Ko’s ranking under threat at Mission Hills

World number one Lydia Ko heads to the first major of the women’s golf season at this week’s ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills Country Club with her ranking under threat.

The 19-year-old New Zealander has held the top spot in the rankings for 75 consecutive weeks but her ranking will be under threat from Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn should Ko not finish the event in fourth place or better.

In last year’s event at Mission Hills, Jutanugarn was leading but bogeyed the last three holes for Ko to catch her and win her second major and take the number one ranking from the 21-year-old Jutanugarn at the same time.

In an interview at the venue, Jutanugarn said she had learnt from last year’s mistakes about how to deal with pressure when leading.

“I learn from this tournament like I know how to play under the pressure,” Jutanugarn said. “We talk about the last few holes a lot because sometimes I do have bad memories of last year, but to me, it’s not that hard anymore.

“After that tournament, I just said ‘OK, just go have fun’.”

Ko, who has been struggling with her putting of late which showed last week when she missed the cut at the Kia Classic, has not won an LPGA event since July and acknowledged she is struggling but said she was hopeful to get her act together.

“I’m not coming in with fantastic momentum,” said Ko. “But every day is a new day and every week is a new week – I’m just going to try and enjoy it out there.”