Ko Jin-Young becomes the first player to defend her HSBC Women’s World Championship
If it was excitement you were looking for at the 2023 HSBC Women’s World Championship, the league of extraordinary female golfers served exactly that.
For starters, South Korea’s Ko Jin-young became the first player to successfully defend her HSBC Women’s World Championship title, no mean feat considering the competition she was up against. After a tough four days of battling it out with 18 of the world’s top 20 ranked players, the World No. 5 finished with a three-under- par 69 for a two-shot victory over World No. 2 Nelly Korda on Sunday.
The nail-biting race to victory at Sentosa Golf Club culminated with the 27-year-old’s win once again – exactly a year after she first clinched the coveted title in 2022 – to add her 14th LPGA Tour title in Singapore. Despite her effortless swings and precise putts, it wasn’t exactly an easy journey for Ko, who admitted earlier in the week prior to the tournament that she hadn’t fully recovered from a wrist injury.
“It’s a great honour to defend this title again. This week has been too long for me but I’m feeling so happy. I didn’t want to lose to the other players, especially today. So, it was really hard to keep my poker face on the course even as I tried to stay focused. I had a tough year last year, and I was battling with injuries and loss in form. Mentally it’s tough too. So, this win is especially important and it’s going to be a big momentum for me in my life,” she said.
She wasn’t the only one with her eyes on the prize; Korda – who started the final round just two shots behind Ko in second place – put immense pressure on the South Korean by firing three successive birdies starting from the third hole, but fell short no thanks to bogeys on the 6th and 13th holes. Ultimately, her later push with birdies on hole 14 and 18 were not enough to overtake Ko’s near flawless performance.
“I’m obviously a little disappointed with today. I didn’t play well and couldn’t really put up a battle as much as I wanted to. I made silly mistakes here and there. I’m going to take a couple of days off before going to work on my swing,” said Korda.
Other hot favourites like Danielle Kang had to share third place with fellow American Allisen Corpuz and Japan’s Ayaka Furue, the latter of which signed off with her week’s best score of 67. Kang started strong with four birdies in her front-nine, but her hopes of staying on top dwindled when she bogeyed on 16.
Despite disruptions from heavy rain, the 2023 HSBC Women’s World Championship saw a huge turnout from golf fans near and far, who also came to watch other greats like World No. 3 Minjee Lee, World No. 4 Atthaya Thitikul, and current World No.1 Lydia Ko tackle the challenging Tanjong course.
To sweeten the win and celebrate the tournament’s 15th anniversary, HSBC collaborated with RISIS to create a bespoke HSBC Orchid-designed necklace for this year’s winner. Inspired by its namesake flower – which was commissioned by NParks to mark HSBC’s contributions towards biodiversity and conversation in Singapore – the stunning necklace sees a delicate orchid that’s accompanied by 15 pearls to mark the special milestone. Each player who participated also received a beautiful participation slider necklace.
Catch all the highlights on the tournament here, and stay tuned for our interview with Nelly Korda.
Lifestyle Asia Singapore is the proud media partner of the 2023 HSBC Women’s World Championship.
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