Nelly Korda just started 2022 by doing something no other American woman has done
The LPGA Tour isn’t playing its first event in 2022 for another three weeks, but Nelly Korda has already made history. When officials with the Rolex Women’s World Rankings released the first ranking of the new year on Monday, Korda again was No. 1, a spot she has held on and off since last June. Yet by retaining that position for 26 total weeks, the 23-year-old broke the record for the most time any American has been the world’s top female golfer.
Before Korda, Stacy Lewis was the American woman who had spent the most time as World No. 1. Over the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Lewis topped the ranking for a total of 25 weeks. The only other American to reach World No. 1 is Cristie Kerr, who held the spot for five weeks in 2010.
Since the inception of the Rolex Women’s Rankings in 2006, only six players have held the top spot longer than Korda, with Lorena Ochoa holding it for the longest—158 total weeks. The others include Jin Young Ko (112), Yani Tseng (109), Inbee Park (106), Lydia Ko (104) and Annika Sorenstam (61).
The accomplishment is one of many for Korda over the past 11 months. Last February, she won the second event of the LPGA season. Fast forward to June: she won back-to-back LPGA titles, including her first major, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. In August, she won Olympic gold in Tokyo. In November, Korda won on the LPGA Tour again, her fourth tour win of the 2021 season. She entered the final event of the season in an incredibly close contest for Player of the Year with Jin Young Ko, with Ko edging her out after winning the season-ending CME Globe Tour Championship.
The LPGA Tour’s first event of 2022 is slated for Jan. 20-23, the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Country Club in Orlando so we still have a few weeks to wait and see what Korda has in store for this season.