20-year-old Chinese sensation Ruoning Yin has ascended to the top of the Rolex World Rankings, becoming the fifth woman to hold the honour of world number one in 2023 alone.
Lilia Vu, Nelly Korda, Jin Young Ko and Lydia Ko all previously held top spot in the rankings this year, and Yin’s ascendency has set a record for the most different players to have been able to claim to the world’s number one female golfer within a calendar year.
A third place finish at the Kroger Queen City Championship last weekend – her fourth top-three finish in her last five starts – was enough for Yin to overtake double major winning Lilia Vu, and the rapid ascent shows no sign of slowing for the woman playing just her second season on the LPGA circuit.
Yin’s maiden major championship title came at this year’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol, where, playing in the group ahead of both Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire, Yin hit all 18 greens in regulation in the final round to overtake Maguire and her closing birdie forced Meadow to have to eagle the final hole to take it to a playoff, something she was unable to do.
Yin becomes the second Chinese player to claim the number one spot, following in the footsteps of Shanshan Feng of Guangzhou who previously held the top ranking for 23 weeks culminating in April 2018.
“I got goosebumps,” Yin said. “World No. 1 is the big step on the way to chasing Shanshan. For me, it’s like a dream come true.
“I didn’t get a lot of chances to chat with Shanshan,” Yin added, but she will get plenty of opportunity in the coming weeks when she joins Feng at the Asian Games where China’s first female golfing superstar is set to act as team coach. “But I’m looking forward to going back to China and play the Asian Games and spend more time with her.”