Lydia Ko is back, the 20th victory on the Tour

For Lydia Ko the 2023 season was not easy (with only two top 10 finishes), but 2024 started in the best way with the victory at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions

by Andrea Gussoni
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Lydia Ko is back, the 20th victory on the Tour
© Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images Sport

For Lydia Ko the 2023 season was not easy (with only two top 10 finishes), but 2024 started in the best way with the victory at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. In the 11th year of her career the New Zealand champion won her 20th Tour title, becoming the seventh woman in the history of the LPGA Tour to achieve this extraordinary number of titles before the age of 27.

Lydia Ko, results

After shooting four rounds under par at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club, Ko got the better of rookie Alexa Pano, beating her by two strokes (-14) and taking home the first title of the 2024 season at her home club in Orlando, Florida.

“It's a fantastic and comforting way to start the season,” said the champion. “I've never played particularly well in this event before, but I knew that it would be windy and that the cold would be a factor, so no one would score very low.

I tried to be very constant and patient and this rewarded me." Continuing in the ranking, in third place we find the Canadian Brooke M. Henderson, who finished at -10 overall, followed by Cheyenne Knight, Ayake Furue and Ally Ewing, all tied for 4th place (-8).

Seventh place for Charley Hull and Rose Zhang, seventh at -7, while Marina Alex and Gemma Dryburgh close the top 10 one shot further back. With her win at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, Ko is one point away from qualifying for the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame and is just the 29th player in LPGA Tour history to earn 20 or more career victories.

The new LPGA Tour season (the 74th) kicks off this Thursday with the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Florida. For the sixth edition of the event we will see, as usual, a field made up of 35 players who have won on the LPGA Tour in the last two seasons.

Lilia Vu, current No. 1 in the Rolex Ranking, and Major champions Allisen Corpuz and Ruoning Yin will make their debuts at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions from January 18-21. Also joining them will be former world No.

1s Lydia Ko and Nelly Korda, as well as rising stars Linn Grant, Alexa Pano and Rose Zhang. All will compete over 72 holes for a prize pool of 1.5 million dollars, 500 Race to the CME Globe points and an official victory on the Major Tour.

What characterizes the season-opening tournament is a mix of the best players on the LPGA Tour and the stars of entertainment, sport and music. In fact, celebrities will take part in the event and will compete separately from the stars in a modified Stableford format.

On the pitch we will see the defending champion Brooke Henderson, who last year won her 13th career victory here. Experts advise keeping an eye on Nelly Korda, who will try to return to the winners' circle for the first time since 2022.

Danielle Kang, former winner of this tournament (in 2022) will be on court to try to regain the title, while Rose Zhang will make her debut at Lake Nona, hoping to replicate the great victory obtained at the Mizuho Americas Open, when she turned professional .

Lydia Ko
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