Ko, one hundred million reasons to celebrate

"Being the player of the year, winning the Vare Trophy again and also winning the CME Group Tour Championship, is a dream come true"

by Andrea Gussoni
Ko, one hundred million reasons to celebrate

Lydia Ko has two million reasons to celebrate her ninth season on the LPGA Tour. She finished the year with the Player of the Year nomination, secured the Vare Trophy for the lowest average score of the season, her name tops the list of prizes, and ultimately won the hefty $ 2 million check by winning the CME Group Tour Championship.

Lydia Ko, results

"Being the player of the year, winning the Vare Trophy again and also winning the CME Group Tour Championship, is a dream come true," said Lydia Ko on Sunday. "Being able to do it in front of my family and to my team, you know, it's really special.

" Ko's award ceremony concludes one of the 25-year-old's most impressive seasons on the LPGA Tour. The New Zealander has won three times, including her first win in her native Korea. Ko was one of five players along with Jennifer Kupcho, Brooke Henderson, Minjee Lee and Atthaya Thitikul, who have won multiple times over the course of a season.

Ko, Lee, Henderson and Thitikul were all on the hunt for the Player of the Year title. And while the top honor of the season ultimately went to Lydia Ko, it was Minjee Lee, the US Women's Open champion, who won the Rolex Annika Major Award for most consistent performance in the five majors.

Lee was also named the winner of the Aon Risk Reward Challenge and took home her $ 1 million prize. Thitikul has won twice in his rookie season and spent a week at number 1 on the Rolex rankings. An extraordinary season, which also saw her fight to the last for the Rolex Player of the Year and the Vare Trophy, and culminated in the victory of the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year.

It has been a decade since Lydia Ko first won the LPGA Tour, and it can be said that they have grown up together. Ko's rookie season featured total prizes of $ 56 million with 32 events. Last week, the Tour unveiled its 2023 schedule with a record prize pool of over $ 100 million with 33 official tournaments, as well as the Hanwah LifePlus International Crown and the 18th edition of the Solheim Cup.

Next season's eye-popping prize pool is largely due to the top five championships - Chevron Championship, US Women's Open presented by ProMedica, KPMG Women's PGA Championship, Amundi Evian Championship and AIG Women's Open - which continue to chase each other with unprecedented growth.

and make up $ 37.9 million of the total 2023 prize pool. In April, the Chevron Championship will be staged at its new location outside Houston at The Club at Carlton Woods. In June, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will take place for the first time at the Baltusrol Golf Club and in July the US Women's Open will make its debut at the Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Finally, in August, the AIG Women’s Open will make its first visit to Walton Heath. In addition to the return of the International Crown for the first time since 2018, the Tour also hosts a new tournament scheduled with the Mizuho Women's Open at Liberty National Golf Club in June.

There is a lot to celebrate when we consider the progress of the LPGA Tour made this last season: 26 different players have taken the victory, including 11 for the first time. Despite such fierce competition, there is one player who has stood out, and it is Lydia Ko.

The LPGA Tour takes an eight-week hiatus before kicking off the 2023 season in mid-January with the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. It is the start of what is sure to be an electrifying season with 100 million reasons to celebrate.