The 2019 LPGA Tour season is almost complete and there are a good number of playing vying for the CME Race to the Globe and the top of the Rolex World Golf Rankings. Here’s a look at the top ten in the World Golf Rankings.
The 24-year old from South Korea was a huge winner on the LPGA of Korea Tour, where she claimed 10 titles by the age of 22. She finished second at the British Open in 2015 and claimed victory at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship in 2017. Ko starting off with a bang in her first LPGA Tour event, winning the 2018 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. Her hot play continued all season, finishing with 13 top-ten finishes in 25 events, earning Rookie of the Year honors. After just a single season on tour, Ko was ranked 10th in the world. She vaulted to the top this season with two major titles, at the ANA Inspiration and the Evian Championship. Ko’s 16 career wins include 11 on the Korean Tour and five on the LPGA Tour.
Sung Hung Park
Also from South Korea, the 26-year old has won ten times on the LPGA of Korea Tour. A rookie on the LPGA Tour in 2017, Park was victorious at the US Women’s Open and reached number one in the world for a week. Park’s play was recognized with LPGA Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year honors in 2017. Park also saw time on top of the World Golf Rankings in 2018 and this year, but now sits second behind Ko. Park has 18 professional wins, including seven on the LPGA Tour in just three seasons.
Just 21-years old, Korda has pushed her way toward the top of the LPGA Tour. On October 28, 2018, Korda won the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship, making her and her sister Jessica Korda just the third sister duo to win on the LPGA Tour. Of her three LPGA Tour wins, one came at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australia Open early this year, which vaulted Korda into the top ten in the Rolex rankings for the first time. Her largest margin of victory came at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France by eight shots on September 22. She also defended at the Swinging Skirts. Korda now has five professional wins and at number three in the world is the highest ranking American.
The 20-year old from Japan played on both the LPGA Tour and LPGA of Japan Tour in 2017. She struggled and finished 140th on the LPGA money list, but won twice in Japan. Hataoka regained her tour card for 2018 and won two times, including the Toto Japan Classic and Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. She moved into the top ten in the world rankings following the win in Japan. Ever so close to winning a major, Hataoka come up just short, finishing tied for 2nd at the 2018 Women’s PGA. She finished near the top on the money list both last year and this year and with nine career professional wins, is not ranked 4th in the world.
At 23-years old, Jeongeun Lee6 has eight career wins, including six on the LPGA Tour of Korea, where she started play in 2016. She won four times in 2017 and twice in 2018. Lee6 made a great showing in her first LPGA Tour event, finishing tied for fifth at the US Women’s Open. Playing on the LPGA Tour minimally in 2018, Lee6 has a best finish of tie for sixth at the Evian Championship. Playing full time this season, Lee6 earned her first major, winning the US Women’s Open by a couple shots over the trio of Angel Yin, Ryu So-Yeon, and Lexi Thompson. Now ranked fifth in the world, Lee6 has four career top ten finishes in ten majors.
The 22-year old Canadian claimed her first major title at the 2016 Women’s PGA Championship, defeating then top-ranked Lydia Ko in a playoff. In doing so, Henderson became the youngest to win that tournament and second youngest in any women’s major championship. She represented Canada in the 2016 Olympics and with her victory in June of that year became one of only three Canadians to win at least twice on the LPGA Tour in a single season. Henderson has continued her consistent play and already has 14 wins, nine on the LPGA Tour to go along with nine top ten finishes in major championships. Her victory total is the most of any Canadian golfer in history.
Four years ago Lee earned her first LPGA Tour victory at the Kingsmill Championship in 2015. She earned two more victories on tour in 2016 and represented Australia in the 2016 Summer Olympics, finishing tied for seventh. Other victories included the LPGA Volvik Championship in 2018 in part of a great season finishing second on the money list and scoring average. Continuing her great play, Lee moved up to second in the Rolex rankings at the end of May of 2019. Now ranked seventh in the world, the 23-year old from Australia has five LPGA among her eight professional victories.
At 24-years old, Thompson has been on the scene since qualifying for the Women’s US Open at the age of 12. She turned professional at the age of 15 and then became the youngest to ever win an LPGA event at age 16 years and seven months. Among her continued early success was becoming the second youngest to win a Ladies European Tour event. Thompson claimed her first major title at the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship. Although she hasn’t won another major to date, Thompson has 15 top-ten finishes in major competition and 11 professional wins. In addition, the eighth ranked player in the world has a 5-4-6 record in four Solheim Cup appearances.
A very successful amateur golfer, Kang twice claimed the US Women’s Amateur Title, in 2010 and 2011. The 27-year old American won her first LPGA Tour event at the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. She has had plenty of success in Asia, earning her other two LPGA Tour victories at the Buick LPGA Shanghai. The ninth-ranked player in the world is 4-4 in two Solheim Cup appearances and has four top ten finishes in major championships.
The 23-year old Jutanugarn is the first professional golfer from Thailand to win on the LPGA Tour, claiming the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in 2016. Her stellar play continued the next two weeks, winning each time to become the first LPGA Player to ever earn their first three wins in succession.
She became the number one player in the world In 2017 and even during down period missing some cuts in the middle of that season, won her sixth and seventh career LPGA titles. She won three more times in 2018, including the US Women’s Open, Player of the Year, Vare Trophy, and CME Race to the Globe. After a season without a victory in 2019, Jutanugarn dropped to 10th in the Rolex rankings. She has 10 LPGA wins and 10 top ten finishes in major championship play.