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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An Update on the Women's Game

There's been a lot happening with the ladies lately, and since I haven't done more than touch on the LPGA for about a month (at the Kraft Nabisco, their first major), I thought I should get everybody caught up. Thanks to Mostly Harmless, HoundDog LPGA, and Waggle Room for some of the info in this post.

First off, I guess most of you have heard about Erica Blasberg's death by now. She was only 25 and, while she hadn't exactly set the Tour on fire yet, she was one of the more visible members over the last few years. (At the risk of sounding insensitive, that's something the Tour is going to miss.) No details on her death have been released yet because the investigation is still going on; to me, the most disturbing part of this is that the investigators still haven't ruled out "foul play." Hopefully the details will be out soon. In the meantime, my condolences go out to her family and friends -- which includes Shane Bacon, who posted this while I was writing this post.

In less depressing news, The Constructivist posted the latest Rolex world rankings among the ladies, which no longer contain Lorena Ochoa's name. The list now looks like this:
  1. Jiyai Shin (9.29)
  2. Ai Miyazato (9.17)
  3. Yani Tseng (8.82)
  4. Suzann Pettersen (8.41)
  5. Cristie Kerr (7.60)
  6. Anna Nordqvist (6.88)
  7. Karrie Webb (6.57)
  8. Michelle Wie (6.52)
  9. Na Yeon Choi (5.70)
  10. In-Kyung Kim (5.64)
  11. Angela Stanford (5.61)
  12. Paula Creamer (5.50)
  13. Song-Hee Kim (5.39)
  14. Sakura Yokomine (4.78)
  15. Inbee Park (4.69)
  16. Chie Arimura (4.40)
  17. Morgan Pressel (4.30)
  18. Catriona Matthew (4.17)
  19. Hee Kyung Seo (4.15)
  20. Shinobu Moromizato (3.76)
Let me add that Kristy McPherson is #24 on that list, with a 3.46 ranking. She's from South Carolina, just a few hours south of me.

The official rankings site is here.

Of particular note is the mere .12 points separating Shin and Miyazato. There's been some debate going on at the other blogs as to how important the JLPGA really is, what with Morgan Pressel winning their first major this past weekend and moving up 8 spots in the rankings. I'll just point out that 4 of the Top 20 players in the world rankings are from Japan... and one of those (Miyazato) is poised to take over the #1 spot. Korea holds 6 spots, the USA 5, and 1 each for Taiwan, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and Scotland.

Sounds pretty significant to me.

With the smaller LPGA schedule this year, several of the women are maintaining dual membership on the LET, JLPGA, and KLPGA Tours this year. With that much jetting around, I'm amazed the women are playing as well as they are.

And finally, we get another American LPGA tournament this week. The Bell Micro LPGA Classic, held in Alabama, gets underway Thursday (a 4-day event) and will be televised by TGC. The one weird thing about this tournament is that the Friday coverage is from noon till 2PM, not during prime time like the Thursday broadcast. Go figure. Anyway, Angela Stanford is the defending champion. The Top 11 from the world rankings are scheduled to play, as are Kim, Park, and Pressel, and McPherson. You can check out the full field listing here to see if your faves are playing.

Also scheduled to play is Mariajo Uribe, who didn't do so well at the Tres Marias but who I expect to make some noise on the Tour soon. For those of you who don't remember her, her full name is Maria José Uribe Durán, from Colombia (Camilo country!) and she beat Amanda Blumenthal in the 2007 U.S. Women's Amateur. As I understand it, she went to Mariajo because she had too many problems with the LPGA keeping her name straight. Keep your eye on her.

Trust me. I'm the guy who picked Tim Clark to win THE PLAYERS. I know about these things. ;-)

6 comments:

  1. First of all, huge Congrats on your Tim Clark pic Mike!! As far at the women's rankings are concerned, they show so clearly that the LPGA is truly a global tour ... and the depth of the Asian talent is a guarantee that it'll remain so going forward. Very impressive indeed. It is too bad that the LPGA TV coverage is so spotty. :o(

    Lastly, the tragic loss of Erica Blasberg. I'm still having trouble wrapping my mind around that and extend my deepest condolences to her friends and family. I hope it compels those close to all of the LPGA players to give them extra hugs and support.

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  2. I know what you mean about Erica. When I heard about her death, one of the things that stood out to me was that, despite how little TV time she got during the tournaments, I could recognize not only her face but her swing on sight. Surely that's an indication of something inside that many people don't have.

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  3. Watch out for Na Yeon Choi - what a beautiful swing...and if her coach and caddy can get her pumped up, she'll rack up some wins...

    ...but who the heck is Shinobu Moromizato ?

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  4. Choi is a good player -- she won twice on the LPGA last year, I think.

    I recognize Moromizato's name, but I couldn't tell you anything about her. I probably saw it on some of the JLPGA tournament stats. Such is the new worldwide nature of women's golf. It's just a matter of time till Ryo's friends hit the PGA as well, I guess, so we might as well get used to seeing more unusual names.

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  5. I just don't understand how anybody can be ranked in the top 20 and has never had any results on the LPGA Tour, unless they are an Ai Miyazato who just wins everything on the JLPGA Tour. The KLPGA is still a much deeper tour than the JLPGA, and the best Koreans play on the US LPGA Tour. It's amazing.

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  6. I know what you mean... but I've never understood the world rankings anyway.

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