LPGA Player of the Year race heating up


Lorena Ochoa’s victory Sunday at the Navistar LPGA Classic moves her into position to win her fourth consecutive Rolex Player of the Year award.

Notably, it sets up a potential duel between the two winningest players this season, though the POY race is wide open with four events remaining.

Jiyai Shin and Ochoa rank Nos. 1-2 on the Rolex Player of the Year points list. They’ve each won three times this season, more than any other player. They’ll each also get a “home game” in the final stretch of the season. Shin will enjoy favored status when the tour resumes play after three weeks off at the Hana Bank-Kolon Championship in her native South Korea. Shin will also be the defending champ when the Mizuno Classic is played the following week in Japan. Ochoa will be the crowd favorite when the Lorena Ochoa Invitational is played in Guadalajara, Mexico, Nov. 12-15. The final LPGA event of the season is the LPGA Tour Championship Nov. 19-22 in Houston.

With the 30 points Ochoa collected Sunday, she jumped to second on the points list in a tight race. Shin leads with 136 points with Ochoa moving up to 131. Cristie Kerr is third with 118, Ai Miyazato fourth with 111 and Suzann Pettersen fifth with 110.