By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The 22-year-old now tops the rankings with 8.0554 points to rise to No 1 while South Korean Sung Hyun Park fell from No 1 with 7.9029 and her compatriot So Yeon Ryu, another former No 1, remains third with 6.9984 points.
Ariya burst into the scene following three straight wins on the LPGA Tour – the Yokohama Tire Classic, Kingsmill Championship and Volvik Championship) – in 2016.
She became the first Thai to win on the LPGA Tour and the first Thai to reach world No 1, then won her first Major, the Ricoh Women’s British Open in July that year.
She reached the No 1 position for the first time in June 2017 following her win in the Manulife Classic and also won her second title that year, the CME Group Tour Championship. Her total prize money grossed more than US$1.5 million for two straight years, 2016 and 2017.
Ariya has been the most consistent player on the Tour this year, posting 15 top-10 finishes in 25 events.
She has claimed three wins: the Kingsmill Championship in May, US Open in July, her second Major title, and the Ladies Scottish Open.
She regained the No 1 ranking after Scotland but that stint lasted just two weeks.
With only three events remaining, Ariya was announced as the Rolex Player of the Year winner by the LPGA on Tuesday and is also in contention for the Race to CME Globe award. The latter will earn her US$1 million bonus, which she also won in 2016.