Lydia Ko’s decision to turn professional marks the end of arguably the most dominant period in the history of women’s amateur game. Ko wasn’t just the world number one – she was head and shoulders above the rest.
Ko made her announcement on Twitter on October 22, thus ending her long run as number one on the World Amateur Golf Ranking. The New Zealander recently collected the 2013 Mark H. McCormack Medal as world number one for the third successive time.
The 16-year-old New Zealander arrives in the professional game with two-LPGA titles under her belt. In August she won her second successive CN Canadian Women’s Open. She followed on from that with a second place finish in the Evian Championship, her fifth major championship of the season.
Ko made history in 2012 when she became the youngest ever winner of a professional golf tournament, winning the New South Wales Open on the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour at the age of 14. She won the Australian Women’s Amateur and was runner-up in the Australian Women’s Stroke Play Championship. She won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and received the silver medal as the leading amateur at the U.S. Women’s Open.
In 14 professional tournaments this season, Ko had nine top 10 finishes. Her Canadian victory gives her a spot in the LPGA’s CME Group Titleholders in Naples, Florida, next month, where she is expected to make her pro debut.
Australia’s Su-Hyun Oh takes over as the new world number one, with compatriot Minjee Lee becoming world number two.
Oliver Schniederjans of the United States makes a significant move on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking thanks to an impressive victory in the U.S. Collegiate Championship at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Schniederjans overcame a quality field to record the victory. The Georgia Tech student opened with a 6-under-par 66 to take the joint lead and never looked back. Further rounds of 69 and 71 saw him post a 54-hole total of 206, 10-under-par, to defeat University of Georgia player Ben Rusch by four shots.
Schniederjans, a third year student from Powder Springs, Georgia, moves to 15th on the WAGR table, an improvement of 13 spots. Rusch advances 29 places to become the world’s number 47th player.
Denmark’s Sebastian Cappelen proved why he’s a world top 10 player with victory in the Crooked Stick Intercollegiate at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana, venue for the 1991 PGA Championship. The University of Arkansas player won by three shots over Purdue’s Adam Schenk after scores of 70, 71 and 71 gave him a 4-under-par total of 212.
Cappelen moves 3 spots on this week’s ranking to 5th. Schenk improves from 94th to 65th.
Frenchman Joel Stalter improves 9 places on this week’s ranking thanks to victory in the Alister MacKenzie Invitational at Sonoma Golf Club in Sonoma, California. The University of California student compiled a 13-under-par total of 203 for a one-shot victory over Oregon State’s David Fink.
Stalter improves from last week’s ranking of 46th to 37th this week. Fink advances 67 rankings to 96th.