Feng moves to No. 1 in Rolex Rankings

(Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- Shanshan Feng reached No. 1 in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings released Monday, becoming the first player from China, male or female, to sit at the top.

"It's the longest day in my life to wait for the update of the world ranking," Feng said Sunday after winning the Blue Bay LPGA on Saturday on Hainan Island, China. "When I finally see the Chinese flag on top of the ranking, I feel all the efforts over the past 18 years on golf is worth it. I really enjoy the moment and hopefully this could encourage a younger generation in China to go for this sport."

Reaching No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings culminated a superb four-week stretch for the 28-year-old Feng, who began her streak sitting sixth. On Oct. 22, she tied for third at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship, followed by a tie for second at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, marking the fourth consecutive year she finished first or second at that event.

The next week and up to fourth in the rankings, Feng took her second straight victory at the TOTO Japan Classic, becoming the first player to successfully accomplish a title defense on the LPGA Tour in 2017.

Going into last week's Blue Bay LPGA, Feng was ranked third, which tied the highest ranking of her career. She then became the first LPGA Tour player of 2017 to win in consecutive weeks when she took home the title Saturday in her home country, and vaulted over South Koreans Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu to reach world No. 1.

Feng has one additional win in 2017, coming at the LPGA Volvik Championship in May, and nine for her career. She has nine other top-10 finishes this season, including at three of the season's five majors.

Feng, who won the bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, is second to Ryu in the Rolex Player of the Year rankings and sits third in the season-ending Race to the CME Globe and on the LPGA Official Money List.

In 2012, Feng captured her only career major title when she earned a two-stroke win at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. She also has seven career wins on the Ladies European Tour, including four of the last five Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.

To reach the top spot in the Rolex Rankings, Feng moved past Park, who reached No. 1 last Monday. on Nov. 6. The last person to hold the No. 1 honors for a single week was American Cristie Kerr, from Oct. 25-31, 2010.

Feng is the fifth player to reach No. 1 in 2017, joining New Zealand's Lydia Ko, Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn, Ryu and Park -- the most players at the top in a single year since 2010.

Park and Ryu each dropped one spot in the rankings to second and third, respectively, followed by American Lexi Thompson and South Korean In Gee Chun.

Sweden's Anna Nordqvist is No. 6, followed by South Korean In-Kyung Kim, Ko, Jutanugarn and Kerr.

The LPGA Tour heads back to the United States this week for the CME Group Tour Championship, the final event of the 2017 season in Naples, Fla.

Updated November 13, 2017