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Lydia Ko is latest to jump to No. 1 in the Rolex Women's Rankings, grabs top spot for first time since 2017

November 28, 2022

Michael Reaves

Just when we thought the end of Lydia Ko’s 2022 LPGA season couldn’t get any better, on Monday it did. That's when the updated Rolex Women's Rankings revealed the 25-year-old New Zealander had jumped to the top spot. It's the third time in her 19-win LPGA career that she has been ranked No. 1 but the first since 2017.

"I'm very grateful to be World No. 1 again. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I'd ever be back here again," Ko said. "This wouldn't have been possible without my family and team, thank you for your belief and love."

Ko jumped ahead of Nelly Korda, who had climbed to the top spot three weeks earlier after winning the Pelican Women's Championship. Before Korda, Atthaya Thitkul, a teenage rookie from Thailand, claimed the No. 1 spot from Jin Young Ko on Oct. 31.

Of her nine seasons as a professional on the LPGA Tour, Ko has said that 2022 was one of, if not the, best of her career. Though she has had some amazing years to compare it too, notably 2015 when she won five times, including a major championship, it’s hard to argue with the data. Ko led the LPGA in 2022 in strokes gained/putting and strokes gained/total. In the latter, she was more than half a shot ahead of the next-closest competitor, Brooke Henderson.

Ko won three times in 22 starts this year, including the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, which came with a $2 million winner’s check, the largest in LPGA Tour history. It was her 14 top-10 finish of the year in 22 starts. That Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, she also earned two season-long awards: She won the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average for the season, and LPGA Player of the Year honors for the second time in her career. The win and two awards earned her three more LPGA Hall of Fame points, leaving her two shy of the 27 needed for induction.

Posing with a collection of trophies, Rolexes and a huge check, Ko’s end-of-season haul looked like the perfect cap to an impressive season.


Michael Reaves

And now, she gets to add World No. 1 to the list of accolades.