So far I haven't been that surprised by the way the Rookie of the Year races on the LPGA and LET have played out in the early going this season. Given the relatively large number of players who can legitimately hope to win both races, deciding which tour to play on is going to become increasingly important for them as the season goes on. Here's where they stand right now.
The LPGA uses a points system. Here are the top 7 thus far:
1. Amanda Blumenherst 141.00 points (5 starts)
2. Azahara Munoz 112.00 (3)
3. Gwladys Nocera 52.00 (4)
4. Mariajo Uribe 43.00 (3)
5. Marianne Skarpnord 28.00 (4)
6. Misun Cho 26.00 (3)
7. Pernilla Lindberg 22.00 (3)
The LET just goes by winnings; here are the top 8 so far:
1. Pernilla Lindberg €18.90 (3 events)
2. Kristie Smith €14.94 (5)
3. Caroline Masson €13.13 (5)
4. Azahara Munoz €11.56 (3)
5. Mollie Fankhauser €11.35 (3)
6. Rebecca Flood €10.52 (5)
7. Alison Walshe €7.91 (5)
8. Diana D'Alessio €7.68 (3)
With Munoz and Lindberg splitting time between the LPGA and LET and Smith and Walshe between the LET and Futures Tour (where the former is #7 on their money list with 1 win in 3 starts and the latter is #42 in 4 starts), so far it's advantage Blumenherst on the LPGA and Masson and Fankhauser on the LET (despite the fact that Fankhauser has skipped several LET events and that Masson entered the final round on Sunday with a chance to win and barely ended up in the top 15 after shooting a 78). Of course, with the LET's purses so skewed towards the Evian Masters and Women's British Open, it's not too late for players like Maria Hernandez (who's made only 1 of 3 LPGA cuts thus far this season but hasn't teed it up in Europe yet) or Mariajo Uribe (who's made 2 of 3 LPGA cuts including a T16 last week, but hasn't said "yes" to Europe just yet) to jump into that race in a big way.
The fact that only Blumenherst and Munoz qualified for the Sybase Match Play Championship adds another wrinkle to the LPGA ROY race, as well. With so few events on the 2010 calendar, taking advantage of the ones you get into may end up making the difference in the LPGA race. Let's see who does so this week!
[Update 1 (3:34 pm): Blumenherst and Munoz made #2 and #9, respectively, in Golfweek's list of the 10 best women collegiate golfers of the last decade. #1? Lorena Ochoa!]
[Update 2 (7:54 pm): Potentially big setback for Lindberg--she only earned 1st alternate status at the U.S. Women's Open qualifier in Texas yesterday, while fellow rookie Maria Hernandez got in.]