Jin Young Ko went full Dustin Johnson, saying she tried a philosophy of playing free of anger or happiness—remaining focused—after hearing from fellow LPGA Tour pro Jennifer Song that's how Johnson played. That mind-set clearly worked for Ko, as she won the Bank of Hope Founders Cup by one shot over four players, including the two Korda sisters, Jessica and Nelly.
Ko won by blistering the Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in 64-65 on the weekend, making up a five-shot deficit from the halfway point. She played the final 36 holes bogey-free (as she did in the first round, as well) making seven birdies in the final round, including three in a row on Nos. 14 through 16.
Overall Ko hit 60 of 72 greens for an impressive 83.3 percent clip, including hitting 16 in each of the final two rounds. But her iron game stood out on the final stretch as she knocked her tee shot to within four feet on the par-3 14th and then staked an approach to three-and-a-half feet on the par-4 16th.
Ko uses Bridgestone’s Tour B X-CB irons—an effective mix of classic looks and contemporary technology. The irons are forged from 1020 carbon steel and use a weight pad behind the face to enhance feel. They also offer a slightly wider sole than some players irons for forgiveness through the turf. Her wedges are Ping’s Glide Forged model.
And her attitude was pure Dustin Johnson, which meant that of a winner.
What Jin Young Ko had in the bag at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup:
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