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The Rolex-ranking tango continues on LPGA

August 02, 2010

No, there's not a new No. 1 player in the Rolex Women's World Golf Ranking as a result of the Ricoh Women's British Open, but there is a new No 2.

Jiyai Shin, who won the Evian Masters the week before the WBO, held on to the top spot by the narrowest of margins (one hundredth of a point) over Cristie Kerr, who's back in second place after being dropped to third right after the Evian and losing pole position to Ai Miyazato the week before, despite neither player hitting a shot that week. Confusing? Damn right it is.

What about Yani Tseng, who managed to score her second major triumph of the year over in England, shouldn't she be in the top-3 mix at this point? Under normal circumstances, absolutely. But since it's such a tight race and no fewer than five players are in the hunt for the top spot every week, the double points scored by Tseng for her British win weren't enough to take over the throne as most of her four rivals finished high in the same event. (Shin ended up tied for 14th -- as did Suzanne Pettersen, who's currently ranked 4th in the world -- while Kerr tied for 5th and Miyazato tied for 9th. Na Yeon Choi, 6th in the rankings, finished T-3). In fact, Tseng didn't climb a single step from her fifth-place ranking, despite her win.

These six ladies are now so close together that a mere stroke here and there can mean the difference between leading the race and being three or four back week in and week out:


Case in point (no pun intended): had Kerr finished alone in 5th at Royal Birkdale, rather than tied with Amy Yang and Hee Kyung Seo, she'd have reclaimed the top spot this week.

Whoever does the math on these rankings for the LPGA is certainly earning his keep right now.

--Stina Sternberg