So far in 2012 we've had 3 1st-timers win LPGA majors: Sun Young Yoo, Shanshan Feng, and Na Yeon Choi. Can someone still left on my list of the best on the LPGA without a major join them by winning the Ricoh Women's British Open? Looking at the patterns, I'd say it's either going to be one of the players below who's been knocking on the door for some time now or a young phenom like Lydia Ko. Unfortunately, I don't have time to back up my ranking of who's most likely to win this week with a lot of stats like I did, for instance, in my U.S. Women's Open predictions, in which I cleverly put Choi 7th. So, yes, what follows is not even an imperfect science--it's more like an educated guess.
Oh, and the numbers in parentheses
following the players' names are for LPGA wins and international wins
(but only from the other major tours: JLPGA, KLPGA, LET).
Most Likely to Break through at Royal Liverpool
1. Ai Miyazato (9/17)
2. Mika Miyazato (1/1)
3. Amy Yang (0/4)
4. Brittany Lang (1/0)
5. Azahara Munoz (1/1)
6. Hee Kyung Seo (1/11)
7. In-Kyung Kim (3/1):
8. Angela Stanford (5/0)
9. Sandra Gal (1/0)
10. Lexi Thompson (1/1)
Quantum Leap Candidates
11. Chella Choi (0/0)
12. Karine Icher (0/5)
13. Haeji Kang (0/0)
14. Momoko Ueda (2/9)
15. Hee Young Park (1/4)
Like I said, no time to justify the order of the above list or who's not on it, but here are some other players I've been keeping an eye on lately.
Most wins/longest careers without a major: Mi Hyun Kim (8), Hee-Won Han (6), Sophie Gustafson (5), Maria Hjorth (5), Lorie Kane (4), Wendy Ward (4)
Slumping stars: Michelle Wie, Morgan Pressel, Sun Young Yoo, Cristie Kerr (if 2 bad starts in a row counts!)
Carlota Ciganda, Danielle Kang, Caroline Hedwall, Dewi Claire Schreefel, Beatriz Recari, Ilhee Lee, Belen Mozo, Jessica Korda, Gerina Piller, Lizette Salas, Jenny Shin, Mo Martin, Mina Harigae, Pornanong
Phatlum, Pernilla Lindberg
Possible non-LPGA winners:
Lydia Ko, Melissa Reid, Carly Booth
OK, time to check the leaderboard. Don't forget ESPN coverage starts at 9 (it's on ESPN2 on DirectTV)!