Ko Victorious

Jin Young Ko brilliantly won the 26th Evian Championship. After the ANA Inspiraion, the Korean pockets her second major title of the season. The American Jennifer Kupcho, who posted the best round of the day (66), China's Shanshan Feng and the Korean Hyo Joo Kim share 2nd place.

Things all began to change in the final third of the course. At the 13th hole, Hyo Joo Kim was leading when the proceedings with a 2-shot lead over Ji Young Ko when Ko holed a birdie putt bringing the Korean back within one shot of her compatriot.

At the 171-metre par-3 14th, Kim's tee shot plugged itself under the lip of the bunker that defends the right side of the green and it took her two shots to get out of the sand. Her first, slightly aggressive putt, to save bogey, went three feet the other side of the hole and Kim missed her return shot resulting in a triple bogey, and with it her dream of a second Evian victory, after 2014, practically evaporated.

Ko took the lead for the first time in the round.

With the two Parks (Sung Hyun and Inbee) having dropped back, the American Jennifer Kupcho too far off the pace to disrupt things, and Shanshan Feng, after a front nine 32 and then losing momentum due to a bogey at 10, the way ahead was open for Ko.

It was on 17 that the young champion sealed her victory posting her 5th birdie of the day thanks to another 20-foot putt. Then all she had to do was place her drive on the 18th fairway, play in regulation, and as her caddie Dave Brooker told us at the prize-giving ceremony “finish off the round professionally with two putts and a good par”.

And that's how it happened.

At the end of 2018 when she won the Australian Open, Jin Young Ko was crowned rookie of the year. Here she is, seven months later, aged just 24, and now the holder of two major titles. She will try to make it a hat trick next week in Woburn at the British Open. Inbee Park is the last player to win three Grand Slam tournaments in one season, in 2013.

Ko is the fifth Korean winner at The Evian Championship in the past 10 years.


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