‘World No. 2’ Ko Jin-young “thinks he can climb back to No. 1 at any time”
After falling from the top spot in women’s golf to No. 2, 28-year-old Jin Young Ko (28-Solare) expressed confidence that she could return to the top spot at any time.
Ko attended the official press conference for the Jeju Samdasu Masters on the Korea Ladies Professional Golf (KLPGA) Tour at Blackstone Jeju in Jeju City, Jeju Province, on Feb. 2.
After a slump last year, Ko made a complete comeback this year, reclaiming the No. 1 ranking at the end of May and holding it for 10 weeks, breaking the record for the longest period of time at No. 1 in history (163 weeks).
This week, however, she lost the top spot again to Nelly Coda (USA) and dropped to second place.
“I think I can always be No. 1 if I play well,” said Ko, “and to maintain that, I’m setting goals and pushing myself to the limit to make sure I’m satisfied with myself.”
He explains that he keeps himself at the top of his game by training as much as he can convince himself.
“I’ve been doing that for five or six years since I entered the U.S. scene,” said Ko, “and it’s hard to stay on top for a short period of time. Recently, there has been a generational change in the LPGA Tour, and I am competing against younger and more experienced players in their early 20s, so I think I am doing well just by staying on top.”
“Anyway, I think I have to take responsibility and protect my position,” he said, “It’s not an easy position, but it’s a big price to pay and a bigger reward. That’s why I continue to challenge myself without giving up, even if my wrist or anything else hurts.”
She also revealed that she suffered from a wrist injury last year.
“After my poor performance at the BMW Ladies Championship last year, I really didn’t want to play golf and had a lot of doubts,” said Ko. “However, my parents were very supportive and I think my hard work from the pre-season training led to my good performance this year.”
“When I won this year, many people said that they understood my previous ‘heartache,’ but in fact, I don’t think anyone knows,” he said, showing signs of emotion.
This is Ko’s first KLPGA Tour event in a year and nine months since the BMW Ladies Championship in October 2021. After playing the Evian Championship in France last week, Ko was on a plane immediately afterward and said she was tired.
“I was on the plane for so long that I couldn’t eat and only slept,” she said. “I was excited and looking forward to playing on the KLPGA Tour, but I didn’t think about how I was going to play because I came right after the tournament.”
Nevertheless, she was determined to show a different side in practice.
“I’ve been in the U.S., but I know what players are doing well on the KLPGA Tour,” said Ko, “and when I came here, 고스톱 I realized that there are more juniors. I will take a lot of youthful energy with me,” she laughed.