Lydia Ko returns to No. 1 in the world for the first time since 2017




  • In Sports/Golf
  • 2022-11-28 18:30:03Z
  • By USA TODAY Sports - Golfweek
 

Lydia Ko has returned to No. 1 in the world for the first time since June 11, 2017. She replaces Nelly Korda. Four players have occupied the top spot in the Rolex Rankings in 2022, with Jin Young Ko spending the bulk of the season there.

On Oct. 31, LPGA rookie Atthaya Thitikul became only the second teenager to rise to No. 1. She spent two weeks there before Korda knocked her out after a victory at the Pelican Women's Championship.

Ko, 25, became the youngest player - male or female - to ever reach No. 1 seven years ago at age 17. Tiger Woods previously held the record of 21, set in 1997.

During a three-year victory drought, Ko dropped as low as 59th in the rankings. No player in history has gone longer than Ko between stints at No. 1 - a testament to her resiliency.

The Kiwi's 2022 comeback season was capped off by a win at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, her third victory of the season. She won LPGA Player of the Year, Vare Trophy for low scoring average (68.99) and the money title ($4,364,403). Ko claimed a $2 million first-place prize at the CME, the richest check in the history of women's golf. Her scoring average was the second-lowest in LPGA history. Only Annika Sorenstam had previously averaged below 69.

Because the Rolex Rankings operate on a two-year rolling window, players can move up and down in the rankings even on weeks they don't compete.

This is Ko's third stint at No. 1. She has spent a total of 104 weeks at the top over the course of her career, the fourth-highest in rankings history. The rankings debuted in 2006. Lorena Ochoa spent the most time at the top at 158 weeks. Jin Young Ko spent a total 145 week at No. 1, followed by Yani Tseng (109) and Inbee Park (106).

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek

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