Jin Young Ko Secures Second Major Title of Season at Evian
POOR weather also blighted the Evian Championship, women’s golf’s fourth major of the season. It was won by South Korea’s Ko Jin-young and was her second major victory of the year after the ANA Inspiration. Ko shot a final round of 67 at Evain-les-Bains to finish on 15 under par, beating 54-hole leader Kim Hyo-joo by two shots after she finished with a 73.
It is not the first time that this tournament has been blighted by bad weather. To be fair to the tournament organisers, there is not an awful lot they can do about that. You simply cannot legislate for rain in July But questions do need to be asked about the condition of the golf course for what is supposed to be one women’s golf’s showcase events.
After missing the cut on Friday, Lexi Thompson, of the USA, took to Twitter to complain about the condition of the fairways, saying that she had suffered some dreadful bounces on the fairways. Her tweet was a accompanied by a picture that proved her point. It was quickly deleted and she returned to Twitter to retract her criticism - presumably it had been pointed out to her that the likes of Ko had been able to score well enough on the course.
But Thompson was correct. Anybody who watched the tournament can only have been struck by the appalling state of many of the fairways. And of one thing you can be absolutely certain - when the world’s finest assemble at Woburn later this week for the Women’s British Open they will find themselves playing on a beautifully presented golf course. Perhaps the time has come for the LPGA to ask themselves whether the Evian really deserves its place as a major. Most players would almost certainly answer with a resounding “No.”
But KO will not be concerned with any of that right now. This was her third victory of the year and she has also enjoyed seven top-10 finishes.
World number one Park Sung-hyun, who trailed Kim by a shot going into the final round in France, finished five shots adrift of Ko after an error-strewn 75. Kim, the 2014 champion, birdied the eighth and 11th, wiping out a bogey on the third, to help her stay ahead of the pack. But she had problems when her ball was plugged in a greenside bunker on the par-three 14th, taking a triple-bogey six, which allowed Ko to take control.
World number two Ko moved within a shot of her compatriot with back-to-back birdies on six and seven, with further gains on 10 and 13 helping her overtake her playing partner. Ko's patience approach throughout paid dividends and from that point she continued to look assured, sinking a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th as she confidently closed out victory without dropping a shot.
American Jennifer Kupcho carded a five-under-par 66 - the lowest round of the day in tricky conditions - for a tie of second place alongside Kim and China's Shanshan Feng (68).
"Last year my game was a little shorter but this year I'm getting a little longer. I had a great week," said Ko, who is set to reclaim the world number one ranking. "I thought last night that I can win if I played really good, I'm never thinking about other players and their scores."
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