Ariya Jutanugarn ends Lydia Ko’s 85 Weeks at No. 1

by Maura Hutchinson

Golf has its first Thai world number one. With her win on Sunday at the Manulife LPGA Classic, Ariya Jutanugarn has ascended to the top of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Replacing 20-year-old Lydia Ko after 85 weeks.

Capitalising on a Lexi Thompson’s final putt mistake, Jutanugarn was then able to hold her nerve in a playoff against the American and In Gee Chun. Nailing a 30-foot putt to capture her sixth LPGA title at Whistle Bear Golf Club.

Her latest victory ensured the 21-year-old would overtake New Zealand’s Lydia Ko as the number one female golfer in the world on Monday. Something Jutanugarn admits wasn’t exactly on her mind this past weekend.

“To be honest, I didn’t pay attention with the ranking. I only want to go out and have fun,” she told reporters after Sunday’s win.

Jutanugarn is now the second-youngest golfer in LPGA history to reach the top spot in the world and the first Thai player (male or female) to receive the honour. A fact that obviously means something to her.

“We get to show the world that Thai people can do it. It’s been a long road getting to this spot, but it will be even more challenging from this point on. The ranking can change after any week, and I will just keep working very hard every single day,” said Jutanugarn.

Adding, “I don’t see this as a mission complete, but it’s just the beginning. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone. My family, my coaches, my team, my sponsors and all the Thai fans. Thank you.”