Monday, September 2, 2013

Rating the Rookies 2013 - "Part 2"

Three months have passed since I last did a report card on this year's rookies.

I would like to change this up a bit this time, by strictly rating these girls on their chances of retaining LPGA cards for the 2013 season. Any successes or failures on other tours are not considered here. My only concern here is, are they safe for the upcoming season, or will they have to go back to qualifying school?

For those of you who might need some information on how the LPGA "Priority List" works, here is a brief explanation:

If you finish in the top 80 on the 2013 money list, that will be your priority rating for 2014. In other words, if a player finishes #45 on the money list this year, she will be #45 on the priority list next year. That also means she will be eligible for all tournaments, since even limited fields have more than 45 players.It starts to get  real tricky after that as the top 10 players on the Symetra tour money list earn playing cards and are given the next ten spots on the Priority List. Players who finish 81-100 on the LPGA money list are then added, followed by the top 20 finishes from qualifying school. All of these players should still get into most tournaments in 2014.

If you finish 101-125 on the 2013 money list you are then added to the priority list. Unfortunately, although you get to keep your playing card, you will get into very few tournaments. In fact many of these players will choose to go back to qualifying school to try to improve their priority rating, or even choose to play on another tour.

The above is a general explanation, as trying to list all the categories on the priority list is too time-consuming and potentially confusing. The official LPGA website explains it in more detail.

Very Secure:
1- Caroline Masson - Caroline is now the leader in the 2013 Rolex Rookie of the Year race. Her #41 position on this year's money list guarantees her full time status next year. She is currently red hot, with a 7th and 5th place finish in her last 2 starts. Her first LPGA victory can't be too far away.

2- Chie Arimura - Chie has had an up and down season making 9 cuts in the 16 events she has played in. When she's good she is real good as her 3 top tens will attest. She is only ranked 135th in driving distance, which is a concern. That could be the reason she has missed the cut in 3 majors this year. Still, she is 47th on the money list and she should be playing on the LPGA for years to come.

3- Moriya Jutanugarn - Moriya got off to a blazing start this year and looked like the runaway winner of the Rookie of the Year Award. She has not been the same player in the second half of the season. She has failed to finish in the top 50 in her last 4 tournaments. The big start has her at #44 on the money list, and her spot as an everyday player next year is very secure.

4- Ayaka Uehara - Currently #3 in the Rookie of the Year race, Ayaka would probably be higher if she decided to play more tournaments on the LPGA tour. She has made the cut in 10 of the 12 tournaments she has played in, and is #54 on the money list. Her best finish this year was a T9 at the Shoprite Classic. A steady player, look for her to be a mainstay on the LPGA for several years.

Looking Very Good:
1- Austin Ernst - Austin is having a good rookie season, making the cut in 10 of the 18 tournaments she has entered. She is currently #68 on the money list, and it appears she has earned full time status for 2014.

2- Lisa McCloskey - Lisa has been somewhat of a surprise this year, making 9 of 16 cuts. Her best finish was a T19 at the Mobile classic, and her 89th position on the money list pretty much assures her of a playing card next year.

On the Borderline:
1- Brooke Pancake: Labeled as a "can't miss" coming into this season, Brooke has struggled most of the year. She has made just 5 of 15 possible cuts, and her #93 position on the money list means she still has some work to do to secure a top 100 spot.

2- Katie Burnett - Because of a poor priority rating, Katie did not get a start until the 8th tournament of the season, where she tied for 12th at the Kingsmill Championship. Fortunately for her, that was the week before the first reshuffle of the priority list, and gave her a chance to play regularly. She has taken advantage of that by making 6 cuts in the 10 tournaments she has played. Despite the limited number of tournaments, she has moved up to #97 on the money list and has a chance to secure full playing privileges for next year.

Not Looking Good:
1- Felicity Johnson - Felicity, in my opinion, is the most disappointing rookie on this list. With 2 victories and 10 top tens on the LET tour, she was supposed to be a contender for rookie of the year. So far this year she has made only 5 of 17 cuts, and has failed to finish higher than 35th. Currently #114 on the money list, Felicity will have limited opportunities to secure a card that will get her into many tournaments next year. My guess is that she will be playing on the LET again next year.

2- Julia Boland - Julie has made just 4 of 15 cuts this year, which has her ranked #121 on the money list. Must do something spectacular very quickly or she may be heading back to Q-School.

