Ko returns to world No. 1 in women’s golf
The oldest South Korean player on the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour, 37-year-old Ji-hee Lee, will attempt to win her second straight match-play title in the tour’s only event.
Ji-hee will compete in the Bank of Hope Match Play ($1.5 million purse) at Shadow Creek Golf Club (par-72) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, starting today (Sept. 24).
The only event on the LPGA Tour to be played in a match-play format, Ji-hee defeated Ayaka Furue (JPN) in the final last year to win her sixth career LPGA Tour title. It was her first win in more than three years since the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in January 2019.
Notably, Ji-hee became the oldest South Korean player to win an LPGA Tour event at 36 years and 17 days during match play last year.메이저놀이터
Since then, she hasn’t had many top-10 finishes in LPGA Tour events.
Outside of her win last season, she has one top-10 finish and has made the cut in five of her seven events this season, with her best finish being a tie for 11th at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in March. He missed the cut at the Cognizant Founders Cup last week.
Match play is a tournament with fond memories for Ji-hee, and she can use it as a springboard to rebound.
The 64-player field is divided into 16 groups of four, with the winner of each group advancing to the round of 16, followed by single-elimination matches from the round of 16 to the final.
Ji Hee will compete against Lynn Grant (Sweden), Matilda Kastren (Finland), and Maddie Jerich (Kenya) in her group.
Joining Ji-hee in the Korean field are Hae-ran Ha, Se-young Kim, Arim Kim, Anna Lin, and Lee Jeong-eun.
Hae-ran and Kim are in the same group, returning to the forefront after a seven-month absence. Ko Jin-young (Solaire) has been ranked No. 1 in women’s golf.
The South Korean regained the top spot in the rankings, which were released on Wednesday (July 23). She moved up one spot from No. 2 last week. She last held the top spot in October of last year.
Although the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour was not in action last week, Ko earned 8.26 ranking points, surpassing Nelly Koda (USA) with 8.25.
Last week, Koda was ranked first with 8.40 points and Ko was ranked second with 8.38 points, so the two players swapped places. When Ko fell from the top spot, Koda, her New Zealand compatriot Lydia Ko, and Ataya Thititjerin (Thailand) took turns at the top of the leaderboard.
Ko first reached the top of the world rankings in April 2019 after making her LPGA Tour debut. She has held the top spot for a total of 146 weeks, including this week.
Ko is the longest reigning No. 1 since the retired Lorena Ochoa (Mexico). She has two wins on the LPGA Tour this season.
Kim Hyo-ju (Lotte Golf Team) is 10th, while compatriot Lee Min-ji (Australia) is fifth. Sung Yoo-jin (Hanwha Q CELLS), winner of the Doosan Match Play Championship on the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour, which concluded on April 21 in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, made her first appearance in the top 100, moving up 19 spots to No. 85 from No. 104.
Ko, who regained the No. 1 spot in the world rankings released on Wednesday, and world No. 2 and 3 Nellie Coda (USA) and Lydia Ko (NZL) are not participating.
The highest-ranked player in the field is No. 4 Lilia Boo (USA).
Boo finished third at this event last year, beating Andrea Lee (USA) in the semifinals before falling to Furue in a 3-4 playoff.
Boo, who had yet to win on the LPGA Tour, has won two majors this year, including the Chevron Championship, to lead the Player of the Year in points (94) and money ($1,133,878) and is second in the CME Globe Race (1,346.643 points) behind Jin Young Ko (1,366.973 points).
Andrea Lee (USA) will also be competing in the event, along with Danielle Kang and Allison Lee (USA).
Brooke Henderson (CAN) and Céline Boutier (FRA) are also in contention for the title.