LPGA’s battle for No. 1 between Ko, Park to end at season finale

November 19, 2015
Lydia Ko, left, is looking for her third win in three consecutive starts at the 2015 Sime Darby Malaysia Open, while Park Inbee looks to defend her world No. 1 position. (AP Photos)

Lydia Ko, left, is looking to defend her title at the CME Group Tour Championship, while Park Inbee hopes to grab the world No. 1 spot along with a few other things. (AP Photos)

By Brian Han

Truth be told, the battle for the world No. 1 spot never ends in any sport, but that doesn’t mean that the competition between current world No.1 Lydia Ko and world No. 2 Park Inbee won’t be fierce, especially at the LPGA Tour’s final stop.

The two players kicked off their first round on Thursday against the world’s best at the CME Group Tour Championship in Florida.

At just 18 years of age, Ko already has 10 LPGA Tour victories under her belt. The fastest ever in the history of the sport. Five of those came in the 2015 season.

Now she’s defending a lot more than her title this week.

Park is coming off of a victory at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, her fifth as well. A win at the tour’s season-ending event could not only vault her past Ko, but also earn her the Rolex Player of the Year award, the Race to the CME award and put her atop the money list.

The 27-year-old veteran is behind in each of these categories, but only by a marginal amount. No other player on tour comes close to the numbers these two are putting up this season.

One other player to keep an eye on is Kim Sei-young. The South Korean rookie crafted together an unforgettable year resulting in three wins, one of which came in a playoff against Park that ended with a 154-yard approach shot that took a bounce and hopped into the hole for a victory-sealing eagle.

After a recent win at the Blue Bay LPGA earlier this month along with Rookie of the Year honors, she can barely believe her success despite a top notch game. Suffice it to say, she’s been all smiles through it all.

“This season, it’s a lot of help when it came to me, so I’m very happy,” she told reporters Wednesday after a practice round. “Three times won and then so a lot of peoples cheer me and it’s been happy.”

One Comment

  1. Roy Eastham

    November 23, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    Either lady seems to have the skills but Ko doesn’t smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol and has youth on her behalf by a small margin plus healthier lifestyle a big plus.