November 09, 2021 10:23
Korean-New Zealander Lydia Ko has her eyes on the Vare Trophy on the LPGA Tour this season and has changed her tour schedule at the last minute.
Ko won the Aramco Saudi Ladies International on the Ladies European Tour in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday with a 23-under 265, five strokes ahead of Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand.
Following the tournament, Ko traveled to the U.S. to compete in the LPGA Tour's Pelican Women's Championship in Florida, which starts on Thursday.
After being invited to the Aramco Saudi Ladies International, which was launched last year, she had initially planned to skip the Florida event in order to rest and prepare for the LPGA's season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, which will open on Nov. 18.
Ko changed her mind, however, after it became clear that she is a favorite to win the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average. She will not be eligible for the trophy if she does not play in the Pelican Women's Championship, as a player is required to complete either 70 rounds or 70 percent of official tournament rounds, whichever is fewer.
Ko is currently ranked fourth in scoring average on the LPGA Tour with 69.615, behind Nelly Korda of the U.S. (69.074), Ko Jin-young (69.186) and Park In-bee (69.534). None of those three will be able to meet the minimum number of rounds required. Chun In-gee is fifth with 69.784.
Ko has played 65 rounds so far this season. If she skips the Pelican Women's Championship and enters the season finale, she will be one round short of the minimum.
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