Ko-Moves of the Week
Two Ko’s made their season debut in Australia. Lydia Ko and Rookie Jin Young Ko both made their first start of the season last week and share this week’s Rolex Move of the Week.
Rookie Jin Young Ko made history in her first start as a member of the LPGA Tour. In her debut at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australia Open, Jin Young went wire-to-wire for a 3-stroke victory down under. Jin Young made history with her win as the first player since Beverly Hanson in 1951, to win in her Tour debut. The Korean earned membership for 2018 with her victory last Fall at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship.
Jin Young is coming off a string of success on the KLPGA where she won 10 times, including multiple times over the last three seasons. Over the last seven years, Jin Young has climbed from No. 660 in the Rolex Rankings, in 2012, to No. 16 with her win last week.
While dropping one spot in the Rolex Rankings may not seem significant, this week it holds a lot of meaning for Lydia Ko. With her T-19 finish in Australia, the former world No. 1 dropped out of the top-10 in the world rankings for the first time since August 2013. Lydia spent 234 consecutive weeks ranked in the top-10 in the world including 104 weeks as world No. 1.
Chasing the Crown
There’s nothing like a home game to get a boost of momentum. Aussies Hannah Green, Karrie Webb and Sarah Jane Smith were looking to capitalize on the opportunity last week to further lock up a spot on Team Australia ahead of October’s UL International Crown.
But Smith, ranked No. 84 in the Rolex Rankings, missed the cut and now holds a narrow lead ahead of Green at No. 92. Green’s third place finish at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open lifted her to No. 92 in the Rolex Rankings, which is the highest ranking of her career. Webb, who competed in the first two editions of the UL International Crown, is currently on the outside looking in. The veteran trails Smith by just eight spots after missing the cut in Australia.
Chinese Taipei’s Wei-Ling Hsu continued her hot start to 2018 where she finished second, backing that up with a tie for 34th in Australia. The finish moved her to No. 80 in the Rolex Rankings which helped her leapfrog Candy Kung to move into the No. 2 spot on Team Chinese Taipei.
The inaugural champions of the UL International Crown in 2014, Team Spain, is moving backwards in their quest to return to the competition. In 2016, the team failed to qualify. They’re looking to head the same direction for 2018 as they dropped to No. 10 in the team standings following last week’s event. Beatriz Recari and Belen Mozo missed the cut and Azahara Munoz finished T-75. Carlota Ciganda remains the torchbearer for Team Spain at No. 22 in the Rolex Rankings.The top-8 countries in the Rolex Rankings as of June 2018 will qualify for the UL International Crown in South Korea.