Ko Jin-young sets record for most weeks spent at No. 1 in women’s golf rankings

June 28, 2023

South Korean LPGA star Ko Jin-young has set a record for the most weeks spent at the top of the women’s world rankings.

Ko remained at No. 1 in the latest rankings released Monday (U.S. local time). She has now been atop the rankings for her 159th week, breaking a tie with the Mexican legend Lorena Ochoa.

Ko was able to stay on top after tying for 20th at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship over the weekend at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey.

Three players ranked below Ko — Nelly Korda of the United States, Lydia Ko of New Zealand and Lilia Vu of the United States — all had a chance to usurp the South Korean by winning the tournament. However, Korda and Vu both missed the cut, while Lydia Ko tied for 57th place without shooting in the 60s in any of the four rounds.

“I didn’t think I’d break the record because I didn’t play well today,” Ko told LPGA.com after her final round at the tournament, with the record already secured. “But it’s really an honor to break Lorena’s record. I’m very thankful to people who supported me and prayed for me.”

Ko climbed to No. 1 in April 2019 and has had five different stints atop the rankings. She spent 100 consecutive weeks as the top-ranked player from July 2019 to June 2021.

She fell off the top in November last year while dealing with a wrist injury and opened this year at No. 5. But on the strength of two LPGA victories, in March and then in May, Ko reclaimed her No. 1 ranking on May 22.

“I got to this tour in 2018, and I got to world No. 1 in 2019. It’s been a long time, and I’ve worked really hard,” Ko said. “I faced a lot of pressure. I think the pressure makes me stronger and makes me want to get better and better.”

The world rankings were frozen for nine weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic from March to May 2020, but the LPGA Tour counts that period toward Ko’s total.

Ko has been working with Ochoa’s former caddie, David Brooker, since 2019. Brooker and Ochoa combined for 21 of Ochoa’s 27 titles from August 2006 to June 2009.

Ko, a 15-time LPGA winner with two major titles, has average ranking points of 8.31. Korda stayed at No. 2 with 7.45 points, followed by Lydia Ko with 7.25 points and Vu with 6.15 points.

Yin Ruoning of China, who won the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship for her maiden major, soared 20 spots to reach No. 5 with 6.02 points.

The women’s world rankings evaluate players’ performance over a rolling two-year period weighted in favor of the current year, with an emphasis placed on the most recent 13 weeks.