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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Up, the Ladies

LPGA logoA war is raging on the LPGA, perhaps the best battle on any of the tours. After September's only sanctioned event last week, the only change was Yani Tseng (the winner) leapfrogging over Suzann Pettersen. This is the closest to #1 Yani has been all year, despite having won two majors. Note that we now have five players with more than ten points -- I think that's a record.

Here are the Top 10 in the Rolex Rankings, with names and average points. The numbers in parentheses represent movement up or down in position:
  1. Ai Miyazato, 11.17
  2. Cristie Kerr, 10.67
  3. Jiyai Shin, 10.56
  4. Yani Tseng, 10.46 (+1)
  5. Suzann Pettersen, 10.39 (-1)
  6. Na Yeon Choi, 9.14
  7. Michelle Wie, 8.70
  8. In Kyung Kim, 7.58
  9. Song-Hee Kim, 7.42
  10. Paula Creamer, 7.30
With no LPGA events until October -- at which point we'll see six weeks straight -- players will have to jockey for position by playing JLPGA or LET events, none of which are televised here in the States. I expect Miyazato and Shin will play some for sure, as both are fairly low on the JLPGA money lists and possibly in danger of losing their tour cards there.

The Rolex Player of the Year is specific to the LPGA -- finishes on other tours don't count -- and that list looks slightly different:
  1. Yani Tseng, 176.00
  2. Ai Miyazato, 174.00
  3. Cristie Kerr, 148.00
  4. Jiyai Shin, 128.00
  5. Na Yeon Choi, 125.00
  6. Suzann Pettersen, 115.00
  7. Song-Hee Kim, 93.00
  8. In-Kyung Kim, 83.00
  9. Paula Creamer, 64.00
  10. Michelle Wie, 62.00
POY is important because it gives a player points toward entry into the World Golf Hall of Fame. You can see that, since Tseng has 3 victories (2 of those majors) and Miyazato has 5 victories (no majors), a major is worth 2 regular wins in this race. Kerr has 2 victories (1 major), while Shin and Choi have 1 victory each (no majors). Pettersen is the most interesting, as she has no wins but 5 seconds!

Both of these races are extremely volatile and we should see some interesting competition right down to the wire. The only race with no real excitement is for the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, which Azahara Munoz from Spain has pretty much locked up. She has well over double the points of second-place Amanda Blumenherst.

That should get you up-to-date on the ladies' scene. We won't get to see any real golf from them until October, but it will be worth the wait!

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