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Thai teenager Ataya Titikul is now No. 1 in the women’s golf rankings | WGN 720 Radio

Thai teenager Athaya Titikul reached No. 1 in the women’s world rankings on Monday, becoming the 16th and second-youngest player to reach the top since the rankings began in 2006.

Titikul had a chance to reach No. 1 by winning any of the last three tournaments on the LPGA Tour. Instead, the 19-year-old filled in for South Korea’s Jin Young Ko during the week she was out.

Titikul heads to the Toto Japan Classic to debut at No. 1.

“It’s very special to get to the top, but it’s much harder to hold on,” Titikul said.

Her first full year on the LPGA Tour has been more steady than spectacular. Titikul won twice — in California the week before his first major and in Arkansas — and had 12 other top-10 finishes.

She finished 19th in the world last year after two wins on the Women’s European Tour and took advantage of strong play and injuries at the top.

Nelly Corda, who started the year at No. 1, underwent surgery for a blood clot in her left arm and was missing for four months.

Ko began her season by winning the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore and has been No. 1 since the end of January. But she is dealing with a left wrist injury that kept her out for two months, and then she withdrew, returning to BMW women’s championship in South Korea.

That cleared the way for Titikul, who has finished in the top 10 in her last five starts.

Titikul is the fourth player to reach No. 1 without winning a major, joining Lydia Ko in 2015, Ai Miyazato in 2010 and Lorena Ochoa.

Lydia Ko remains the youngest No. 1, having first been there at 17.

Titikul in 2017 became the youngest player to win a professional golf tournament at the European Women’s Championship in Thailand when she was 14 years and 4 months old. It was one of her four LET wins.

She joins Song Hyun Park as the only players to reach No. 1 during a rookie season on the LPGA Tour. Before coming to America, Park won 10 times on the Korean LPGA.

Jin Young Ko has been No. 1 four times for 152 weeks, leaving her seven weeks short of breaking the record for most weeks at No. 1, set by Ochoa from April 2007 until her surprise retirement three years later.


AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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