The 23-year-old American, who will headline a stacked field in Belleair for her first event in three weeks, said she only learned of her top status while walking off the 18th green at Pelican Golf Club during her Monday pro-am.

"I was like, 'No, you're joking. How is that possible?'" Korda told reporters.

"So it was a little bit of a shock to me."

After just two weeks on top, South Korean Jin Young Ko dropped to the second spot in the rankings – which are based on a two-year rolling period – and lost her crown to Korda for the second time this year.

Korda has collected three wins on the LPGA this year, including her maiden major triumph, as well as the gold medal in the women's golf competition at the Tokyo Olympics.

"I was pretty dominant in the summer, and now she's (Ko) dominant," Korda said.

"So I think that is just how sports go.

"You kind of pass on the baton in a sense, and someone passes you and you just try to battle it out."

Among the challengers in Florida will be resurgent former World No.1 Lydia Ko.

The New Zealander is among the hottest players in golf with two tournament wins since April among a string of top-five finishes.

Ko has climbed back to No.5 in the rankings after her last-start win at the Saudi Ladies International, trading spots with Australian Minjee Lee who drops to World No.7.