Golf: Ko stays on as golf's No. 1 after ranking blunder

Lydia Ko will retain the world No. 1 spot for at least an 85th successive week after a technical mix-up.
Lydia Ko will retain the world No. 1 spot for at least an 85th successive week after a technical mix-up.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES • As it turned out, Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn quest to become the world No. 1 golfer continues.

New Zealand's Lydia Ko retained the top ranking on Monday after faulty projections issued last week led the LPGA to believe Ariya had taken over, Women's World Golf Rankings (WWGR) officials explained.

The mix-up meant that an additional tournament - the 2015 Manulife LPGA Classic - was included in the calculation last week.

When the rankings - which evaluate a player's performance over a rolling two-year period - were calculated on Monday, the event was dropped. It left Ko with a razor-thin lead in ranking points, just ahead of Ariya by 0.01 of a point.

The LPGA Tour telephoned Ko and Ariya on Monday to explain the confusion, but not before Thailand's first Major champion had thought she had made the breakthrough.

"I am glad to become the world No. 1. I am proud to prove that a Thai can do it," the 21-year-old was quoted as saying in the Bangkok Post. "I know that the No. 1 spot could change hands every week because the top players are separated by narrow margins.

"Nothing is certain. It will be tougher for me and I have to work harder to face tougher competitions."

Still, LPGA officials set the record straight.

"Last week, we issued some projections which showed Ariya Jutanugarn taking over the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings based on player finishes at the ShopRite LPGA Classic which concluded yesterday," the Technical Provider of the Women's World Golf Rankings said in a statement.

"However, when official rankings were run this morning (Monday), we discovered a bug in the projection tool. We are working to correct the problem within the projection tool, and we apologise for the error in last week's projections."

The reign at the top by Ko, who did not compete in last week's (ShopRite) event, thus continues for at least an 85th successive week before the LPGA Tour contests the Manulife LPGA Classic.

But the 20-year-old is also absent from the event which starts tomorrow in Cambridge, Ontario, giving Ariya another stab at the top ranking as she headlines the field.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2017, with the headline 'Ko stays on as golf's No. 1 after ranking blunder'. Print Edition | Subscribe