LPGA: Will American Ever Be World #1?

According to a recent article posted on the New York Times website, the LPGA welcomes yet another World #1 this week: Ai Miyazato.

Miyazato has won four LPGA events this year and this is the first time she is ranked No. 1. She replaces Jiyai Shin of South Korea, who became No. 1 on May 3 following the retirement of longtime top ranked player Lorena Ochoa.

In Sunday's final round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic, Miyazato shot a 7-under 64 to beat M.J. Hur of South Korea by two strokes.

Congratulations to Ai on her fourth victory of the season, and for becoming the best-ranked women golfer in the world. With that being said, I could not help but wonder when the last time an American-born golfer was ranked #1 in the world?

Since 2006, the LPGA has used the current Rolex Ranking system to determine the world golf rankings for females, which includes both amateurs and professionals. Since that time, there has really never been a question as to who the best women's golfer in the world was at any given time. Sorenstam was the first, followed by Ochoa, then Shin, and now Miyazato. Furthermore, all four women have held substantial leads in the rankings over their nearest American competitors during the same stretch (ex: As of June 21, 2010, Cristie Kerr is the highest-ranked American female golfer, yet is still 200 points behind the leader).