Ahead of this week’s Sanya Ladies Open on Hainan Island in China, former LET order of merit winner, Shanshan Feng, has been announced as the new No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. She becomes the first player from China, male or female, to become World No.1.
“It’s the longest day in my life to wait for the update of the world ranking,” said Feng, after winning the Blue Bay LPGA on Saturday on Hainan Island. “When I finally see the Chinese flag on top of the ranking, I feel all the efforts over the past 18 years on golf is worth it. I really enjoy the moment and hopefully this could encourage a younger generation in China to go for this sport.”
Feng has seven career wins on the Ladies European Tour, including four of the last five Omega Dubai Ladies Masters titles and won the Tour’s Order of Merit in 2015, the same year that she finished third in the Sanya Ladies Open behind Xiyu Lin and Jing Yan as part of an all-Chinese podium.
Reaching No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings culminated a tremendous four-week stretch in 2017 for the 28-year-old Feng, who began her streak sitting sixth. On Oct. 22, she tied for third at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship presented by CTBC, followed by a tie for second at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, marking the fourth consecutive year she finished first or second at that event.
The next week and up to fourth in the Rolex Rankings, Feng took her second straight victory at the TOTO Japan Classic, becoming the first player to successfully accomplish a title defence on the LPGA Tour in 2017.
Going into last week’s Blue Bay LPGA, Feng was ranked third, which tied the highest ranking of her career. She then became the first player of 2017 to win in consecutive weeks when she took home the title Saturday in her home country, and vaulted over Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu to reach World No. 1.
Feng has one additional win in 2017, coming at the LPGA Volvik Championship in May, and nine for her career. She has nine other top-10 finishes this season, including at three of the season’s five majors. Feng, who won the bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, is second to Ryu in the Rolex Player of the Year rankings and sits third in the season-ending Race to the CME Globe and on the LPGA Official Money List.
In 2012, Feng captured her only career major title when she earned a two-stroke win at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.
To reach the top spot in the Rolex Rankings, Feng moved past Park, who reached No. 1 on Nov. 6. The last person to hold World No. 1 honors for a single week was Cristie Kerr, from Oct. 25-31, 2010.
Feng is the fifth player to reach World No. 1 in 2017, joining Lydia Ko, Ariya Jutanugarn, Ryu and Park. This is the most players at No. 1 in a single year since 2010, when Lorena Ochoa, Jiyai Shin, Ai Miyazato and Kerr each reached the top of the rankings.
History of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings Number One Position
|#||Player||Age (Y/M/D)||From:||To:||No. Weeks|
|23||Shanshan Feng||28/3/8||Nov. 13, 2017||Present||1|
|22||Sung Hyun Park||24/1/15||Nov. 6, 2017||Nov. 12, 2017||1|
|21||So Yeon Ryu||26/11/28||June 26, 2017||Nov. 5, 2017||19|
|20||Ariya Jutanugarn||21/6/20||June 12, 2017||June 25, 2017||2|
|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|
|So Yeon Ryu||19 weeks|
|Ai Miyazato||11 weeks|
|Cristie Kerr||5 weeks|
|Ariya Jutanugarn||2 weeks|
|Shanshan Feng||1 week|
|Sung Hyun Park||1 week|