Atthaya Thitikul takes over at the top from South Korea’s Ko Jin-young.© AFP

Thai teenager Atthaya Thitikul has become the second-youngest world number one in women’s golf history after a stunning debut year on the LPGA Tour. The 19-year-old, who has triumphed twice on the US-based elite women’s tour in 2022 and has 12 other top-10 finishes this season, takes over at the top from South Korea’s Ko Jin-young. Ko had been top of the rankings since January but suffered a recent wrist injury and withdrew from her home BMW Ladies Championship last month after two poor rounds.

Atthaya is only the second player under 20 to reach number one — New Zealand’s Lydia Ko was 17 when she first topped the rankings in 2015. Ko is now world number three.

“It means a lot for my team, my family, my supporters and myself,” said Atthaya, who will tee up as number one for the first time at this week’s LPGA Japan Classic. She finished sixth in South Korea two weeks ago.

“It is such an honour to have my name at the top amongst the biggest names of the game.

“It is very special to get to the top but it is much harder to retain it.

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“I still have a lot to learn from all the legends and current players both on and off the course.

“I will continue to work hard for my family, my team, my fans and my country.”

Atthaya is used to making history. She won the Thailand Championship in 2017 when she was only 14.

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