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Friday, October 29, 2010

Meanwhile, Back on the LPGA...

The LPGA has left Malaysia, but they're still over in Asia -- South Korea, to be exact -- which means the Golf Channel coverage today will actually be a tape-delayed summary of what's happening Thursday night. I've got the scoreboard up on my computer as I write this, looking to see what sort of interesting match-ups are shaping up in the various end-of-year battles. Only a few players have finished but it looks like everybody's at least halfway through their rounds.

Jimin Kang, who hadn't won on tour for a while until last week, jumped from 99 to 49 in the Rolex World Rankings with her win. She could move up some more this week as she's currently 3 off the lead of -5, held by Song-Hee Kim. Vicky Hurst (finished) and Amy Hung are at -4, and So Yeon Ru and Na Yeon Choi follow at -3.

Hurst, Kim, and Hung's names may sound familiar, Kim's in particular. Kim is #8 in the world (has been right around there most of the year), but she's a good 3.5 points behind current #1 Cristie Kerr so she's unlikely to make any major ripples this year. She's had a lot of Top 10s this year -- 2 Top 3s in majors --  but she hasn't been able to break through and win. Unless you're Suzann Petterson, you've got to win if you hope to crack the Top 5.

A player who made a move last week -- and I missed it -- was Paula Creamer, who squeaked back into the Top 10. A good finish this week could jump her as high as #7 (where Michelle Wie currently is, 1 point ahead of her). Creamer's currently even for the round.

I mentioned Choi at -3. I don't think she can take #1 with a win, but it would put her really close. Cristie Kerr is leading a pack of players at -2 who are trying to get that #1 position. The group at -2 is big (8 players as I write this) and I suspect it will get bigger by the end of the first round. Ai Miyazato and Yani Tseng skipped this week, while Kerr and Petterson are in that logjam with Shin a single stroke behind... and all have about the same amount of holes left to play.

And Juli Inkster is playing well again this week -- she's also in the logjam at -2.

This could end up being a good tournament. I'm pulling for Juli to win it this week and make history as the oldest winner on the LPGA. The tape-delay broadcast is on TGC at noon today, and you can check the scores here at the LPGA leaderboard.

Before that, I'll see if Kaymer can get into the mix on the European Tour and sneak past Westwood for #1. The only German ever to hold that title was Bernhard Langer... for a full 3 weeks. We could see some history on both tours this week, folks!


  1. The world ranking system may be annoying and off kilter, but one thing these things do well is show how special winning is. Jimin Kang jumping 50 spots in the rankings isn't going to get her added to the "who's #1" conversation - but she vaulted a lot of players who haven't managed to get over that hump in their career.

  2. Yeah, I think too many times people argue about the wrong things when we talk golf rankings. People want to argue talent levels -- Tiger is certainly the world number one there, and I think Phil is clearly second -- but rankings measure performance over a given period of time. The OWGR does a pretty good job measuring consistency, plus giving a bonus for winning.