With Ko out, Lewis, Park battling for world No. 1


HARRISON, N.Y. – It’s like old times for Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis.

It’s like a weekend before Lydia Ko emerged and took the Rolex No. 1 world ranking away from them.

Before Ko’s ascension, Park and Lewis took turns holding the top ranking, and they’re in position this weekend to battle for it again at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. The top spot’s up for grabs with Ko missing the cut.

With a 5-under-par 68 Friday at Westchester Country Club, Park moved into a tie for second, one shot off the lead. With a 71, Lewis moved into a tie for sixth, three shots back.

Park is seeking to win this championship for a third consecutive year. Annika Sorenstam’s the only player to do that (2003-05). Park is seeking her fifth major championship title in the last 12 majors staged.

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“It's good to see my game come around in major championships like this, on good golf courses like this,” Park said. “I feel quite confident playing on a tough course.”

Lewis is seeking her third major championship title. She would love nothing better than to claim this one. Lewis has an endorsement deal with KPMG and helped introduced the company to the PGA in the creation of this championship. She also has pumped ideas into it.

“I have not played my best golf yet,” Lewis said. “I'm just a couple back of the lead, and I feel like I have some even better golf in me. I really like where I am right now.”

Park and Lewis took turns holding the Rolex No. 1 ranking for 98 weeks.

Lewis first seized the Rolex No. 1 ranking in March of 2013. She held the top spot for four weeks before Park took it from her. After 59 weeks at No. 1, Park saw Lewis take the ranking back in June of last year. After 21 weeks, Park seized it back yet again, holding it for 14 weeks before Ko took it away in February of this year.

Park has a chance to take the No. 1 ranking from Ko this weekend with a finish of 29th or better. Lewis can move to No. 1 only if she wins and Park finishes worse than a three-way tie for third or worse than a six-way tie for second.