EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 16: Sung Hyun Park of South Korea plays a shot during the second round of The Evian Championship 2017 at Evian Resort Golf Club on September 16, 2017 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
By Keely Levins
Sung Hyun Park has become the new No. 1 on the Rolex World Ranking. This, despite the fact that she didn’t play in the most recent LPGA event in Japan.
However, the points were close enough that entering the Toto Japan Classic, So Yeon Ryu needed to finish T-6 or better to retain her previous No. 1 status. She finished T-33. So, when points were calculated on Monday after the event, Park took over the top ranking for the first time in her career, ending Ryu’s 19-week reign. Park is the first rookie to become No. 1 since the rankings began in 2006.
It’s another accolade in what is already a successful rookie season for Park. She had an outstanding career on the Korean LPGA before officially joining the LPGA tour in 2017. This year, she has won the U.S. Women’s Open and the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, and is third on the CME points list with one event left before the CME Tour Championship. She also has already wrapped up the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award.
Park, a 24-year-old from South Korea, is the fourth player to reach No. 1 this season. Lydia Ko held the No. 1 spot at the beginning of the year, but was overtaken by Ariya Jutanugarn to end Ko’s 85-week reign at the top. So Yeon Ryu passed Jutanugarn has held it for the position since June. Park is the fourth player from South Korea to be No. 1 in the Rolex World Ranking, joining Ryu, Inbee Park and Jiyai Shin.