3- Daniela Iacobelli - Daniela has struggled all season long, making just 2 of 15 cuts this year and missing her last nine. Her #130 money list ranking will probably have her back in Q-school later this year.

4- Sara-Maude Juneau - Making just 4 of 15 cuts, with a season's best T54, Sara finds herself  #131 on the money list. She has little hope of retaining her playing card.

5- Lauren Doughtie - Laura has not been competitive all year, missing 12 of 15 cuts. She is currently #133 on the money list and is looking at a return to Q-School this fall.

6- Paz Echeverria - Has not taken advantage of her limited opportunities in 2013, missing the cut in all but 2 of her 9 events this year. Time is of the essence, as she must improve her #134 money list ranking immediately.

Looking Dismal:
The following rookies have little or no chance of retaining their playing cards for next year. Qualifying School is definitely in their future. (In alphabetical order)

1- Marina Alex - Missed all 3 cuts.
2- Frances Bondad - Missed all 6 cuts
3- Esther Choe - Symetra Tour player of the year has missed all 11 cuts.
4- Perrine Delacour - Missed cut in her only event.
5- Brianna Do - Brianna didn't, missing the cut in her only tournament.
6- Victoria Elizabeth - Has missed 11 of 12 cuts and is #154 on money list.
7- Breanna Elliot - Missed 5 of 7 cuts and is #141 on money list.
8- Marita Engzelius - Missed all 4 cuts this year.
9- Jordan Hardy - Missed the cut in her only tournament this year.
10- Kelly Jacques - Missed 4 of 5 cuts and is #156 on the money list.
11- Taylore Karl - Made only 1 cut in 14 appearances and is #155 on money list.
12- Sue Kim - Made 2 of 7 cuts this year and ranks #140 on money list.
13- Jiayun Li - Missed cut in her only tournament.
14- Inhong Lim - Made one cut in 2 appearances, a T58. Ranks #156 on money list.
15- Alezandra Llaneza - She missed the cut in both appearances this year.
16- Haley Milsap - Played 3 times, missed 3 cuts.
17-Kayla Mortellaro - Made 3 of 11 cuts and ranks #143 on money list.
18- Stephanie Na - Na, it didn't happen for her. She missed the cut in both her appearances.
19- Garrett Phillips - Missed the cut in her only chance this year.
20- Nicole Smith - Made just 2 of 11 cuts and sits at #150 on money list.
21- Marina Stuetz - Judy Rankin's pick for ROY, missed all 11 cuts.

Other Tidbits:

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Lizette Salas moves from #18 to #15, while Caroline Masson leaps from #51 to #45.

Titleholders Update:
Sandra Gal, Dewi Claire Schreefel, and Sandra Changkija are the latest to qualify. Azahara Munoz remains the highest ranked player yet to qualify.


  1. Hi, Tony. Always good to read what you have to say. I have your blog bookmarked, and it's always an interesting read.

    I apologize for this, but a few small repairs: A few names were misspelled. It's Julia Boland, Lauren Doughtie, Frances Bondad, and Breanna Elliott. I apologize again for nitpicking, but I'm a stickler for accuracy.

    One other less contentious note: Marina Alex and Sue Kim are #5 and #3 respectively on the Symetra Tour money list right now, with two events left in their season. Barring a major move by someone-which could happen, Daniela Iacobelli moved from 23rd to 5th on the Symetra Tour money list by winning the final event last year-Alex and Kim will avoid Stage III LPGA Tour qualifying and play full-time on the LPGA Tour next season.

    1. Thanks Edward. It is always good to hear that someone bookmarks my blog. I have corrected the spelling of the names, and appreciate you pointing them out.

      Your point about Alex and Kim having a chance to retain their playing cards because of their current Symetra standing is well taken. I didn't want to get ahead of myself with Symetra standings until that tours season was over. I will be sure to include that aspect in my final rookie ratings at the end of the LPGA season.

  2. What is the last tournament to earn money ranking dollars for 2013?
    Also, what are the reasons for the upcoming Asia events to be limited fields?
    Is it top 60 that gets in?

  3. The last tournament to earn money is the Titleholders Championship.

    As far as the field size of the Asian events, they all vary in size.

  4. The last tournament to earn money is the Titleholders Championship.

    As far as the field size of the Asian events, they all vary in size.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Tony, I love reading your blog, had been reading yours for a very long time (maybe since 3 - 4 years ago). please continue writing, cheers.

    a fan from Thailand.