Ko, Jutanugarn in tight POY race


Lydia Ko finds herself in a tightening race for the Rolex Player of the Year Award entering this week’s Manulife LPGA Classic at Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

Ariya Jutanugarn narrowed the gap on Ko by claiming a tour-best fifth victory this season at last week’s Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. Ko has won four times this year.

Ko leads the POY standings with 241 points, with Jutanugarn at 236 and Brooke Henderson at 131. All three are in the field this week.

Ko’s claim on the Rolex world No. 1 ranking, however, remains strong. Jutanugarn can’t get the No. 1 ranking with a win this week. In fact, Jutanugarn probably needs at least two more victories than Ko to make it close anytime soon.

Ko is at 14.85 average world ranking points with Jutanugarn at 9.23. That’s about the same lead Jutanugarn has on Rolex No. 20 Brittany Lang. Ko has built her world ranking advantage with nine victories over the last 19 months and 20 other top-10 finishes in that time span.

Ko was asked about her consistency Wednesday in Canada.

“I think that consistency is probably the biggest thing I work on within the game, and results, too,” Ko said. “At the end of the day, if you're consistently putting yourself in good positions, you've got more opportunities to win. Sometimes, consistency is really the hardest thing because even from day to day, or if you're playing two rounds in one day, it can change so much. One day it feels great, one day it doesn't feel the same. It's cool and it's the challenging thing about this game, and I think that's what I'll continuously work on, trying to get more consistent. I think it just creates more opportunities that way.”