Gerina Piller didn’t claim her first LPGA title Sunday at the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, but she took another step toward making the U.S. Olympic team.
Though Piller couldn’t close a two-shot lead going into the final round, her tie for second came with a batch of Rolex Women’s World Ranking points, moving her up three spots, to No. 17. The top two Americans in the world rankings as of July 11 are guaranteed to make the Olympics, as is any player among the top 15 in the world rankings, provided that player is also among the top four from her country.
Piller moved ahead of Brittany Lincicome in the rankings last week and is the fourth highest-ranked American in the world behind No. 3 Lexi Thompson, No. 4 Stacy Lewis and No. 16 Cristie Kerr.
Jenny Shin came from four shots down to beat Piller at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas. It was Shin’s first LPGA title and Piller’s fifth top-10 finish in her last six starts. Shin closed with a 4-under-par 67, Piller with a 73.
“I've never been in the lead before going into Sunday, so took nothing but good things from today, and I still believe in myself and just looking forward to next week,” Piller said after the final round.
Piller will tee it up again this week at the Yokohama Tire Classic in Prattville, Ala.
The top 60 in the Olympic Women’s Rankings on July 11 will qualify for the games in Rio de Janeiro in August. The Olympic Women’s Rankings are based on the Rolex rankings. If a player isn’t among the top two from her country in the Rolex rankings, she won’t appear on the Olympic Women’s Rankings, unless she’s among the top 15 in the Rolex rankings and also among the top four from her country.