With a stunning birdie, Ko finished off a final-round, bogey-free, 6-under-par 65 to emerge with a one-shot victory and the fourth LPGA win of her career and second this season.
Ko, the No. 2 player in the world, still swears she gets nervous on every shot, even if she never seems to show it. The four-footer she drained on the last was particularly special considering Ko entered the 18th with a one-shot lead before So Yeon Ryu drained a snaking right-to-left 30-foot putt on the 17th hole. But Ryu, playing one group behind Ko, missed a must-make 6-foot birdie on the last to finish one back of Ko at 14-under-par for the tournament.
“I came in today with a goal of shooting 6-under. After my first nine I said, I definitely can shoot that,” Ko said.
Ko becomes the youngest player in LPGA Tour history to cross the $1 million mark (17 years, 2 months, 26 days) and that doesn’t even include the money she didn’t receive after winning twice as an amateur. Ko’s 65 came with birdies on two of the last three holes. However, Ko’s still focused on the pocket money that comes from birdies. The 17-year-old who doesn’t even have her driver’s license has an allowance deal going with her mom where the amount she gets increases with each shot under par she finishes.
“I think it’s $10 per under par I shoot,” she said. “I mean, we totally forgot about that. Then like about a month ago I was like, ‘Mom, what’s going on? I need this.’ I mean, I guess finishing 15-under is $150 extra.”
The money doesn’t mean much to her. She’s not “going to spend $1 million and buy something like a diamond ring,” she said with a laugh. Instead, she might splurge with the $150 in allowance she gets from her mom.
“Maybe I might get something electronic. I do what teenagers do and be excited when you get pocket money in your wallet,” she said.