Red-hot Jin Young Ko makes history with Founders Cup win

Jin Young Ko of South Korea wrote her name in the LPGA Tour record book not once but twice Sunday as she authored a wire-to-wire victory at the Cognizant Founders Cup in West Caldwell, N.J.

Ko’s 5-under 66 lifted her to 18 under for a four-shot victory over Germany’s Caroline Masson. It was Ko’s 14th straight round in the 60s, tying Annika Sorenstam’s LPGA record.

What’s more, Ko went 114 straight holes without making a bogey or worse until she bogeyed No. 17 Sunday. It’s the longest such streak on record for either the LPGA or PGA Tour, breaking Tiger Woods’ mark of 110 bogey-free holes.

Ko said a bogey-free round was her goal Sunday morning, but she wasn’t necessarily thinking about the records in play and the names attached to them.

“I just focus, despite the others like Tiger Woods or Annika Sorenstam,” Ko said. “I just play by myself … I don’t know what happened to me. I don’t know. I just have fun. I’m just trying to have fun on the course with my caddie and the other players.”

Ko, 26, defended her title at the Founders Cup, which she won in 2019 at Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix. The World No. 2 has won three tournaments in her last seven starts.

It marked Ko’s 10th career win on tour, making her the fifth Korean player to post double-digit victories.

Masson posted the low round of the day, a spotless 64 with seven birdies, to move into second.

“I can’t tell you how big this is,” Masson said. “It’s been a little bit rough this summer. Honestly, like mentally it was really, really tough stretch, probably the toughest in my career.

“So to come back out and have a good week last week and feel like I’m getting really close — you know, I know I’m pretty far away from winning this week score-wise, but it was pretty close. Pretty amazing. Just got to thank everybody on my team for being there for me.”

Elizabeth Szokol (69) overcame a double bogey-bogey stretch on the fourth and fifth holes to secure third place at 11 under. Jeongeun Lee6 of South Korea (67) and Yuka Saso of the Philippines (70) tied for fourth at 10 under.

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