Jin Young Ko earned her second win in seven starts since moving to the NEW Pro V1 golf ball, emerging victorious on the first hole of a playoff to claim her 15th career LPGA title. One of only two players to shoot in the 60’s on Sunday, Ko posted the lowest round of the day in difficult, windy conditions, turning in a bogey-free 5-under 67 to reach 13 under and force extra holes.
Ko said she became inspired after watching highlights of fellow Korean Sungjae Im's comeback victory Sunday on the KPGA Tour. Im came from five shots back to win. Ko was faced with a four-shot deficit to start the day. "So I really focused myself and it was great," she said.
"This golf course is not easy. Fairways are narrow and greens are firm – and windy. ... I feel really good (about the win)."
Ko, who also claimed the HSBC Women's World Championship in her second LPGA start of 2023, moves to No. 1 in the Race to the CME Globe standings.
The winner of the Cognizant Founders Cup gamed her trusted Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 putter, claiming victory No. 7 with the club since September 2021. On the 72nd hole Sunday, she drained a birdie putt of approximately 15 feet to force the playoff.
The World No. 3 switched to the Phantom X 5.5 from a competitive mallet model following a trip to the Titleist Performance Centre in Seoul after the Tokyo Olympics. While working with Scotty Cameron fitter Eric Kong, she noticed the Phantom X 5.5 stock model on a putter rack and started testing it.
In her next LPGA start, the Cambria Portland Classic, she put that exact putter in play and won by four shots, needing only 78 putts over 54 holes (1.44 average). She went on to win three more times over the next six weeks with the putter, including the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship
“I changed this putter five or six weeks ago in Korea, and I use this putter four weeks in a row from the Portland and here,” she said after her victory at the 2021 Cognizant Founders Cup that October. “I got two wins with this putter and two top-10s, so, yeah, I think I will love this putter.”
Titleist Brand Ambassador Sungjae Im claimed his sixth career professional victory, posting a 4-under final round 68 to win by one shot. Im, playing his Pro V1x golf ball, TSR2 driver and full bag of Titleist equipment, topped a final leader board that featured seven Titleist golf ball players and six TSR driver players in the top 10.
Sungjae Im brought his new TSR2 9.0 driver (Tour AD-DI 7X shaft) to the winner's circle this week on the KPGA. It was his third start with the new model, having put the driver in play for the first time at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where he finished sixth alongside partner Keith Mitchell (NEW Pro V1). Im recorded another top 10 finish (T8) at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship.
The winner of the 2023 AT&T Byron Nelson gamed three Vokey Design wedges (SM9 52.08F, 56.10S, WedgeWorks 60T wedges) en route to winning his 13th career PGA TOUR title. The champion relied on his scoring clubs down the stretch, getting up-and-down for par on the 71st hole and sticking his final approach from 80 yards to 2 feet, 2 inches to set up the winning birdie. For the week, the winner finished 10th in Scrambling (81%), including a perfect 3-for-3 Sunday.
Simon Forsström closed out his first career DP World Tour title, tapping in his NEW Pro V1 golf ball on the 72nd hole for the winning par and one-shot victory. The Swede turned in rounds of 64-67-67-69 around Rinkven International GC to finish at 17 under, one clear of countryman Jens Dantorp (Pro V1x Left Dash). Forsström relied on his short game all week long, leading the field in Strokes Gained: Around the Green (+1.58 per round) and Scrambling (84%). Superb play around the greens also saw Forsström lead the field in Bogey Avoidance, only surrendering four dropped shots over 72 holes.
Steve Stricker (Pro V1x) made eight birdies on Sunday to cap off his 13th PGA TOUR Champions title with a runaway six-shot win. Stricker posted rounds of 68-68-64-65 to reach 23 under. The 2021 U.S. Ryder Cup captain led the field in Greens in Regulation (63/72, 88%).
Twelve of the top 17 players on Sunday’s final leader board gamed a Pro V1 or Pro V1x golf ball for the week.
Nannan Shen, playing his NEW Titleist Pro V1x golf ball, earned his first career China Tour title after shooting a final round 2-under 70 at Grand Lake Golf Club. Shen, whose 12-under total was good for a one-shot victory, led a Titleist golf ball 1-10 sweep, where all players finishing inside the top 10 and ties on Sunday’s final leader board teed up a Titleist ball for the week.