Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Who Will Be the LPGA's Rookie of the Year in 2012?

Back in early December, I put together a projected career ranking of the LPGA's Class of 2012, based on my sense of their medium- and long-term prospects and potential on tour.  But who will fare the best in their actual rookie year?  Here's my best guess!  (Note: the number in parentheses following each of the players' names represents their position on the 2012 LPGA Priority Status List.)

Simply the Best

So Yeon Ryu (84)
Lexi Thompson (85)

The Contenders

Junthima Gulyanamitta (91)
Sydnee Michaels (89)

Quantum Leap Candidates

Sandra Changkija (103)
Hannah Yun (125)
Cydney Clanton (113)
Jane Rah (90)
Kathleen Ekey (86)
Victoria Tanco (119)
Stephanie Kono (117)
Maude-Aimee Leblanc (105)
Rebecca Lee-Bentham (107)
Lizette Salas (129)
Carlota Ciganda (257)
Danielle Kang (262)
Mitsuki Katahira (255)

On the Bottom, Looking Up

Karlin Beck (99)
Mo Martin (88)
Elisa Serramia (127)
Tzu-Chi Lin (161)
Patcharajutar Kongkraphan (157)
Jacqui Concolino (155)
Veronica Felibert (150)
Min Seo Kwak (153)
Mi Hyang Lee (156)
Hanna Kang (159)
Valentine Derrey (158)
Lacey Agnew (151)
Thidapa Suwannapura (256)
Juliana Murcia Ortiz (260)
Kirby Dreher (259)
Katy Harris (261)


Having put the top 9 of this class in my projected top 80 for 2012, I'm curious to see how well the LPGA's newbies fare this year.  My theory as to why so many players in the classes of 2010 and 2011 have struggled to make an immediate impact on tour is that the classes of 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 have been probably the deepest in LPGA history.  With relatively few players from the generations before the Tseng Dynasty left on tour, you'd think there'd plenty of room for the newbies to excel, but actually almost every single one of the survivors from the classes of 2005 and earlier are either among the LPGA's best or really tough to knock out of the top 50.  Even the competition to be in the 2nd 50 in 2012 is going to be super-fierce.  Can't wait to see how everyone does!

1 comment:

DaveAndrews said...

Hard to argue with your selections. I'd love to see a few rookies capture some trophies this season. The talent seems to be getting younger and younger each year.