Ko Climbs Back to World No. 1
It wasn’t a big move, but the step from No. 2 to No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings means Jin Young Ko is once again at the top of the women’s game. The Korean captured her second major title at the Evian Championship to move from the No. 2 spot to the top of the rankings for the second time in her career. Ko previously held the No. 1 ranking after winning her first major title in April at the ANA Inspiration. She held the No. 1 position for 12 weeks but was unseated by Sung Hyun Park, whom Ko replaced at No. 1 on Monday.
In addition to topping the world rankings, Ko is also on track to match what Ariya Jutanugarn achieved when she swept the Tour’s season ending awards in 2018. Ko currently tops the money list, the Race to the CME Globe point standings and the Rolex Player of the Year race. She also leads the Tour in scoring average and G.I.R. Ko is also poised to take home the Rolex Annika Major Award, as she leads the standings heading into the final qualifying event at this week’s AIG Women’s British Open.
Rookie Makes Move of the Week
Jennifer Kupcho became a household name with her victory at the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship. Sunday at the Evian Championship, Kupcho proved she has the game to compete as a professional, too. The rookie finished T2 at the season’s fourth major championship to vault 245 spots in the Rolex Rankings from No. 320 to No. 75. Her solid finish follows her fifth-place showing at the Marathon Classic in which she jumped from No. 445 to No. 323 in the rankings. Her climb inside the top 100 in the world is made all the more impressive given that she’s made just eight starts on the LPGA Tour.
Kim Keeps Climbing
In 2015, then rookie Hyo Joo Kim was ranked as high as fourth in the Rolex Rankings. Sunday, she continued her climb back to the top of the rankings by finishing T2 at the Evian Championship to move from No. 18 to No. 15 in the world. Kim’s runner-up finish was her third in her last five worldwide starts. She currently leads the Tour in putting average and the LEADERS Top 10 with nine top 10 finishes in 2019.
Final Push For Solheim Points
As if the lure of a major trophy isn’t enough pressure for one week, the AIG Women’s British Open also offers up the opportunity to earn twice the number of Solheim Cup points. Players finishing within the top 20 will earn Solheim Cup points, with the winner getting as many as 120 points, which is double the points received during any other tournament week.
For Team USA, players have three events remaining in order to qualify: the AIG Women’s British Open, the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open and Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. Teams will then be finalized with the top eight point-earners receiving an automatic spot. The next two spots will be filled via the Rolex Rankings with the top-ranked Americans who have not qualified through Solheim Cup points. The final two members of Team USA will be chosen by captain Juli Inkster following the CP Women’s Open.
Lexi Thompson, Danielle Kang, Nelly Korda, Jessica Korda and Lizette Salas are a lock for Team USA based on Solheim Cup points. Click here to view the current point standings.
Angel Yin, at No. 31 in the world with 2.73 points, is currently the top-ranked American in the Rolex Rankings who has not yet qualified for Team USA. Annie Park and Austin Ernst are tied in the Rolex Rankings with 2.32 points and are currently vying for that second qualifying spot.
Unlike Team USA, the Europeans are down to their final two events in which to qualify for the Solheim Cup. The team will be finalized following next week’s Scottish Open. Carlota Ciganda, who finished 10th at the Evian Championship, unseated Anne Van Dam at the top of the point standings for Team Europe. She’s followed by Caroline Hedwall and Van Dam at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. If the teams were finalized today, Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Azahara Munoz, Caroline Masson and Anna Nordqvist would qualify based on their Rolex Rankings. The final four members of Team Europe will be selected by captain Catriona Matthew following the Scottish Open. Click here for the current standings