Apr 24, 2018: For the fourth time in her record-setting LPGA Tour career, Inbee Park, of the Republic of Korea, has taken the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Park ascends to No. 1 following her tie for second at the 2018 HUGEL-JTBC LA Open.
Park, 29, moved from third in the Rolex Rankings to first, passing Shanshan Feng, who held the position for the last 23 weeks, and Lexi Thompson, who was second for eight consecutive weeks. This marks Park’s 93rd week atop the Rankings and her first since Oct. 19-25, 2015, a span of 2 years, 5 months and 29 days. That is the longest period between No. 1 rankings in the history of the Rolex Rankings; the previous longest stretch belongs to Stacy Lewis, who went 1 year, 1 month and 19 days between stints at No. 1 (April 14, 2013, to June 2, 2014).
Park, who won the 2018 Bank of Hope Founders Cup, reached Rolex Rankings No. 1 for the fourth time in her career, the most individual times at No. 1 since the Rankings were first published on Feb. 21, 2006. At 29 years, 9 months and 11 days of age, she is the oldest No. 1 player since Cristie Kerr in 2010, who was 33 years and 13 days old.
“It’s good to be back, obviously, in the No. 1 spot,” said Park, a native of Seoul who now makes her home in Las Vegas, Nev. “That really wasn’t my goal playing this year; it just came as a present. So it’s great. But everything, all the rankings are so close together. It can change every week. It’s just hard to keep track. I’m just trying to play golf, and doesn’t matter where I am at. But if I can get back to the No. 1 spot, that’s good.”
Park is enjoying one of the most celebrated careers in LPGA Tour history. Since joining the Tour in 2006, she has 19 LPGA wins, tied for 28th in history, including seven majors. In 2016, she won the gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after not competing for more than two months due to a thumb injury. That same year, she became the youngest player ever to qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame at age 27.
In 2012 and 2015, Park won the LPGA Tour’s Vare Trophy, which is presented to the player with lowest scoring average. She earned Rolex Player of the Year honors in 2013, a season that saw her take major victories at the ANA Inspiration, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and U.S. Women’s Open.
After sitting out much of 2017 with a back injury, Park quickly reclaimed her stellar form in 2018. She has four top-10 finishes in six events, including her victory at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup and her runner-up finish to Pernilla Lindberg at the ANA Inspiration after an epic eight-hole playoff. Through nine events, Park leads the Tour in rounds under par at 87.5 percent (21 of 24 rounds) and is first in the Race to the CME Globe, Rolex Player of the Year and Official Money standings.
Park is in the field for this week’s LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco, and beginning Thursday, her caddie, Brad Beecher, will don the Rolex Rankings Green Bib traditionally worn by the caddie of the world’s top female golfer.
Park turned professional in 2006 after a decorated junior career that saw her win multiple elite amateur events. She reached the LPGA Tour in 2007 after finishing third in the Symetra Tour’s 2006 Race for the Card.
LPGA Tour Release