Snowballing consistency and a pair of tournament wins in 2022 – her first multiple-win season since 2016 – mean the numbers that matter for Lydia Ko are making majestic reading for the former world No 1.
Following her 18th career win on the tour over the weekend at the BMW Ladies Championship, Ko is now seventh on the all-time money list and could potentially jump into the top five before the year is out – cementing her future legacy as a genuine all-time rich lister of the LPGA Tour.
Her latest win banked Ko US$300,000 (NZ$521,700) and at just 25, on the back of an impressive and lucrative season in 2021, it’s mind-boggling to ponder where the Kiwi golfer could end up on that list when her glittering career comes to an end.
Unfortunately, without a crystal ball handy to gaze into that future, we’ve crunched the all-important Ko numbers from this season and her career to date, to see where it has all, mostly, gone right.
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That’s no misprint, at the tender age of 25, Lydia Ko has now won US$14.7m (NZ$25.5m) so far in her career on the LPGA Tour. Her rookie year was back in 2014, meaning next year will mark a decade of playing at the pinnacle of women’s golf.
With season earnings of US$2.34 million (NZ$4.08m), Ko sits third on the official money order list for this season behind Minjee Lee (NZ$3.75m) and Chun In-gee (US$2.6m).
In the race to the CME Globe, the tour’s season-long points race, Ko sits in first place with 3,042.693 points. With a healthy lead over Atthaya Thitikul and Minjee Lee, Ko is unlikely to be caught. The top 60 in the CME rankings will contest the Championship Tournament where the winner will bank a cool US$2m (NZ$3.47m).
Her emotional victory in Korea, the first in her birth country, was Ko’s 18th victory on the LPGA Tour. The first of them came way back in 2012, as an amateur, at the Canadian Open. Her four-shot victory in Korea over the weekend was her second tournament win of the year, making the 2022 season her first with multiple victories since 2016.
Over four rounds in the BMW Ladies Championship, Ko collected an impressive 23 birdies. Eight of them coming in her final round. Round three was her least fruitful with just three, but that round was bolstered with an eagle.
Across the four rounds at the BMW Ladies Championship, Ko was able to control the ball with stunning accuracy. She recorded just four bogeys throughout the tournament with round three being perfect and her opening round being the worst, with two.
A brilliant seven-under final round at the BMW Ladies Championship was highlighted by Ko’s accuracy and execution from the tees and fairways. She hit all 18 greens in regulation.
There was nothing wrong with Ko’s short game either, needing just 30 putts in her final round at the Oak Valley Country Club in South Korea.
With her victory in the BMW Ladies Championship, Ko becomes the fifth player to win multiple tournaments on the LPGA Tour this season with the others being Jennifer Kupcho (three wins), Minjee Lee (two), Brooke Henderson (two) and Atthaya Thitikul (two).
Consistency has been a huge part of Ko’s season, so it’s not much of a surprise that she has 13 top-10 finishes. Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul (14) is the only player on the tour to have more.
Ko’s latest victory moves her up to a tie for 30th on the LPGA Tour career wins list. Her 18 titles have her level with Meg Mallon and Hollis Stacy.
Proof of Ko’s consistency in 2022 is perhaps best summed up by her scoring average of 69.05 – the best on the LPGA Tour this year.