(Reuters) – World number one Ko Jin-young picked up the Rolex Player of the Year award for the first time after the 24-year-old forged an unassailable lead in the 2019 rankings, the LPGA Tour announced on Sunday.
With three more events remaining on the LPGA Tour, South Korean Ko has 241 points to lead compatriot Lee Jeong-eun by 118.
“I’m so thankful to win the Rolex Player of the Year award,” Ko, who first became number one in April, said in a statement.
“This was one of the best years of my career and to earn this award is one of the best honours I could ever receive.”
Ko, named Rookie of the Year in 2018, has won four events this year including two majors — the ANA Inspiration title in California and The Evian Championship in Evian-les-Bains, France.
No other player has won four times on the LPGA Tour this season. Ko has also won six LPGA Tour events in less than two years since joining the tour.
She also recorded eight more top-10 finishes, another season-high which included three runner-up spots, and did not miss the cut in 20 starts.
“Some of my golf heroes have won this award and I can’t believe that my name is now on the same list,” Ko added. “I can’t wait to see what the future brings for me.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Tony Lawrence)