Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn has taken over the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings following her win at the 2017 Manulife LPGA Classic.

Jutanugarn took the top spot from New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, who had held the position for the past 85 weeks. At 21 years, 6 months and 20 days old, Jutanugarn becomes the second-youngest player in history and the third-youngest player, male or female, to reach No. 1 in the history of professional golf. She is the first golfer from Thailand, male or female, to earn the title of World No. 1.

“It means the world to me,” Jutanugarn said. “We get to show the world that Thai people can do it. It’s been a long road getting to this spot, but it will be even more challenging from this point on. The ranking can change after any week, and I will just keep working very hard every single day. I don’t see this as a mission complete, but it’s just the beginning. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone. My family, my coaches, my team, my sponsors and all the Thai fans. Thank you.”

Prior to ascending to World No.1, Jutanugarn spent 38 career weeks as the No. 2 player in the world. She is the 10th different golfer to be No. 1 in her career since the Rolex Rankings started in 2006.

Jutanugarn turned professional in December 2012 and joined the Ladies European Tour in 2013, after winning Lalla Aicha Tour School in Morocco. She quickly displayed her class when she finished tied for second in the VOLVIK RACV Ladies Masters in Australia and then earned her first title in March 2013 at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, before an accidental injury obtained when she fell off a golf tee in the United States halted her swift progress.

She had a breakthrough year in 2016. She began the year ranked No. 62 in the world before leading the LPGA with five wins, including her first major championship, the RIOCH Women’s British Open at Woburn, en route to becoming the second player to win the Rolex Player of the Year award, Race to the CME Globe and the LPGA Official Money Title in the same season, joining Ko (2015).

Jutanugarn, who goes by the nickname “May,” started her strong five-victory run in May 2016. With her win at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, she became the first player from Thailand to win on the LPGA Tour. She then won the next two events and became the first player in Tour history to have the first three wins of her career come in consecutive tournaments. Jutanugarn went back-to-back again later in the season including winning the Ricoh Women’s British Open, where she became the first major champion (male or female) from Thailand. She also set a new record for most birdies in a single season with 469, passing Stacy Lewis’ mark in 2014 by nine. For her achievements, Jutanugarn was named the 2016 Golf Writers Association of America Female Player of the Year.

The newly crowned top-ranked player in women’s golf has nine top-10 finishes in 13 starts this season, including three runner-ups and her win on Sunday. Thanks to her victory, she now ranks first on the 2017 Official Money List with $954,279 and she has $3,987,753 in career earnings.

Jutanugarn will make her first appearance as World No. 1 at this week’s Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give.

History of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings Number One Position

# Player Age (Y/M/D) From: To: No. of Weeks
20 Ariya Jutanugarn 21/6/20 June 12, 2017 Present 1
19 Lydia Ko (2) 18/6/2 October 26, 2015 June 11, 2017 85
18 Inbee Park (3) 26/11/3 June 15, 2015 October 25, 2015 19
17 Lydia Ko (1) 17/9/9 February 2, 2015 June 14, 2015 19
16 Inbee Park (2) 26/3/15 October 27, 2014 February 1, 2015 14
15 Stacy Lewis (2) 29/3/17 June 2, 2014 October 26, 2014 21
14 Inbee Park (1) 24/9/3 April 15, 2013 June 1, 2014 59
13 Stacy Lewis (1) 28/1/2 March 18, 2013 April 14, 2013 4
12 Yani Tseng 22/0/22 February 14, 2011 March 17, 2013 109
11 Jiyai Shin (3) 22/6/4 November 1, 2010 February 13, 2011 15
10 Cristie Kerr (3) 33/0/13 October 25, 2010 October 31, 2010 1
9 Ai Miyazato (3) 25/2/4 August 23, 2010 October 24, 2010 9
8 Cristie Kerr (2) 32/10/4 August 16, 2010 August 22, 2010 1
7 Jiyai Shin (2) 22/2/28 July 26, 2010 August 15, 2010 3
6 Ai Miyazato (2) 25/1/0 July 19, 2010 July 25, 2010 1
5 Cristie Kerr (1) 32/8/16 June 28, 2010 July 18, 2010 3
4 Ai Miyazato (1) 25/0/2 June 21, 2010 June 27, 2010 1
3 Jiyai Shin (1) 22/0/5 May 3, 2010 June 20, 2010 7
2 Lorena Ochoa 25/5/8 April 23, 2007 May 2, 2010 158
1 Annika Sorenstam 35/4/11 February 20, 2006 April 22, 2007 61

 

 

Career weeks at Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings Number One Position

Lorena Ochoa 158 weeks
Yani Tseng 109 weeks
Lydia Ko 104 weeks
Inbee Park 92 weeks
Annika Sorenstam 61 weeks
Stacy Lewis 25 weeks
Jiyai Shin 25 weeks
Ai Miyazato 11 weeks
Cristie Kerr 5 weeks
Ariya Jutanugarn 1 week