Five-time LPGA winner is the third player from Republic of Korea to reach World No. 1
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., June 26, 2017 - So Yeon Ryu, of the Republic of Korea, has taken the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings following her victory at the 2017 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.
Ryu passed Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn for the top spot, who held the position for the past two weeks. The 26-year-old Ryu becomes the third player from the Republic of Korea to reach No. 1 in LPGA history, joining Inbee Park and Jiyai Shin.
“Dreams come true! I always dreamed about it. I cannot believe it,” said Ryu. “I didn’t expect two good things coming together. First of all, I really want to appreciate everyone who has been supportive of me, to make me the No. 1 player in the world. That’s finally made my dream. This is going to be my first week as the No. 1 player in the world. I know it’s going to be a lot of pressure and I know I can handle a lot of different things.”
Ryu made 143 career LPGA starts and missed only five cuts before ascending to No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings, earning five wins, including two major championships, and 67 additional top-10 finishes. Ryu climbed from No. 3 to No. 1 this week, and is the 11th different golfer to reach No. 1 since the Rolex Rankings started in 2006.
Ryu has been a model of consistency throughout her career, particularly dating back to last season. Ryu rode a streak of 11 consecutive top-10 finishes before finishing outside the top 10 at the 2017 LPGA Volvik Championship for the first time since October 2016. That stretch included a win at the 2017 ANA Inspiration, Ryu’s second career major championship.
This season, Ryu is near the top of several statistical categories and has placed herself at the top of the standings for the Tour’s biggest awards. She ranks first on the Official Money list with $1,212,820, first in the Race to the CME Globe with 2,195 points and is first in the Rolex Player of the Year award standings with 132 points.
A nine-time winner on the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association, Ryu earned LPGA membership by defeating Hee Kyung Seo in a three-hole playoff at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open for her first career LPGA win and major championship. In 2012, one win and 15 additional top-10 finishes helped earn her the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award and finish sixth on the money list. She added a third LPGA win in 2014 and also collected a win on the Ladies European Tour in 2015.