In one single year, Coach Gary Gilchrist has had three women on the LPGA tour ranked #1 in the Rolex world rankings. Shanshan Feng, Ariya Jutanugarn and Lydia Ko. Feng’s recent victory pushed her into the top spot. Last year, Ariya Jutanugarn went from 64th place to number #1 and took home the CME globe trophy, $1 million, and 2016 Rolex Player of the Year title. (photo below)
Jutanugarn began training with Gilchrist at the beginning of 2016, where she quickly proved her strength by capturing her first three wins back-to-back and made history as the first golfer, male or female, from Thailand to win a major championship. It comes as no surprise that Gary Gilchrist is one of the fastest ranking Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher, a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher and owner of the world’s top junior golf academy – the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy.
Shanshan Feng’s victory in China and No. 1 ranking was exactly what she had in mind for 2017. “When Shanshan went through a struggle last year and was able to come out of it and earn a medal at the Olympics it gave her major confidence going into the new year.” says Gilchrist, “She ended 2016 very strong and realized she could do the same thing for 2017.”
Gary’s other LPGA professionals include Lydia Ko, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn and Moriya Jutanugarn. Moriya was second at Blue Bay LPGA just one shot behind Feng. “At the beginning of 2017, ShanShan shared with me that she felt mentally strong enough to become number one in the world” says Coach Gary Gilchrist. “She was playing with Lydia Ko, Yani Tseng and Paula Creamer in a relaxed atmosphere.”
Shanshan Feng will become the fifth player in 2017 to hold the Rolex world No. 1 ranking, the third of Gilchrist’s students, making the most No. 1s in a single season in women’s golf since the world rankings were initiated in 2006.
“I’m really, really excited and very proud of myself,” Shanshan Feng said, “and I think it’s special because I won this tournament to become World No. 1.”