Ko KO’s Korda!
It was a fight for glory and there was no room for mistakes. The battle involved two of the best players in the world and uppermost in their minds was destroying the other to claim the prestigious title of LPGA Player of the Year.
The combatants were the “queen of cool”, South Korea’s Jin Young Ko and the American, Nelly Korda. Reportedly playing with a wrist injury, Ko put on a gallant fight to win the richest prize in women’s golf – US$1.5 million! It was her fifth win this season, the first five-time winner since 2016 on the LPGA. In a four-year playing career, Ko has already bagged twelve wins and is well on her way to being inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame.
The tournament venue was the season-sending CME Group Tour Championship. Ko got off to a flying start and shot 30 on the front nine and closed with the low round of the tournament at 9-under 63 for a one-shot victory of Japan’s diminutive pocket-rocket Nasa Hataoka.
This is the second time that the 26-year-old has been named LPGA Player of The Year. Her first came in 2019.
Ko has also topped the 2021 Race To CME Globe which makes her the undisputed number one in the world.Read More
Hail Queen Atthaya!
She’s done it! The young golf-phenom has brought fame and glory to her nation Thailand and in the process, she has again validated the power and skill of Asia’s burgeoning corp of female professional golfers.
Since her early teens, she had shown promise that she was destined to be a force to be reckoned with on the world stage of golf. She has arrived!
Thailand’s 18-year-old golf sensation, Atthaya Thitikul was crowned the winner of the Ladies European Tour (LET) Order of Merit for 2021 – the Race To Costa Del Sol. This is a huge deal considering that the LET is Europe’s premier professional golf tour where the best on that continent ply their game.
Thitikul clinched the historic win after rounding off another successful week on Tour with a second-place finish at the Saudi Ladies International played in Jeddah.
She battled the eventual winner of the Saudi tournament with the former world number one, New Zealand’s Lydia Ko.
Elated after being crowned Europe’s best player, Thitikul said, “I just did my best out there today with every single shot, but Lydia was absolutely brilliant.” The four-time winner on the LET added, “I learned a lot from her today, Lydia Ko has one of the best short games ever, her putting was brilliant, and every approach shot she played this week, I can definitely learn to get better from her.”
Although she finished second to Ko, the Thai ace has an unassailable lead in the 2021 Race to Costa del Sol with 3,264.46 points to her name.
“It’s an honour and it’s a really amazing feeling to win the Race to Costa del Sol this year in my rookie season as well, words can’t really describe it,” she exclaimed.
By clinching the coveted Race To Costa Del Sol, Thitikul has become the youngest ever winner of the title.Read More
Yet another major milestone reached!
ASIAN GOLF would like to express its sincere appreciation to all who have supported our work in promoting the game of golf in Asia.
Hitting the 110,000 Facebook “likes” target is solid validation of the work that is being done. We strive to bring you the latest and the best news relating to golf in Asia and the rest of the world first! Our coverage is always given a special twist so that it is different from the usual run-of-the-mill press and PR releases.
We always express an opinion without fear or favour and take no sides in any issue. We cover our stories from all perspectives and tell it like it is!
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Rookie Babe Of The Year!
This time last year, the world had not really heard of or knew who this kid from Thailand was.
Now, with 2021 coming to an end, Thailand’s hot new star, Patty Tavatanakit (pictured) has been declared the LPGA’s Rookie of the Year!
This is a big deal – she has clinched the 2021 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award. The 2021 ANA Inspiration winner earned 1,134 points through 17 events.
“Earning this award is a dream come true for me,” said Tavatanakit. “It’s once in a lifetime. I’m so thrilled that I get to add my name to a spectacular list of recipients that I have looked up to for many years. This season has been one to remember, and I’m excited to finish 2021 strong as the tour’s newest Rookie of the Year.”
In 2019, the powerful Thai player won the Gaelle Truet Rookie of the Year honours on the Symetra Tour where she won three times and finished second to earn her LPGA card. Last April, the former UCLA standout became the first LPGA rookie to win the ANA since Juli Inkster in 1984. She also notched eight top-10 finishes this season.
Tavatanakit will receive the award at the 2021 Rolex LPGA Awards during the week of the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida.Read More
Another Banner Week For Asian Golf!
This week was yet another week where we witnessed firm confirmation, affirmation and validation that Asian professional golfers are amongst the very best in the world.
The proof of Asian star quality was put on display at both the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour.
In South Korea, Asian players from South Korea and Thailand proved once again that they are a force destined to stay at the top level of the women’s game.
