Friday, January 16, 2009

Rethinking the LPGA's Rookie of the Year Race

Warming up the Mostly Harmless 100-yen Nishijin crystal ball for my top 30 predictions with another look at the Class of 2009, and taking into account the fact that Wie will be spending a good part of the spring in class, Nordqvist will be spending most of the season on the LET (taking the Amy Yang route to world domination), and that Oyama will likely be spending a good part of the season on the JLPGA), here are my revised predictions in the Rookie of the Year Race.

Simply the Best
Ji-Yai Shin
Stacy Lewis
Shiho Oyama
Michelle Wie
Vicky Hurst

The Contenders
[high priority status]
Mika Miyazato
Mindy Kim
M.J. Hur

Quantum Leap Candidates
[high priority status]
Chella Choi

On the Bottom Looking Up
[high priority status but...]
Jeehae Lee

On the Outside Looking In
[low priority status]
Song Yi Choi
Haeji Kang
Anna Nordqvist
Tania Elosegui
Pornanong Phatlum
Jessica Shepley
Nontaya Srisawang
Sunny Oh
Angela Oh
Samantha Richdale
Kim Welch

Two questions: does anyone have a chance to outdo Shin in '09? and how would you rank the rookies?

[Update 1 (1/20/09, 8:52 pm): Here are Hound Dog's thoughts on the Class of 2009.]


The Florida Masochist said...

Shin will be rookie of the year. Heck she might be player of the year too.

The Constructivist said...

Muuligan Stu just picked her for POY over at Hound Dog's place. You doing your top 30 this year? Mine's coming the 28th.

Sportate said...

Is it possible that the criterion for Rookie of the Year should be revised. Many of the people on your list have played several events on the LPGA before becoming members. Should the ROY be reserved for true rookies who are new to playing at this level? Does a veteran make a rookie?

The Constructivist said...

Interesting question! In favor of the status quo, you could argue that no matter how much professional experience someone coming to the LPGA for the first time full-time happens to have, she is "new to playing at this level." I don't see playing in a few LPGA tournaments on sponsor exemptions, through qualification (as in, say, for majors), or b/c they're co-sponsored with your ex-home tour (Evian, Mizuno, Korea events) as equivalent to being an LPGA rookie, do you?

What's your definition of a "true rookie"? What do you think revised criteria for LPGA ROY should look like? And why?