Even with a major championship under her belt now, Lydia Ko isn’t comfortable with the weekly evaluations over who deserves to be No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.
Ko is locked in another tight battle for the top spot heading into this week’s LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship in South Korea.
Ko, 18, who became the youngest winner of a major claiming the Evian Championship last month in France, has moved to within 26 hundredths of a point of overtaking Park for the world No. 1 this week.
“I'm not trying to be all humble and all that, but I really feel like Inbee deserves to be in that world No. 1 ranking,” Ko said in a tournament news conference in South Korea. “She did a career Grand Slam this year, she won two majors, and she won two other events. So when you have that kind of a year, and you played consistently well the last couple years, you deserve to be there.”
Ko is also locked in a tight battle with Park in the Rolex Player of the Year race, for the Vare Trophy for low scoring average and for the money-winning title. There are six LPGA events remaining this season. Ko and Park both lead the LPGA with four victories this season.
If Ko wins this week, she will overtake Park for Rolex world No. 1 no matter what Park does. Ko can also move to No. 1 with second- or third-place finishes, depending on what Park does.
Ko believes weekly projections for No. 1 overshadow other important elements of LPGA tournament week.
“To me, it's so much fun to be able to play alongside Inbee, Juli [Inkster], So Yeon [Ryu] and In Gee [Chun], to just go out there and have fun and all of us try to hold the trophy at the end of the week,” Ko said. “I think, in a way, we are kind of missing out on the most important part, that we are out here trying to play some great golf, show what the LPGA is like, and I think that's the most important thing, rather than one shot, or what one placing could do to the world rankings.”