Who were the youngest players to reach No. 1?

Atthaya Thitikul had a chance to rise to No. 1 in the world last week at the BMW Ladies Championship with a fourth-place finish. The 19-year-old Thai teen held the lead heading into the final round in South Korea but struggled to a 74 in the final round, dropping her to solo sixth.

Thitikul, who will compete next week in Japan, remains No. 2 in the world and still has a chance to become only the second teenager to rise to No. 1.

Jin Young Ko, the current top-ranked player, withdrew from the BMW with a wrist injury and plans to return for the last two events of the year in Florida.

The Rolex Rankings debuted in February 2006 with Annika Sorenstam on top. Here’s a closer look at the youngest players to reach the game’s pinnacle.

Lydia Ko of New Zealand poses with the trophy after winning the 2015 Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship on October 25, 2015, in Miramar Resort & Country Club Taipei, Taiwan. (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images)

Lydia Ko rose to No. 1 for the first time on February 2, 2015, at the age of 17. She stayed there for 19 weeks during that first stint, and a total of 104 weeks through June 2017. She hasn’t been ranked No. 1 since that stretch.

Ko rose to No. 3 on Monday after clinching her 18th career victory last week at the BMW Ladies Championship. She has not been outside the top 5 all season.

Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand reacts after sinking her putt during the final round of the Honda LPGA Thailand at the Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course on May 09, 2021, in Chonburi, Thailand. (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images)

Ariya Jutanugarn became the first Thai player to rise to No. 1 on June 12, 2017, supplanting Ko. She stayed there for only two weeks and spent a combined 23 weeks in the top spot through March 2019.

She has since dipped to 58th.

Jiyai Shin of South Korea poses after her hole-in-one on the second green during the second round of the Hoken no Madoguchi Ladies at Fukuoka Country Club Wajiro Course on May 14, 2022, in Fukuoka, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

Jiyai Shin became the third player to rise to No. 1 and the first from South Korea on May 3, 2010. Shin spent a total of 25 weeks at the top over the course of the next year.

Shin, a two-time major champion, stopped playing the LPGA full-time after the 2013 season and moved to the Japan LPGA, where she has won 28 times.

Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand reacts on the tenth tee during the Pro-Am prior to the HSBC Women’s World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club on March 02, 2022, in Singapore. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

A two-time winner on the LPGA this season, Atthaya Thitikul has not finished outside the top 10 in her last five starts. Thitikul turns 20 on Feb. 20, 2023. She became the youngest player to ever win a professional tournament when she captured the Ladies European Tour Thailand Championship at 14 years, 4 months and 19 days.

Lydia Ko is the only teenager in LPGA history to win three times in a season. (Ko won five times in 2015.) Thitikul will compete twice more this season.

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