She came for iced cappuccinos, stayed for LPGA win

August 26, 2019
Jin Young Ko of South Korea kisses the trophy after winning the CP Women's Open in Aurora, Ontario, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

Jin Young Ko of South Korea (AP)

South Korean golfer Ko Jin-young was enjoying her down time at home so much that she almost didn’t travel to Canada for the CP Women’s Open on the LPGA Tour.

But then she decided she liked Canada too much to skip the event. So Ko flew to Magna Club in Aurora, Ontario, north of Toronto, and won the tournament anyway Sunday (local time) with a bogey-free 26-under 262, five shots better than Nicole Broch Larsen of Denmark.

So why did she choose to come?

“Well, I like Canada, and I like iced cappuccinos,” Ko said at her post-tournament press conference. “That’s why I wanted to play this week.”

Ko said she also made it out to see Niagara Falls. But her impression at the sight of the great falls was, “I was scared.”

With the way she played, Ko surely struck fear into her fellow golfers, who probably wished Ko would have just stayed home.

Ko shot 66-67-65-64 to become the first bogey-free winner of a 72-hole event since fellow Korean Park In-bee in March 2015. She hasn’t had a bogey for 106 holes now. The world No. 1 leads all players with four titles this year, and no one else has more than two wins.

Ko played in the final group with Broch Larsen and Canadian star Brooke Henderson, the defending champion and huge fan favorite. Ko and Henderson walked arm in arm up the 18th fairway, the 2018 champion with the 2019 champion.

Ko said, despite a sizable Korean contingent in the gallery, she knew the crowd was really cheering for Henderson.

“I told Brooke, ‘This crowd is for you.’ And she said, ‘No, it’s for you,’” Ko said with a smile. “I like Brooke.”

Ko drained eight birdies on the final day, six of them on the back nine. She opened up a three-shot lead with a birdie at the 15th, but it wasn’t until she had another birdie at the 17th that Ko felt comfortable.

“This is the first time to play a bogey-free tournament,” she said. “It’s cool.”