Ko secures prestigious Vare Trophy to round out stellar 2021

Source: 1News

A superb final round from Lydia Ko has seen her claim another top 10 finish as well as securing the Vare Trophy to round out a stellar 2021.

Lydia Ko poses with the Vare Trophy after the final round of the Tour Championship.

Ko shot an-eight-under-64 in the final round of the Tour Championship in Florida to soar 15 places in the standings to a ninth-place finish.

The round, which featured six birdies and an eagle, was enough to ensure Ko finished 2021 with the Vare Trophy - awarded to the LPGA player with the lowest average score across the season - for the first time in her career.

Ko embraced the moment.

"It's really special because it sums up the whole season," Ko said.

"All the other things do, too, but at the end of the day golf is about how consistently well you can play and what kind of low score you can shoot.

"And the Vare Trophy exemplifies that. I think I've only been close to that one year that I just missed out on the trophy.

"I didn't even know that I was close this year until news came out and I realised a couple months ago.

"Last week wasn't really on my schedule, but ended up being worth it because finishing off tied second and to have won it feels special. Just makes a good year even better."

The trophy wraps up an impressive season in which Ko secured 11 top 10 finishes, an LPGA tournament win at April's Lotte Championship, a 22nd professional win at the Saudi Ladies international last week and a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Ko won't have much time to reflect on the season though with the 24-year-old confirming she'll be spending her short holiday season in Florida before getting back on the greens next month, instead of her usual February start.

"This year is going to be a little bit different. I normally take a whole month or four weeks off where I don't touch the clubs.

"They stay in the closet. This year I'm going to take a week off during Thanksgiving and then practice for a couple weeks, and then have another holiday for ten days and then come back and practice for another three weeks.

"You know, you think, Oh, man, January 17, that seems like a long way out. But soon it's Christmas and then it's New Year's and then we're starting again out at Nona.

"So I'm going to do things a little bit differently. I haven't played the Tournament of Champions in a while, so I just planned my off-season a little bit differently this year."

Ko finished eight shots back of winner Jin Young Ko who was also crowned the LPGA's player of the year.