If you’re talking about winning machines in pro golf, Jin Young Ko needs to be part of the conversation. The 24-year-old from South Korea, in her second year on the LPGA Tour, won her fourth title of 2019 at the CP Women’s Open at Magna Golf Club outside Toronto. And it wasn’t really even close; Ko closed with a final-round 64 to comfortably beat Nicole Broch Larson by five strokes.
With the triumph, Ko is the first LPGA player to win at least four tournaments in a season since 2016, when Ariya Jutanugarn won five and Lydia Ko won four times. Two of Ko’s wins have been Majors, claiming the ANA Inspiration and the Evian Championship.
While Ko was the champion, and Larson had a breakthrough tournament (before this event she was ranked 173rd in the world), a lot of attention was on one of their final-round playing partner, Brooke Henderson. Henderson, who’s from Smith Falls, Ontario, always has the biggest crowds when the tour plays in Canada. Earlier this year when she won the Meijer Classic, she became the winningest Canadian professional golfer ever – male or female. Henderson was the defending champ at the CP Women’s Open this year, and after she shot a 29 on the back nine on Saturday to finish the third round two shots behind Ko, it looked like she was in a position to potentially win her 10th LPGA event.
But Ko, who finished at 26-under 262 for the week, proved too difficult to beat, playing bogey-free in the final round to cap a bogey-free 72 holes. Not bad for a player who didn’t even play a practice round. (All that she saw of the course was the nine holes she played in the pro-am.) Ko hasn’t made a bogey since the third round of the AIG Women’s British Open, which means her streak of bogey-free holes is at 106 holes.
Henderson didn’t play poorly by any means, Ko was just playing that much better. Henderson’s three-under final-round 69 was good enough for a T-3 finish.
“I feel like I made a lot of birdies and hopefully made it pretty exciting for them,” Henderson said. “T-3, I couldn’t really ask for anything more. It would’ve been very difficult to catch Jin Young today. She shot like a million under.”
Henderson is able to take some solace in the fact that though she wasn’t able to win, in Ko, one of her better friends on the tour did.
“We’re both out there to do our job, but we respect each other a lot,” Henderson said. “If I couldn’t win, I’m happy she did.”