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Jin Young Ko ties Annika Sorenstam’s sub-70 record in Founders Cup win

WEST CALDWELL, N.J. – Jin Young Ko didn’t only leave New Jersey with her second straight Founders Cup title, but she now shares a record with one of the greats.

With a final-round 66 at Mountain Ridge Country Club, Ko fought the pressure in the rain to shoot her 14th consecutive sub-70 round, tying Annika’s Sorenstam LPGA record.

“I got a lot of the pressure on the course,” Ko said after her 10th career win. “I knew I’m defending champion and I knew like 60s score beat Annika’s record and wire to wire.”

This isn’t the first time the world No. 2 shared a record with a legend of the sport. In 2019, Ko tied Tiger Woods’ record of 110 straight bogey-free holes before going on to set a new mark with 114.

Fellow South Korean So Yeon Ryu also had 14 consecutive rounds in the 60s.

The 26-year-old Ko, however, wasn’t focused on the records on Sunday. Instead, she targeted merely a bogey-free round. While she fell short of that with a late bogey on No. 17, she still accomplished another goal – having fun. Winning certainly helped.

“I just focus [on] myself,” she said, “The other, like Tiger’s or Annika Sorenstam’s [record], I just play by myself and with those amazing professional girls. I don’t know what happened to me.”

Ko said Sorenstam inspires her, and she wants to follow the trajectory of the iconic Swede’s career, but she also notes there’s still a gap between the two, as Ko currently has eight majors fewer than Sorenstam. The two met a few years back at the Rolex Awards, where Ko was named 2018 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year and Sorenstam complimented Ko’s game, much to the South Korean’s surprise.

“She get me the trophy ... and we talk just a little bit, just few things, like, ‘You’re amazing,’ she said,” Ko said.

Full-field scores from the Cognizant Founders Cup

The way Ko looks up to Sorenstam, young LPGA stars such as 20-year-old Yuka Saso, who won the U.S. Women’s Open earlier this year, admire Ko.

“She doesn’t really make mistakes,” Saso said after her round, which she played alongside Ko. “Keeps on making putts. It’s amazing to see and play with her. Yeah, and I really learned a lot and hopefully play with her in the future again and learn from her.”

Ko will make her next start at the BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea later this month. Sorenstam’s and Ryu’s record will, of course, be on the line.