Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Rolex Rankings Movers - Part 1 / LPGA Priority List Reshuffle Recap

Now that we have completed about 1/3 of the LPGA season, I would like to look at the players that have made the biggest leaps, and taken the biggest falls in the Rolex Rankings this year.

The Rolex Rankings system awards points to players based on an accumulated 104-week "rolling" period, with the points awarded in the most recent 13-week period carrying a stronger value. 
A player is then ranked according to her average points per tournament, as determined by dividing her total number of points by the number of eligible tournaments played during the 104-week period. A minimum divisor (35) is also used. 

I have gone back to the first Rolex Rankings of the year and compared them to the current rankings. The only requirements for my list is: (1) A player must have been ranked in the top 100 at the start of the year, or be in the top 100 now. (2) A player must have started the year 2015 with a minimum rating of 0.50 (or else this chart would be filled with unknown names.)
Non LPGA member Brooke Henderson has been one of the biggest movers in the Rolex Rankings this year.

The Year's Biggest Gainers
1- Sei Young Kim - 2.46 to 4.43 = Gain of 1.97 (moved from # 39 to #15)
2- Brittany Lincicome - 3.63 to 5.45 = Gain of 1.82 (move 18-6)
3- Amy Yang - 3.32 to 4.79 = Gain of 1.47 (move 23-12)
4- Ariya Jutanugarn 1.05 to 2.32 = Gain of 1.26 (move 108-41)
5- Morgan Pressel 2.16  to 3.13 = Gain of 0.97 (move 52-23)
6- *Brooke Henderson 0.51 to 1.36 = Gain of 0.85 (move 223-80)

The Year's Biggest Decliners
1- Suzann Pettersen  - 6.85 to 5.14 = Loss of 1.71 (moved from #4 to #9)
2- Michelle Wie - 6.30 to 5.03 = Loss of 1.27  (move 6 to 10)
3- Q-Baek - 4.90 to 3.66 = Loss of 1.24 (move 11 to 19)
4- Karrie Webb - 5.56 to 4.46 = Loss of 1.10 (move 9 to 14)
5- Paula Creamer - 3.47 to 2.58 = Loss of 0.97 (move 20 to 32)
6- *Sun Ju Ahn - 3.97 to 3.22 = Loss of 0.75 (move 15 to 22)

* Non LPGA Member


Priority List Reshuffle:

The LPGA had its first reshuffle of its Priority List this past week. While most of the players moved up or down a few insignificant spots, there were some very significant moves also.

The Priority List is what is used to fill the required amount of spots for any given tournament. Without me getting into the categories, which is potentially confusing, here is a brief explanation. Most full field events have a field of 144 players. Usually 140 of the players come from the Priority List ranking. Two players are Monday qualifiers, and 2 more are sponsor exemptions. So to keep it simple, if your Priority Rating is #150, you have to hope that 10 players decide not to play, or you are probably not getting into the field.


We will be seeing lots more of Charley Hull now that the LPGA has completed its first priority list reshuffle

The following players made the biggest jumps in this week's reshuffle:
Sei Young Kim - 131 to 85
Ha Na Jang - 134 to 89
Ariya Jutanugarn - 127 to 90
Minjee Lee - 126 to 94
Alison Lee - 125 to 91
Maria Hernandez - 128 to 103
Mika Miyazato - 115 to 93

Although the jumps made by the above players look good on paper, it is not that significant as they were playing all full field events anyway.

The following players made the most important gains, and should now be playing in most full field events:
Charley Hull - 178 to 104
Sakura Yokomine - 140 to 96
Maria McBride - 147 to 98
Stephanie Meadow - 173 to147

The following players are not guaranteed to play all full field events, but have a much better chance than before the reshuffle:
Felicity Johnson - 159 to 149
Jane Rah - 167 to 150
Pat Hurst - 169 to 151
Julie Yang - 172 to 152
Jing Yan - 183 to 154
Jenny Suh - 162 to 156

The following players got hurt the most and will be seeing less playing time, or no playing time at all:
Becky Morgan - 150 to 158
Lisa McCloskey - 151 to 159
Alejandra Llaneza - 152 to 162
**Victoria Elizabeth - 130 to 165
Chie Arimura - 153 to 166
**Jenny Gleason - 97 to 185
**Jacklyn Sweeney - 96 to ??? (No longer listed)

** Lost medical exemption

Other Tidbits:
As many of you may know, if a non LPGA member finishes the year with earnings that would have ranked in the top 40, they earn their playing card and do not have to go to Q-School (providing they are of age). Brooke Henderson, although playing in only 3 events this year, has earned $161,557 which would rank her 29th. She has used just 1 of her 6 allowed sponsor exemptions. 

Rolex Movers of the Week:
Cristie Kerr Jumps from #12 to #7, while Brooke Henderson leaps from #91 to #80. 

Race to the CME Globe:
Lydia Ko still leads with 2,035 points. She is followed by Inbee Park with 1,811 and Sei Young Kim with 1,579.

Hard to believe stat of the week:
Lydia Ko has failed to finish in the top 40 in 2 of her last 3 starts.


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