By now, there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that Ko Jin-young is the best female golfer in the world today.
Ko, world No. 1 since July 29, dominated the field to capture the CP Women's Open in Aurora, Canada, on Sunday (local time), for her fourth LPGA victory of the year. With a bogey-free round of eight-under 64, Ko finished at 26-under 262, beating Nicole Broch Larsen of Denmark by five strokes at Magna Golf Club.
Ko, a sophomore with six career LPGA titles, didn't commit a bogey all week. Ko's most recent bogey came on the second hole of her third round at the AIG Women's British Open, a streak of 106 bogey-free holes. The last bogey-free winner of a 72-hole event was Park In-bee in March 2015 at the HSBC Women's World Championship.
Ko, who has now gone second-first-third-first in her last four LPGA starts, earned $337,500 with her latest win, raising her tour-leading total to $2,618,631 this season.
Ko is the only player with four victories this season, and she is the first four-time winner since Lydia Ko in 2016.
Ko Jin-young is one of seven Koreans to reach the winner's circle in 2019. The contingent has produced 12 wins, including three majors, in 24 tournaments.
Through 54 holes, Ko was tied atop the leaderboard with Broch Larsen at 18-under. Broch Larsen broke that tie with a birdie at the first hole, and Ko picked up her first birdie at the eighth.
The two made the turn all knotted up at 20-under.
At the 10th hole, a Ko birdie coupled with a Broch Larsen bogey gave the South Korean a two-stroke lead, and that was all the opening Ko needed. She had another birdie at the 11th to open up a three-stroke advantage.
Broch Larsen tried to keep pace with consecutive birdies at the 13th and 14th, but she didn't have another birdie the rest of the day. Ko birdied four of the last five holes, punctuating her win with a birdie at the 18th.
Ko was dialed in from the tee to the green all week. She hit more than 80 percent of the fairways and 90 percent of the greens, while averaging just 28 putts per round.
Of all the birdies she made in the final round, Ko said the highlight of her day was saving par at the par-5 ninth, where she missed her second shot to the right and declared her ball unplayable from the woods. She still managed to save par, which she said was "huge."
"I heard (about the bogey-free streak) from my friend last night, so I wanted to try to have a bogey-free round for Sunday," Ko said. "I made it. It was cool."
This was Ko's first LPGA event since finishing third at the AIG Women's British Open at the start of August. She skipped a tournament in Scotland and came home to play in a Korean tour event before taking some time off. Ko admitted to feeling recharged and refreshed at the start of the CP Women's Open, as she went on a birdie barrage.
Ko also padded her lead in the Player of the Year points race and is poised to become the fourth Korean to earn the best player title.
She arrived in Canada leading Korean rookie sensation Lee Jeong-eun in points by 207 to 118, with another Korean player, Park Sung-hyun, at 117.
Ko picked up 30 points for her win. Park and Lee, who finished tied for 20th and 31st, respectively, didn't earn any points.
Points are awarded based on top-10 finishes, and they're doubled at major championships. Hall of Famer Park In-bee became the first Korean to win the Player of the Year in 2013, and Park Sung-hyun and Ryu So-yeon shared the award in 2017.
There are eight tournaments remaining this season. (Yonhap)