Monday, September 24, 2012

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Year 2012 "Vol 2"

Before I get to today's subject, let me give a big congratulations to Stacy Lewis for winning the Navistar Classic. It breaks a dry spell for American players and gets them back into the winner's circle. It was only the sixth victory for an American player this year, but that number does tie South Korea for first place.

With Stacy receiving 30 Player of the Year points for the victory, she now has a huge 56-point lead. With only 6 tournaments to go, she will be next to impossible to catch. With her ability to finish in the top 10 every week--she leads the tour with 14--she just has to play what is average golf for her, to be the first American Player of the Year winner since 1994.

It has been 4 months since I last looked at the biggest winners and losers in the Rolex Rankings for the 2012 season. A lot has changed since then.

Rolex ranks the ladies based on average points per tournament, on a rolling 2-year calender. For example, Yani Tseng, the #1 player in the world, has accumulated 639.58 points playing in 48 tournaments over that period, for an average of 13.32 points per tournament. I have gone back to the first published rankings of the year and compared them to the rankings released today. The only requirement for my list is that a player must have been in the top 100 at the start of the year, or be in the top 100 now.

The Year's Biggest Winners:

1- Inbee Park - 4.57 to 7.17 = Gain of 2.60 (moved from #23 to #7)
2- Shanshan Feng - 5.61 to 7.94 = Gain of 2.33 (move 13-4)
3- Lydia Ko - 0.36 to 2.69 = Gain of 2.33 (move 295-42)
4- Stacy Lewis - 6.59 to 8.77 = Gain of 2.18 (move 10-2)
5- So Yeon Ryu - 4.15 to 6.10 = Gain of 1.95 (move 27-12)
6- Mika Miyazato - 4.37 to 6.31 = Gain of 1.94 (move 24-10)
7- Azahara Munoz - 3.29 to 5.12 = Gain of 1.83 (move 40-17)
8- Sun Young Yoo - 3.06 to 4.80 = Gain of 1.74 (move 44-21)
9- Jenny Shin - 1.07 to 2.74 = Gain of 1.67 (move 147-40)
10- Hyo-Joo Kim - 0.38 to 1.95 = Gain of 1.57 (move 289-62)
11- Jessica Korda - 0.31 to 1.73 = Gain of 1.42 (move 314-74)
12- Karen Sjodin - 0.48 to 1.78 = Gain of 1.30 (move 258-73)
13- Haeji Kang - 0.95 to 2.22 = Gain of 1.28 (move 162-53)
14- Lexi Thompson - 3.38 to 4.61 = Gain of 1.23 (move 39-22)
15- Chella Choi - 2.07 to 3.14 = Gain of 1.07 (move 70-35)
16- Karine Icher - 1.71 to 2.74 = Gain of 1.03 (move 85-39)

The Year's Biggest Losers:

1- Yani Tseng - 17.46 - 13.32 = Loss of 4.14 (move 1-1)
2- Cristie Kerr - 9.74 to 5.80 = Loss of 3.94 (move 4-14)
3- Suzann Pettersen - 10.12 to 6.69 = Loss of 3.43 (move 2-8)
4- Michelle Wie - 5.08 to 2.32 = Loss of 2.76 (move 17-49)
5- Song-Hee Kim - 4.00 to 1.32 = Loss of 2.68 (move 30-104)
6- Maria Hjorth - 4.65 to 2.52 = Loss of 2.13 (move 22-45)
7-Morgan Pressel - 5.34 to 3.26 = Loss of 2.08 (move 16-32)
8- Paula Creamer - 7.97 to 5.99 = Loss of 1.98 (move 5-13)
9- Yukari Baba - 4.29 to 2.42 = Loss of 1.87 (move 26-48)
10- Sun Ju Ahn - 7.83 to 6.14 = Loss of 1.69 (move 6-10)
11- Brittany Lincicome - 6.57 to 4.95 = Loss of 1.62 (move 11-19)
12- Shiho Oyama - 3.61 to 2.08 = Loss of 1.53 (move 34-58)
13- Sakura Yokomine - 4.83 to 3.25 = Loss of 1.48 (move 20-33)
14- Yuri Fudoh - 4.34 to 2.89 = Loss of 1.45 (move 25-38)
15- I.K. Kim - 6.76 to 5.33 = Loss of 1.43 (move 8 to 15)

Yani Tseng on top of this chart is probably a surprise to most people. The fact remains that she has not had a top ten in stroke play since the Lotte Championship in April. The LPGA has played 14 tournaments since then, and over that period Yani is ranked the 74th-best player. Let 's take a closer look:

First Rolex Ranking of the Year:
1- Yani Tseng - 17.46
2- Suzann Pettersen - 10.12
Yani's Lead = 7.34 points

April 2, 2012 Rolex Rankings:
1- Yani Tseng - 18.64
2- Na Yeon Choi - 9.17
Yani's Lead = 9.47 points 

Current Rolex Rankings:
1- Yani Tseng - 13.32
2- Stacy Lewis - 8.77
Yani's Lead = 4.55 points

As you can see, Yani's lead is shrinking faster than we ever thought possible. In fact she has lost about 55% of her lead since April. I don't think she is intimidating anyone anymore. I look for either Stacy, Shanshan, or Inbee to challenge her number one ranking in 2013.

Other Tidbits:

Rolex Movers of the week:
Stacy Lewis moves from #3 to #2. Lexi Thompson moves from #25 to #22.

Titleholders Update:
M.J. Hur, Sarah Jane Smith, and Pernilla Lindberg are the latest to qualify. Sophie Gustafson remains the highest-ranked player on the LPGA Priority List yet to qualify.



5 comments:

web design Bangalore said...
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Anonymous said...

First, another excellent piece. Thank you for your thoughtful coverage.

Second, I would give Jiyai Shin a better chance of catching Yani Tseng than Shanshan Feng or Inbee Park. Jiyai has the consistency to put together several top-ten performances (good for steady gain in average) as well as the ability to be a multiple event winner in any given year (good for quick jumps in the rankings). Next year, Jiyai will also have a number of relatively poor performances fall off the books. If she stays healthy the whole year she can certainly catch Yani.

Stacy Lewis has the best chance to overtake Yani but after her, I would take Jiyai Shin over the other ladies you listed.

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Tony Jesselli (Tonyj5) said...

That is a great point. Both Jiyai and Stacy will not have much taken off next year as their 2011 seasons were not that great. Yani will be losing her best year ever.

Wade astralia said...
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