Golf News

5 players have ascended to No. 1 this season, setting new LPGA record

2023 AIG Women's Open

It’s been a head-turning year in women’s professional golf. For the first time in the history of the Rolex Rankings (which dates back to 2006), five different women have been ranked No. 1 during a calendar year.

On Sept. 11, China’s Ruoning Yin, a two-time winner on tour this season, rose to No. 1 for the first time. In 2022 and 2017, four different players held the No. 1 spot, which was the previous record.

China’s Yin became the third player to reach No. 1 at the age of 20 or younger, joining Atthaya Thitikul (19 years, 8 months and 11 days in October 2022) and Lydia Ko (17 years, 9 months and 9 days in February 2015 and 18 years, 6 months and 2 days old in October 2015).

While Lilia Vu won two majors this season, Yin’s consistency allowed her to overtake the young American after a strong finish over the weekend in Cincinnati. One year ago, Yin ranked 193rd in the world.

With nine events left on the LPGA’s 2023 schedule, here’s a look at the tour’s revolving door of world No. 1s:

Lydia Ko of New Zealand in action during the Pro-Am event prior to the AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath Golf Club on August 09, 2023 in Tadworth, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

The year began with plenty of Kiwi hype after the one-time phenom completed her incredible comeback season with a victory at the 2022 CME Group Tour Championship and a sweep of the season-ending awards. She promptly won the Aramco Saudi Ladies International, fresh off her honeymoon, to begin 2023 and looked primed for another monster year.

It hasn’t exactly worked out that way, however, as Ko has yet to win on the LPGA this season. Just last week Ko said she went into the season with a lot of “self-pressure” and that she doesn’t feel that far off, noting that she’s been trying too hard to be perfect. She has yet to finish in the top 10 on tour since the Honda LPGA Thailand event in February.

In a Golf Channel interview at the Kroger Queen City Classic, Ko even talked about contemplating retirement, a subject she has been open about throughout her career.

Ko, 26, is currently ranked ninth in the world.

Nelly Korda of the United States tees off on the 15th hole during the Third Round of the Amundi Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club on July 29, 2023 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

The 25-year-old Korda spent a total of six weeks atop the rankings this season over the…


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