It’s all change at the top of the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko taking over top spot from Japan’s Mitsuki Katahira. Ko becomes world number one following victory in the New Zealand Women’s Stroke Play Championship.
The 13-year-old was a run-away winner by nine shots over compatriot and world number three Cecilia Cho.
It gives the precocious teenager a remarkable double. She is the first player to win both the Australian and New Zealand stroke play championships in the same year.
Germany’s Sophia Popov continues her remarkable climb up the WAGR table with victory in the PAC-10 Championship. Popov, in her first year at the University of Southern California, prevailed in a playoff over Tiffany Lua of UCLA after the pair had tied on six under par. Popov was the only player in the field to score three rounds under par to earn her third win of the season. The native of Weingarten, Germany, moves up three places this week to world number six.
Madison Pressel of the University of Texas proves she is quite capable of following in the footsteps of big sister Morgan with victory in the Big 12 Championship. A second round 66, six under par, sandwiched by rounds of 71, gave Pressel an eight-under-par total of 208 and a five-shot victory. Madison carries many of the same mannerisms as Morgan Pressel, the youngest winner of a women’s Major when she won the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship at the age of 18. Madison seems to be on the fast track to similar LPGA success, improving her world ranking 61 spots to world number 105.
The biggest movers into the world top 50 this week include Thailand’s Numa Gulyanamitta, who moves 32 places to 43rd; England’s Holly Clyburn, who improves 20 spots to number 45; and Germany’s Pia Halbig, who leaps 21 positions to world number 50.
Luke Guthrie of the United States makes a significant move on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking following joint first place in the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate on the US college circuit. The 21-year-old third-year student at the University of Illinois returned rounds of 71, 71 and 68 for a three-under-par total of 210, to share first place with John Hahn of Kent State.
The victory improves Guthrie’s position on the WAGR by 24 places, moving him to 35th. Hahn slots in one behind in 36th, a move of nine places.
Sweden’s Jeff Karlsson improves his ranking by 12 spots following victory in the Atlantic Sun Championship. Karlsson, who has just been named to the European Palmer Cup team, won by three shots after scores of 67, 69 and 71 for a six-under-par score of 207. The third year student at Kennesaw State University has now won four times this season. He is now the 34th best amateur in the world.
Paul Haley of Georgia Tech University leaps 143 WAGR places to world number 447 after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. Haley triumphed by a stroke after scores of 68, 68 and 70 for a 10-under-par total of 210. It was Haley’s second straight win following victory in the Yellow Jacket Classic.
Players moving into the world top 100 include France’s Julien Brun, who climbs 42 places to world number 80. Kevin Phelan of Ireland improves his ranking by 17 to world number 99. Ryan Peterson of the United States moves 17 places to number 84, while countryman TJ Bordeaux improves his ranking by eight spots to world number 94.