She let out an exasperated gasp, rolled her eyes as if the mere thought of No. 1 was an annoyance, everyone laughed, and she smiled and ran over to take selfies with fans. Only Ko could have remained this cool throughout a disappointing loss and subsequent major honor. As always, nothing seems to have an influence on the new projected world No. 1.
“It’s amazing. I didn’t know that, I didn’t really know what I needed to do to get in that position. All I was focused was try and play my best out here today. So it’s a huge honor to be in that ranking,” Ko said. “I’m just going to focus on my golf, not think about the rankings. The rankings, like I said, it always comes after the results.”
Na Yeon Choi didn’t walk away with the ranking but she surely exited with the trophy after a final-round 68. The eight-time career LPGA winner hadn’t won since 2012 and was admittedly getting fed up with a self-perceived cold streak.
“I think I had a lot of stress from my results,” Choi said. “Even if I finished top 5 or 10, not many people said, ‘You did a good job!’”
Choi said the pressure from back home began to mount with each stellar result, which in turn then later exacerbated the perception of a slump among fans and media in Korea. She finished 13th on the money list – the worst finish in her seven years on Tour – and “no one says, like, ‘Na Yeon did a good job.’”
“I know they have a lot of expectations from me because they think I’m a good player, so they always want me being a champion and win a tournament,” Choi said. “But this is golf and there’s like more than 30 tournaments a year. And still last year I missed the cut twice, but that was the most I have in like the last seven years and they think I got like a slump.”