Lydia Ko completed her round Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship, and wondered if she was going to be in a playoff for the tournament title at Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. But someone had to tell her she won the $1 million Race to the CME Globe first.
“Somebody told me and said, ‘Oh, you got the million.’ I was like, ‘Oh, really?’ It wasn’t something I was thinking about all day,” the 17-year-old said. “When I was out there I just set my goal, and that’s what I tried to reach for.”
Ko came into the tournament as one of three players controlling their own destiny for the season-long CME Globe along with Stacy Lewis, who was No. 1 entering, and No. 2 Inbee Park. Lewis had a slight lead on Ko going into Sunday’s final round, and Park dropped back. Michelle Wie and So Yeon Ryu also were in contention.
Ko was the only one who was up high on the leaderboard going to the back nine.
In 2013, Ko was playing her first professional event at this tournament in Naples. Now she’s Rookie of the Year, has won three times, and won women’s golf’s biggest payday.
“I think just playing consistent (was the key),” Ko said. “Top 10s are really tough. You have to be in good form to be in that position, too. So I just said, ‘OK, go out there and have fun, have a couple top 10s, and just really learn more about the tour and what it’s like to play on the tour full time.