Lydia Ko Reaches World No.1 For First Time Since 2017

The New Zealander is back at the summit following her win in the CME Group Tour Championship

Lydia Ko takes a shot during the 2022 CME Group Tour Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Women’s golf’s world number one position has changed hands for the third time in a month, with New Zealander Lydia Ko returning to the summit for the first time since 2017.

At the end of October, Atthaya Thitikul became the second youngest World No.1 in history. However, her spell at the top was short-lived. Just two weeks later, Nelly Korda regained the top spot following her win in the Pelican Women’s Championship. Now, though, after her win in the LPGA Tour's season-closing CME Group Tour Championship in Florida, Ko has returned to the position she last relinquished in June 2017 after an 85-week spell at the top. 

Ko carded a two-under final round at the CME Group Tour Championship, which was enough to ensure she finished the season in style. As well as claiming the title, Ko also won the Race to CME Globe and was named Player of the Year. 

While confirmation Ko has returned to the top spot offers vindication for her decision to part ways with coach Sean Foley just a few weeks ago, she also enjoyed considerable success during the year while still working with the Canadian. As well as her recent successes, Ko finished in the top 10 of three of the year’s five Majors and has won three times in 2022, including in October’s BMW Ladies Championship in the country of her birth, the Republic of Korea. The 25-year-old also amassed 14 top-10 finishes in 2022. That consistency has been reflected in the Rolex Rankings, where she has been in the top five throughout the year.

Ko’s return to the top spot marks the culmination of a stunning return to form after she had been outside the world’s top 50 as recently as August 2020 after finishing tied for 28th at the LPGA Drive On Championship.

For all the best golf deals visit Golf Monthly's Cyber Monday golf deals LIVE blog.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.