Golf: Kiwi Lydia Ko regains No.1 world ranking for first time since 2017

Lydia Ko with the Rolex Player of the Year trophy.
Lydia Ko with the Rolex Player of the Year trophy. Photo credit: Getty Images

Kiwi Lydia Ko, who notched three LPGA Tour victories and nine other top-five finishes in 2022, has moved up one spot to eclipse Nelly Korda as the No. 1 player in the world golf rankings.

This is the third time Ko, a 19-time LPGA Tour winner, has reached the top spot. She also held No. 1 from Feb. 2 to June 14, 2015, and from October 2015 to June 2017 -- 104 weeks in all.

"I'm very grateful to be World No. 1 again," Ko, 25, said. "To be honest, I wasn't sure if I'd ever be back here again."

She was just 17 when she ascended to the top spot in 2015 and became the youngest player, male or female, to reach No. 1 in the world.

Among her wins this year, New Zealand's Ko claimed the largest first-place prize in the history of women's golf for winning the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

Ko was named Race to the CME Globe champion and Rolex Player of the Year for the second time. She also took home the Vare Trophy, awarded to the player with the season's lowest scoring average, for the second straight year. Finishing the year with 25 points toward the LPGA Hall of Fame, she is now two points away from induction.