship) and was not in the field this week.

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Ko has been on an impressive streak since her first victory of the year at July’s Volunteers of America Classic. Since then, she’s won or finished in the top 6 in five of her last six tournaments.

At this week’s BMW Ladies Championship, Ko started the final round four strokes off the lead. A sizzling final round of eight-under 64 got her into a playoff with 54-hole leader Hee Jeong Lim — Ko’s first playoff ever — which Ko won with a birdie on the first hole.

After opening with a 71 on Thursday, Ko had to rally mightily over the next three rounds, firing 64-67-64 to reach 22 under overall.

“The first round was kind of disappointing,” Ko said on Sunday. “And so before the second round, I felt like I had nothing to lose. And so I really wanted to go out there and play a game where I would have no regrets. And then in the second and third round, I felt that I got a lot of birdies and my swing was where I wanted it to be. So I thought, going into the fourth round, that if I give it my best shot, that I would have a shot at winning.”

Ko will pocket $300,000 for the win, bringing her 2021 total to $1,956,415.

Jessica Marksbury
Golf.com

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.