Just a week after becoming world number one, New Zealand’s Lydia Ko solidifies her standing at the top of the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking with an outstanding victory in the New Zealand Amateur Championship. Ko celebrated her 14th birthday by becoming the tournament’s youngest winner, defeating compatriot Cecilia Cho 4&3 in the 36-hole final at Russley Golf Club in Christchurch.
The victory marks a remarkable run for the precocious teenager. In March she won the Australian Stroke Play Championship, and a week before winning the New Zealand Amateur she made history with victory in the New Zealand Stroke Play Championship, becoming the first player to win both titles in the same year.
Cho finished runner-up to Ko in all three championships. The 16-year-old gets some consolation by overtaking Japan’s Mitsuki Katahira to become world number two. Katahira, long time holder of the world number one spot, slips to world number three.
Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom makes a huge leap on this week’s ranking following victory in the French International Lady Junior Amateur Championship. Sagstrom lifted the Esmond Trophy following a 5&4 victory over France’s Manon Gidali. Sagstrom improves her ranking by 168 places to move to world number 13. Gidali moves inside the top 50 to 49th spot, an improvement of 45 places.
Ko isn’t the only teenager impressing on the world stage at present. England’s Charley Hull continues her outstanding if embryonic amateur career by moving 16 places to world number 25. The 15-year-old junior at Woburn Golf Club improves her ranking after winning the Welsh Open Stroke Play Championship at Tenby Golf Club.
Hull returned rounds of 74, 72 and 79 for a 9-over-par total of 225 and a one stroke victory over Lucy Gould of Wales.
England’s Jack Senior makes a significant move on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking after withstanding near gale-force winds to win the Lytham Trophy at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club. The 22-year-old enters the world top 20 in 19th place, a jump of 13 places, following the biggest win of his career.
With winds between 30-40 mph, and gusts much higher, Senior ground out a 19-over-par total of 299 to win by five shots. The England international returned rounds of 71, 82, 72 and 74 and was somewhat surprised to lift one of the most prestigious trophies in amateur golf. “I couldn’t believe I had an 82 and was still in contention,” Senior said. “I don’t think I’ll ever shoot 82 again and be in contention. I’ve never played in tougher conditions than the second round.”
South Africa’s Jared Harvey makes an even bigger move up the WAGR table. The South African breaks into the top 20 in 13th spot, a jump of 31 places, following victory in the Western Province Amateur Championship in his homeland.
Morgan Hoffman of the United States moves up three places this week to world number seven courtesy of winning the Big 12 Men’s Championship in US college golf. Hoffman was the only player to match par over the four rounds with scores 70, 69, 68 and 73 for a five-shot victory over teammate Kevin Tway.
Victory in the Pac-10 Men’s Golf Championship allows Martin Trainer to make a massive move up the world ranking. It took seven play-off holes for the second year student at the University of Southern California to defeat Alex Moore after the pair tied on five-under-par. It was Trainer’s first win in college golf, and moves him 139 spots up the ranking into the top 100 in 62nd place.