Jin Young Ko holds off Nasa Hataoka to win 2021 Tour Championship, Player of the Year and $1.5 million prize money
Jin Young Ko's outstanding season ended with a victory at the Tour Championship, the LPGA Tour's final event of 2021.
Ko, the second-ranked golfer in the world, won her fifth title of the 2021 season after defeating Nasa Hataoka in a nail-biting final round of the CME Group Tour Championship.
The Korean golfer, who started her journey with a decent 3-under 69, backed herself and carded back-to-back solid rounds of 5-under 67, 6-under 66, and 9-under 63 to win the prestigious $5,000,000 prize money event.
Nasa Hataoka, who was one of the joint overnight leaders, gave a stiff competition to Jin Young Ko in the final round, as both the golfers smashed the equal number of birdies (9), but a bogey on the sixth hole dented Hataoka’s chances of winning the season finale by just one shot.
With this win, Ko not only grabbed the biggest paycheck in LPGA history - $1.5 million but also overtake Nelly Korda to claim the 2021 player of the year title.
Celine Boutier of France didn’t manage to retain the joint-leader momentum and had a roller-coaster front nine with two birdies against two bogeys. Though she improved on the final nine holes and smashed two birdies and an eagle, it wasn’t enough to grab the title.
The 10-time professional champion Boutier shared the tied-3rd spot with the American golfer Mina Harigae at a four days total of 17-under 271.
Tokyo Olympics gold medalist and World No. 1 Nelly Korda, who started her final round as one of the joint leaders, only managed to score a modest 3-under 69 to finish at a tied-5th place alongside fellow Megan Khang and Australia’s Min Jee Lee.