Lydia Ko Looks to Extend 75 Consecutive Weeks as No. 1 at ANA Inspiration
Palm Springs, CA (LPGA TOUR)- GOLF’S FIRST MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP OF 2017. This week, major championship golf will return to the California desert at the famed Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills Country Club for the 46th staging of the ANA Inspiration.
The 108-player field includes all of the top-80 players in the world and all six winners from this season competing for a $2.7 million purse and the chance to hoist the Dinah Shore Trophy and make the leap into Poppie’s Pond at week’s end.
In 2016, World No. 1 Lydia Ko birdied the 72nd hole to get to 12-under par and finish one shot ahead of Charley Hull and In Gee Chun for her second consecutive win and second consecutive major championship. Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn looked prime to capture her first career win but bogeyed her final three holes to finish fourth at 10-under par.
Lydia Ko has spent 75 consecutive weeks as the No. 1 player in the world after reclaiming the top spot in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings in October of 2015. However, anything is possible as Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn has emerged as a clear challenger and could overtake Ko’s position at the world’s best female golfer in the near future.
Jutanugarn has spent 35 consecutive weeks ranked as the No. 2 player in the world. A year ago, Ariya was No. 51 and was looking for her first career win on the LPGA Tour. Since March 2016, Ariya has not finished outside of the top 60 in an event and has recorded 5 wins to position herself towards earning the top spot.
WHO’S IN THE FIELD - Past ANA Inspiration Winners (9): Lydia Ko (2016), Brittany Lincicome (2015, 2009), Lexi Thompson (2014), Inbee Park (2013), Sun Young Yoo (2012), Stacy Lewis (2011), Yani Tseng (2010), Morgan Pressel (2007), Karrie Webb (2006, 2000)
2017 Winners (6): Brittany Lincicome (Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic), Ha Na Jang (ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open), Amy Yang (Honda LPGA Thailand), Inbee Park (HSBC Women's Champions), Anna Nordqvist (Bank of Hope Founders Cup), Mirim Lee (Kia Classic)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DEFENDING CHAMPION LYDIA KO
- No. 1 in the Women’s World Golf Rankings, a spot she has held for 75 consecutive weeks
- 14-time LPGA winner, five-time Ladies European Tour winner, one-time KLPGA winner
- 2014 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year, the youngest winner in Tour history
- 2015 Rolex Player of the Year, the youngest winner in Tour history
- Two major victories at the 2015 Evian Championship and 2016 ANA Inspiration
- At 18 years, 11 months and 9 days, she is the second-youngest player, male or female, to win two majors, behind only Young Tom Morris
- Silver medalist at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where she represented New Zealand
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE ANA INSPIRATION
1 – Annika Sorenstam is the only player to successfully defend her ANA Inspiration title (2001-2002)
2 – The event is the second-oldest golf tournament continuously held at the same course
3 – All Nippon Airways is in its third year as the title sponsor of this event
3 – Three players in the field have won this event multiple times (Brittany Lincicome - 2015, 2009; Karrie Webb - 2006, 2000; Juli Inkster - 1989, 1984)
9 – Defending champion Lydia Ko is one of nine past champions in the field
11 – Karrie Webb has 11 top-10 finishes at the ANA Inspiration, the most all-time
62 – Tournament-low score (-10), shot by Lorena Ochoa in the first round in 2006
269 – Tournament record 19-under 72-hole score set by Dottie Pepper in 1999
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