The 19-year-old from Ratchaburi supplanted South Korea’s Ko Jin-young and becomes the second Thai player to reach the No.1 ranking after compatriot Ariya Jutanugarn achieved the feat in 2017, a position she held for a total of 23 weeks.
Ko had spent a total of 152 weeks at the top of the rankings and now drops to number two. Nelly Korda of the United States remains in third place.
Atthaya and Ariya are the only Thai golfers to reach the top of the rankings as no male player has ever achieved the feat.
In reaching the No.1 rank, Atthaya becomes only the second player to do so in her rookie year; South Korea’s Park Sung-hyun did likewise in November 2017.
Atthaya is also only the second player under the age of 20 to reach the summit after Lydia Ko did so in February 2015 at the age of 17.
“It means a lot for my team, my family, my supporters and myself,” Atthaya said after the latest rankings were released yesterday.
“It is such an honor 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. 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.”
Stardom found Atthaya early. In 2017, at the age of 14, she became the youngest player, male or female, to win a professional golf tournament when she triumphed at the Ladies European Thailand Championship as an amateur.
She secured four more titles on the Ladies European Tour from 2017-21 and this year won the JTBC Classic in March and the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in September on the LPGA tour.