March 28, 2017: In 2016, World No. 1 Lydia Ko birdied the 72nd hole to get to 12-under par and finish one shot ahead of Charley Hull and In Gee Chun for her second consecutive win and second consecutive major championship.
Things to know about defending champion Lydia Ko
- No. 1 in the Women’s World Golf Rankings, a spot she has held for 75 consecutive weeks
- 14-time LPGA winner, five-time Ladies European Tour winner, one-time KLPGA winner
- 2014 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year, the youngest winner in Tour history
- 2015 Rolex Player of the Year, the youngest winner in Tour history
- Two major victories at the 2015 Evian Championship and 2016 ANA Inspiration
- At 18 years, 11 months and 9 days, she is the second-youngest player, male or female, to win two majors, behind only Young Tom Morris
- Silver medalist at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where she represented New Zealand
- So far in 2017, she has five starts, with three top-10 finishes
- Last week, Ko missed just the second cut of her career as the defending champion at the Kia Classic
WORLD NO. 1 ON HIGH ALERT
Lydia Ko has spent 75 consecutive weeks as the No. 1 player in the world after reclaiming the top spot in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings in October of 2015. However, Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn has emerged as a clear challenger and could overtake Ko’s position at the world’s best female golfer in the near future.
Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn looked prime to capture her first career win but bogeyed her final three holes to finish fourth at 10-under par.
Jutanugarn has spent 35 consecutive weeks ranked as the No. 2 player in the world. A year ago, Ariya was No. 51 and was looking for her first career win on the LPGA Tour. Since March 2016, Ariya has not finished outside of the top 60 in an event and has recorded 5 wins to position herself towards earning the top spot.
Seven months ago, the average points differential between No. 1 and No. 2 in the world was 6.57 points. This week, the difference is now 1.33 average points.
Top Two Players (Since 2016 RICOH Women’s British Open)
Lydia Ko Ariya Jutanugarn
Starts 14 16
Wins 0 2
Top-10s 6 12