A big congratulations goes out this week to Hee Young Park. She becomes the sixth first-time winner on the LPGA this year. The others were Stacy Lewis, So-Yeon Ryu, Lexi Thompson, Sandra Gal, and Momoko Ueda.
Lots will be written this week about Park, and deservingly so, but much was at stake for some of the other ladies for 2012.
Here is what they were fighting for:
A Top 50 money list finish, to qualify for the 2012 U.S. Open.
A Top 48 money list finish, for automatic qualification into the Sybase Match Play Championship.
A Top 80 finish on the money list to maintain full playing status in 2012. Finishing below number 80 means having the top 5 players from the Futures Tour play ahead of you on the Priority List next year. Players 81-100 will also have to alternate on the priority list with graduates from Qualifying School.
Here is some of what was gained and lost:
Ryann O'Toole - Back in Canada, she personally guaranteed me she would be in my home town for the Sybase tournament. With some extremely erratic play since then, she had me worried. Her #46 money list finish qualifies her for both The U.S. Open and the Sybase tournaments. Actually, her eighth-place finish in this year's U.S. Open already had her in that tournament next year.
Paige Mackenzie - Moved up to the #47 spot, to also qualify her in both tournaments.
Natalie Gulbis - She was the biggest loser here. She dropped from the #49 position to #51, knocking her out of both tournaments.
Pat Hurst - Held onto the last U.S. Open spot at #50. No automatic spot at Sybase.
Mina Harigae - Her T21 finish moved her from #52 to #49, getting her into The U.S. Open, but not Sybase.
Mi Hyun Kim - Her 17-over-par score killed any chance for her. She finishes #53.
It is also worth noting that longtime qualifiers in both tournaments, Christina Kim and Kristy McPherson both failed to finish in the top 50.
It is also worth noting that Grace Park ,who qualified for the Titleholders tournament and did not play, missed finishing in the top 80. She finished #81. With at least 5 Futures tour players, at least 1 Qualifying Graduate, and a few other priority list category 2 through 8 players falling in after #80, it is possible that decision could cost her a tournament or two.
Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Hee Young Park moves from #58 to #37 (CME Titleholders Winner)
Paula Creamer Moves from #7 to #5 (Passes Jiyai Shin and Sun Ju Ahn)
Ji-Hee Lee Moves from #21 to #18 (Winner of Daio JLPGA Tournament)
Special Achievement of the Week:
Paula Creamer's second-place finish this week moves her up to #8 on the Career Money List, passing Laura Davies.
My Final Top 20 Player of the Year rankings:
1- Yani Tseng - 357.48 points
2- Stacy Lewis - 203.86
3- Cristie Kerr - 178.56
4- Suzann Petterson - 177.56
5- Na Yeon Choi - 159.28
6- I.K. Kim - 151.92
7- Angela Stanford - 144.62
8- Paula Creamer - 141.46
9- Amy Yang - 136.40
10-Brittany Lincicome - 129.82
11-Mika Miyazato - 128.30
12-Morgan Pressel - 122.04
13-Karrie Webb - 116.24
14-Ai Miyazato - 104.10
15-Maria Hjorth - 103.66
16-Anna Nordqvist - 100.18
17-Jiyai Shin - 99.40
18-Brittany Lang - 94.46
19-Michelle Wie - 93.72
20-Catriona Matthew - 86.10
Highest-ranking player without a win - Cristie Kerr #3.
Lowest-ranking player with a win - Hee Young Park #26.
Highest-ranked rookie - Hee Kyung Seo - #31.
Rookie of the Year winner - Hee Kyung Seo at the Canadian Open.