A few weeks ago when she won the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, Jin Young Ko said she tried a Dustin Johnson philosophy of staying focused and not getting angry on the course. After winning the ANA Inspiration for her first major championship, perhaps it’s Johnson who should try to be like Ko, as the newly minted ANA champion is No. 1 in the world.
Ko’s ascent to the top of the Rolex Ranking coincides with her recent penchant for being at or near the top of the leaderboard. The win was her second in three weeks with a T-2 sandwiched between them. Her recent run and first major is the result of consistent ball-striking (she ranks fourth on the LPGA in greens in regulation and 13th in driving accuracy). It was a recipe that repeated itself at the ANA, where she drove it well (266-yard average while finding 42 of 56 fairways) and hit greens (55 of 72, including 14 in each of the final two rounds).
Ko’s driver is Callaway's Epic Flash Sub Zero, a low-spinning driver with a movable weight that Ko, fittingly, keeps in the neutral position. The face was designed with the aid of artificial intelligence to provide more hot spots over a wider portion of the face. Her irons are Bridgestone’s Tour B X-CB.
Ko birdied two of her final three holes to finish with a two-under-par 70 to win by three shots over Mi Hyung Lee, including a 15-footer at the last using her Ping Sigma 2 ZB2. All of her clubs remain the same from her previous win at the Founders.
“I still can’t believe it. I had a great round and a great week,” said Ko.“I felt nervous today but I just tried to keep myself calm. My caddie told me on the 18th that I had a two-shot lead and to not worry, just enjoy it. It’s a real honor for me to win.”
For Ko, winning is also becoming a habit.
What Jin Young Ko had in the bag at the ANA Inspiration:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Driver: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero, 9 degrees
3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero, 15 degrees
5-wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero, 18 degrees
Hybrid: Titleist 818 H1, 23 degrees
Irons (5-PW): Bridgestone Tour B X-CB
Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (50, 52, 60 degrees)
Putter: Ping Sigma 2 ZB2