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No. 3 Ko, not No. 2 Park, can overtake No. 1 Lewis

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Stacy Lewis didn’t just want the Rolex world No. 1 ranking back. She wanted to keep it for a while.

Mostly, she wants to win more.

Lewis will be looking to do just that when she leads the field this week at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Lewis ended Inbee Park’s 59-week run atop the Rolex rankings by winning the ShopRite Classic last week. While Park will also be in the field when play begins Thursday at the Grey Silo Golf Course, she can’t earn enough points to take back the top spot from Lewis, even if Park wins. Lewis’ reign, however, still faces a threat.

Rolex world No. 3 Lydia Ko can overtake Lewis at No. 1 this week.

While Ko sits behind Park in the world rankings, Ko has a lower divisor, with 27 fewer starts working in the rankings formula. That means a victory carries more rankings weight for Ko.


Full Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings


Ko, 17, can become the youngest No. 1 in the history of the Rolex rankings with a victory this week. She will ascend to No. 1 if she wins and Lewis finishes eighth or worse.

It has been a whirlwind week or so for Lewis. She was heavily involved in the announcement of the new KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in New York six days ago, and then won the ShopRite in New Jersey three days ago, ascending to No. 1.

Lewis is looking to keep her winning momentum going.

“There's always that high, and the hardest part is to maintain it,” Lewis told reporters in her pre-tournament news conference Wednesday at Grey Silo. “You can kind of get a little bit complacent, and not prepare the same, and thinking, ‘Oh, everything is OK.’ So, I really just have tried to stay in my routine this week, and keep practicing hard, but the confidence is there. 

“I feel like over the last year I've put myself in position to win so many times that I'm very comfortable there. I wouldn't say it gets easier, but I would say you definitely get more comfortable. Sunday, last week, the nerves were there initially, but then once we got going, I felt like if I took care of my game, there's no way anybody was going to beat me.”

Lewis' first reign at No. 1 lasted four weeks back in March and April of last year, when she took the top spot from Yani Tseng.