Lydia Ko secures career first with blistering finish

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 22 Nov 2021, 11:35AM
Lydia Ko claimed the Vare Trophy after a final round 64. (Photo / Getty)
Lydia Ko claimed the Vare Trophy after a final round 64. (Photo / Getty)

Lydia Ko secures career first with blistering finish

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 22 Nov 2021, 11:35AM

Lydia Ko has had a blistering finish to her LPGA season but it wasn't enough to claim the CME Group Tour Championship. 

Starting the day in 26th, Ko finished in a share of ninth place after shooting a eight-under 64 at the Tiburón Golf Club course in Naples, Florida. 

Ko finished finished eight shots behind winner Jin Young Ko who to took out the season ending title with a round of 63. Lydia Ko had six birdies and an eagle, shooting six-under over her final seven holes. 

The Kiwi did enough to claim the Vare Trophy for the first time in her career, for the lowest average score across the season. 

The top two players in the world, Jin Young Ko and Nelly Korda, have not played enough rounds to be up for the award. 

By winning the Vare Trophy award, Ko now moves to 20 points for Hall of Fame eligibility, putting her seven points shy of an automatic spot in the Hall of Fame. 

"It's really special because obviously it sums up the whole season. All the other things do, too, but at the end of the day golf is about how consistently well you can play and what kind of low score you can shoot. And the Vare Trophy obviously exemplifies that. I think I've only been close that one year that I just missed out on the trophy," Ko said after her round today. 

didn't even know that I was close this year until news came out and I realised a couple months ago. Last week wasn't really on my schedule, but ended up being worth it because finishing off tied second and to have won it feels special. Just makes a good year like even better." 

Ko finishes the year with 11 top 10 finishes and one victory on the LPGA, at the Lotte Championship in April, and an Olympic bronze. She also claimed a victory on the Ladies European Tour earlier this month at the Saudi Ladies International for her 22nd professional win. 

Ko said she'll do things a little bit differently in the off-season as she prepares for his ninth season on the LPGA Tour, skipping her usual trip to South Korea. Instead she will remain in Florida and open the 2022 at the Tournament of Champions in January. 

"This year is going to be a little bit different. I normally take a whole month or four weeks off where don't touch the clubs. They stay in the closet. This year I'm going to take a week off during Thanksgiving and then practice for a couple weeks, and then have another holiday for ten days and then come back and practice for another three weeks. 

"You know, you think, Oh, man, January 17, that seems like a long way out. But soon it's Christmas and then it's New Year's and then we're starting again out at Nona. So I'm going to do a little bit differently. I haven't played the Tournament of Champions in a while, so I just planned my off-season a little bit differently this year."