Lydia Ko’s runner-up finish at the Coates Golf Championship in Florida to tee off the LPGA Tour 2015 season moved the 17-year-old into the top spot on the Rolex Rankings.
Ko became the youngest male or female to grab the No. 1 ranking in golf. Without a major, Ko climbed to the top spot thanks to a solid 2014 including a victory at the season-finale — CME Group Tour Championship. The victory also earned her the Race to the CME Globe crown.
Rory McIlroy confirmed his top spot on the Official World Golf Rankings with his win at the European Tour’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
At 22-under, Rory was three shots clear of Alexander Noren. Stephen Gallacher, the two-time defending champion at the event, finihsed alone in third at 16-under, while Martin Kaymer ended up T-4. McIlroy made the Omega Dubai Desert Classic his first European Tour victory back in 2009. He was a 3-to-1 betting pick this year heading into the tournament at www.ladbrokes.com.
On the PGA Tour, Brooks Koepka (15-under) earn his maiden tour victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Koepka outlasted Masters champion Bubba Watson, Ryan Palmer, Martin Laird and Hideki Matsuyama for the win at TPC Scottsdale. Koepka moved inside the Top 20 at No. 19 — just behind Phil Mickelson, who missed the cut in Phoenix. He won the Turkish Airlines Open for his first triumph on the European Tour last November. He was a 40-1 pick to win in Phoenix.
Other Golf News:
- Na Yeon Choi, a 40-1 pick in the LPGA Tour season opener, edged Ko and Jessica Korda by a stroke for the victory. NYC (16-under) rallied with four birdies in her final five holes. Ko made bogey at the 71st hole to derail her run at the title. Stacy Lewis ended up T-7 at 7-under overall.
- Tiger Woods, who missed the cut badly in Phoenix, returns to action this week at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego. Woods has slipped outside the Top 50 to No. 56 in the rankings. He needs to move back into the Top 50 quickly to earn a spot in the World Golf Championships — Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral in early March.
- Bubba, the top-ranked American in the world, finished runner-up back-to-back years at TPC Scottsdale. He moved up a spot to No. 3 in the world ranking ahead of Adam Scott.
- Palmer’s runner-up effort moved him inside the Top 30 at 29th in the latest ranking. At the previous tournament, he was shot behind the Humana Challenge winner Bill Haas.