No 1 ranking closer than it appears for Lydia

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 11:09 05/06/2014
Lydia Ko
Getty
OPPORTUNITY: A quirk in the rankings system means Lydia Ko is closer to becoming world No 1 than it appears.

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New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko could become world No 1 sooner rather than later as she capitalises on a quirk in the ranking system.

The 17-year-old is world No 3 behind American Stacy Lewis and Korean Inbee Park.

The women's world rankings are calculated from the last two years of events played and because Ko has played 27 events fewer than Park and 23 fewer than Lewis, a good week has a bigger impact on her individual calculation than it would on most of the other players.

Ko has played 32 events, the fewest of all the golfers in the top 32. She is sixth in the Race to CME Globe - the LPGA Tour's season race. She could go No 1 in the world this week at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.

The event is in Canada where Ko has recorded two of her three LPGA Tour victories, the 2012 and 2013 Canadian Opens.

Should Ko win the $1.78 million tournament and Lewis finishes eighth or worse, Ko would become the youngest world No 1 in either the men's or women's game.

However, second would not be enough for Ko, even if Lewis was cut.

Lewis only took over from Park last week, ending the Korean's 59-week stint at the top.

Ko tees off at 5.05am tomorrow (NZ time), alongside 2012 US Open winner Na-Yeon Choi and world No 26, American Gerina Piller. 

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