South Korea’s Jin Young Ko (pictured) pulled off her fourth win this season when she won the 2021 BMW Ladies Championship in Busan, South Korea. Win this victory, Ko also proudly regained her coveted world number one ranking, dethroning America’s Nelly Korda. Not only did she re-install herself as the world’s best golfer, but in so doing, she posted a new course record for the tournament and picked up a pay-check for US$300,000. The total purse for the tournament was US$2 million.
The BMW Championship once again confirmed that South Korean professional women golfers rank amongst the best in the world. Looking at the leaderboard, there were visible signs that the KLPGA has an extremely strong talent pool of players who are just waiting to burst forth on the international stage.
There was a four-way tie for third place at 17-under par and it included South Korea’s Na Rin An, Da Yeon Lee, A Lim Kim and New Zealand’s Lydia Ko.
He battled like a fearless Samurai as though his life depended on victory. The 29-year-old superstar started the final round in the lead and at no point did her allow the chasing pack to go past him.
His determination to win on home-soil was dogged and he raced to a five-stroke victory, marking his first major win in Japan.
Matsuyama finished with a 65 and a 15-under total of 265 for his seventh PGA Tour
In second place, tied at 10-under par were Americans Brendan Steele (66) and Cameron Tringale (69).
The total prize purse for the ZOZO Championship was US$9.95 million and Matsuyama’s share was US$1,791 million.Read More
- A True Banner Day For Asia!
Talk about an almost clean weep on the world stage of professional golf. Asia was simply on fire as its stars showed their mettle and pull off great wins for the week.
It all started with South Korea’s 26-year-old phenom, Jin Young Ko. She played some incredible golf this week and she simply had a lot of fun doing it.
With her game being in the best place possible, the former world number one defended her title to pull off a wire-to-wire win at the 2021 Cognizant Founders Cup.
With all the fun she was having, she seemed oblivious of the fact that she had created golf history.
Ko’s 5-under 66 lifted her to 18-under for a four-shot victory – it was Ko’s 14th straight round in the 60s, which ties the mark Annika Sorenstam set in the middle of her 10-win season in 2005.
Sorenstam won three of four tournaments during that stretch of 14 straight rounds in the 60s, including a major, and was runner-up in another. Ko won twice and was runner-up and tied for sixth in the others during her streak.
With the Cognizant Founders Cup win, Ko has joined Nelly Korda as the only three-time winners on the LPGA Tour this season, and she became the fifth South Korean with at least 10 victories, still well short of the record 25 held by pioneer Se Ri Pak.
Next up for Ko will be the BMW Ladies Championship and if she keeps her form going, she will stand a chance to surpass and beat Sorenstam and set a new record.
For her record equalling feat, Ko earned US$450,000.
Now, here comes the clincher – Ko has pulled within 20 points of Nelly Korda in the Race to the CME Globe with the end of the season fast approaching.
Korda replaced Ko’s long run at No. 1 in the world a few months ago when she won her first major at the Women’s PGA Championship.
He played and fought like a “Hwarang” the feared Korean warriors, and never looked back as he charged his way to victory at the Shriners Children’s Open.
Im started the final round three strokes back from the leader but it was obvious from his first drive, that he was set on winning the tournament.
At one stage, it looked like Im was going to shoot a round of 59 – that was how hot he was on the day. He finally fired a 9-under 62, which gave him a clear four-shot lead over the chasing pack.
Im’s share of the US$7 million prize purse was US$1.26 million.
Im was Player of the Year on the 2018 Web.com Tour and he was also Rookie of the Year for the 2018–19 PGA Tour.
He scored his first PGA Tour victory at The Honda Classic in March 2020.
While Im was the king on the PGA Tour for the day, India’s Shubhankar Sharma was shining on the European Tour.
Much has been expected of young Indian professional Shubhankar Sharma. He created quite a stir when he first hit the fairways a few years ago and was predicted to become a big star both at home in India and internationally.
Since then, Sharma has had an up and down career with no real major success. However, this all changed at the 2021 Spanish Open which was won by Spaniard Rafa Cabrero Bello.
The Indian golfer placed himself in a good spot in the third round to remain tied for fifth place. He had earlier shot 67-64 on the first two days.
In the final round, Sharma put on a determined display and wrapped up his Spanish Open campaign with a score of 17-under par, two shots back from the eventual winner. He was tied for third place.
Sharma, has been showing good signs over the past few weeks, and is now ranked in the Top-60 for the Race to Dubai’s World Tour Championships later in the year.Read More