Lydia Ko has two million reasons to celebrate her ninth season on the LPGA Tour. She capped off the year by being named Player of the Year, taking home the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average of the season, topping the money list, and winning her first ever $2 million winner’s check to capture the CME Group Tour Championship. .
“To be the Player of the Year and to win the Vare Cup again and to win the CME Group Tour Championship, it’s a dream come true,” Coe said on Sunday. “To be able to do that in front of my family and my team, you know, it’s very special.”
Koe’s award capped off one of the most impressive seasons in 25 years on the LPGA Tour. The Kiwi has won three times, including for the first time in her native Korea, and cited her personal and professional growth for her success in 2022.
Ko was one of five players along with Jennifer Kupshaw, Brooke Henderson, Mingye Lee and Athaiah Teticul, to win multiple times over the course of a season that was packed with par and punctuated by 11 first-time Rolex winners.
Ko, Lee, Henderson and Thitikul were all looking for Player of the Year. And while Ko was ultimately awarded the highest honor of the season, it was US Women’s Open champion Lee who won the Rolex Annika Major for her most consistent performance in the five Grand Slams. Lee was also named the winner of the Aon Risk Reward Challenge and received the $1 million prize.
Thitikul was one such first-time winner. She won twice in her rookie season and spent one week at #1 in the Rolex rankings. Her breakout season also saw her compete for Rolex Player of the Year and the Vare Trophy. Thai youth season culminated in him winning the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award.
It’s been a decade since Ko became a first-time winner on the LPGA Tour and since joining the tour in 2014, at the age of 16, Ko has really grown.
Ko’s rookie season featured a $56 million purse with 32 events. Last week, the Tour revealed its 2023 schedule with a record-breaking purse of more than $100 million through 33 official tournaments, as well as the Hanwah LifePlus International Crown and the 18th edition of the Solheim Cup.
Much of next season’s eye-catching portfolio is thanks to the five major championships—the Chevron Championships, the US Women’s Open presented by ProMedica, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the Amundi Evian Championship, and the AIG Women’s Open—that continue to move forward with some of them. some. Unprecedented growth and make up $37.9 million of the 2023 portfolio. And next year, major companies will experience the world’s best on the game’s home courts, many for the first time.
In April, the Chevron Championship will take place at its new home outside of Houston at The Club at Carlton Woods. In June, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will head to Baltusrol Golf Club for the first time and in July, the US Women’s Open will make its debut at Pebble Beach Golf Links. In August, the AIG Ladies Open will make its first visit to Walton Heath.
In addition to returning the International Crown for the first time since 2018, the tour also welcomes a new tournament to the schedule with the Mizuho Women’s Open at Liberty National Golf Club in June.
There’s a lot to celebrate when looking at the world’s best over the past season on the LPGA Tour, where 26 different players found the winner’s circle with nearly a dozen of them winning for the first time. Even with this deep competition, there was one player who stood out above the rest, and that was Lydia Ko.
The LPGA Tour is taking an eight-week break before starting its 2023 season in mid-January with only winners from the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club. It’s the start of an exciting season for sure with 100 million reasons to celebrate.