NAPLES, Fla., November 22, 2021 – After a year of stops, departures and long periods of travel around the world, the 2021 LPGA Tour season came to a sensational end at the CME Group Tour Championship, a true celebration of the best female athletes in the game of golf.

With her victory at the CME Group Tour Championship, Jin Young Ko claimed her second Rolex Player of the Year title, joining 2019. She is the 14th player in Tour history to win the award at least twice and the first player from the Republic of Korea. win more than once. It was the culmination of a season that saw Ko win five LPGA Tour titles, including a $ 1.5 million win in the season finale, and eight other top 10 rankings. Nelly Korda, who scored four wins in 2021 as well as six other top-10 rankings and gold at the Tokyo Olympics, finished second.

“So proud of me and, well, I would say Player of the Year, that’s cool,” said Ko, who has fought with Korda all year for the Tour’s highest honor. “I would say the player of the year is the best, and it’s really hard to get the player of the year, especially this year with Nelly.”

Ko’s victory in the CME Group Tour championship also earned her the title of Race to the CME Globe Champion, having also won the title in 2020. She is the first player to win the race of a season more than once. .

Patty Tavatanakit received several awards at Thursday night’s Rolex LPGA Awards, accepting the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year honors and the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award. Tavatanakit achieved LPGA Tour status after finishing runner-up in the 2019 Symetra Tour map race, where she claimed three wins and Gaelle Truet Rookie of the Year honors. The Thai became a first Rolex Chevron Championship winner, becoming the Tour’s first rookie to win the major title since Juli Inkster in 1984. In addition to her victory, Tavatanakit notched nine top 10s, including a fifth tie. in the PGA Women’s KPMG Championship and tied for seventh at the AIG Women’s Open.

“I knew my potential was there. I just needed to figure out a few tricks to set it up and finally close it, which I did when I won our first major tournament at ANA Inspiration (now The Chevron Championship), ”Tavatanakit said. . “My whole perspective changed because I had proven to myself that I had my place here and that I had what it takes to win on the LPGA Tour, not only that, but a major championship. “

Madelene Sagstrom received the Heather Farr Perseverance Award, which honors an LPGA player who, through her hard work, dedication and love of golf, has shown determination, perseverance and wit in achieving her goals as a player. In February, Sagstrom shared their #DriveOn story of overcoming childhood sexual abuse and learning that “survival is a lifelong process.”

“I have received many awards for both my athletic ability and my performance on the golf course. This is the first award I get for being me, ”Sagstrom said. “For a long time, I based my self-esteem on my results on the golf course. I have worked for a long time to see and honor the other sides of myself. This is why this award means a lot to me. It’s been a lot of hard work and I’m so happy to stand in front of you guys like the person I am today.

“My goal every morning when I wake up is to be the best version of myself, both as a golfer and more importantly as a human being. Deciding to talk about my history of sexual abuse means exactly that to me. I hope that by sharing my darkness, I can bring light and hope into someone else’s life. As we all know, life is not always easy. But together, as human beings, we can be there for each other. Thank you all for showing me that my story is important and for showing others that they are not alone.

Established in 1994, the Heather Farr Perseverance Award celebrates the life of Farr, an LPGA Tour player who died on November 20, 1993 following a four-and-a-half-year battle with breast cancer. Previous recipients of this award are Heather Farr, Lorie Kane, Nancy Scranton, Brandi Burton, Kris Tschetter, Kim Williams, Beth Daniel, Se Ri Pak, Leta Lindley, Sophie Gustafson, Lisa Ferrero, Stephanie Meadow, Ariya Jutanugarn, Jessica Korda and Suzann Pettersen.

Lydia Ko received the 2021 Founders Award, an honor previously known as the William and Mousie Powell Award and now named in honor of the 13 original founders of the LPGA Tour. The award is presented to a member of the LPGA who, in the opinion of their peers, best exemplifies the spirit, ideals and values ​​of the LPGA through their behavior and actions. The award has been awarded since 1986, with a list of previous winners including Kathy Whitworth, Nancy Lopez, Pat Bradley, Betsy King, Juli Inkster, Lorena Ochoa, Chella Choi, Juli Inkster, Karrie Webb, So Yeon Ryu and Brooke Henderson.

“I am extremely grateful to know that this award has been voted on by my LPGA colleagues,” said Ko. “In my eight years on the Tour and playing against top female golfers, I have been fortunate enough to ” having met so many friends, mentors and people that I will know for the rest of my life. Even though we are all competing against each other, one of the biggest attributes of our Tour is that we really support each other. We are here to grow as professionals and as individuals. This allows the Tour to continue to inspire the next generation of young women and to infuse them with the vision and inspiring spirit of the Founders. The LPGA is more than an organization, it is a family.

After the game ended on Sunday, Ko also won the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average of the season. Ko averaged 69.329 strokes per round in 2021, with Lexi Thompson coming in second with 69.629.

LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan, celebrating her inaugural Rolex LPGA Awards after being appointed to her post earlier this year, has selected Judy Rankin, a member of the LPGA and the World Golf Hall of Fame and longtime presenter of the LPGA and the PGA Tour, as the recipient of the Commissioner’s Award. The award, introduced in 1991, honors an individual or organization that has made a unique contribution to the LPGA and its members, advances the cause of women’s golf, and possesses top-notch character and standards. Previous recipients include KPMG, Jamie Farr, Rolex, The JM Smucker Company, and Golf Channel.

“I’ve seen Tiger (Woods) from the start until not too long ago. I saw Nancy Lopez up close and personally, then on television. I have seen Annika Sorenstam’s entire career. I have seen Karrie Webb’s entire career and I could go on and on. But I guess I had the best front row seat ever, ”said Rankin, who will be retiring from the full-time ad in 2022.“ The LPGA has been my neighborhood and I love this neighborhood. . I was really lucky to have a second chance after being a player to spend so much time here and to be friends with young players. It was really amazing for me.

Deb Vangellow, LPGA Professional Master and Director of Golf Education at Riverbend Country Club in Houston, Texas, joined an elite group of her peers as the recipient of the 2021 Ellen Griffin Rolex Award. Established in 1989 , the award honors the late Ellen Griffin, the most well-known golf teacher in American history. The award recognizes an individual, male or female, who has made a major contribution to the teaching of golf and who has demonstrated, through teaching, Griffin’s spirit, love and dedication to the student of golf , his teaching skills and his golf game.

“Thank you very much to Ellen Griffin. Her amazing teaching spirit while never forgetting that she always teaches people and allowing the frustrations of golf to be overcome with fun has really helped me, from being a young teacher to this day. Said Vangellow, former national president of the LPGA Professionals.

The Rolex LPGA Awards also celebrated the first winners Rolex Pajaree Anannarukarn (ISPS Handa World Invitational), Matilda Castren (LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship), Wei-Ling Hsu (Pure Silk Championship), Ryann O’Toole (Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open), Yuka Saso (US Women’s Open) and Tavatanakit (The Chevron Championship).

Earlier in the week, the LPGA Tour celebrated the winners of two one-season competitions. Hannah Green won the Aon Risk Reward Challenge and took home the Million Dollar Prize. The competition, which measured the performance of LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR golfers over a series of holes in multiple tournaments, tested players’ ability to analyze risk, use data-driven insights to identify opportunities and maximize performance in the most important moments. Green joined PGA TOUR winner Matthew Wolff to claim the Aon title, with both players receiving the same award.

In addition, Jin Young Ko won the LEADERS Top 10 competition for the second time, winning $ 100,000. She has 12 top-10s in 18 starts this season entering the CME Group Tour championship, including four wins and two other top-three results.