Park, Lewis look to gain ground in Ko's absense


Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis will be looking to answer Lydia Ko’s win last week with one of their own in Thailand this week.

With Ko, Park and Lewis in a struggle for the Rolex No. 1 ranking, there’s a real battle for supremacy in the women’s game.

Lewis said Wednesday at the Honda LPGA Thailand that she’s focused on winning more than the rankings, but ...

Full-field tee times for the Honda LPGA Thailand

“I would like to move up the rankings,” Lewis said. “That is just being in contention every week. That's really the goal right now.”

Ko, coming off last week’s victory at the Women’s Australian Open, is skipping the Honda LPGA Thailand to play in front of fellow Kiwis in her national open, the New Zealand Women’s Open at Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Though No. 2 Park will be playing for a lot more world-ranking points at the Honda LPGA Thailand, she may not be able to overtake Ko in the world rankings, even with a victory. The strength-of-field ratings aren’t posted yet for the Thailand or New Zealand events, but if the SOF numbers are the same as last year, Ko is guaranteed she will carry the No. 1 ranking into a fifth week, no matter what happens this week. No. 3 Lewis can’t get back to No. 1 this week, even with a victory, but she can narrow the gap with Ko.