RICHMOND, Texas – Jiyai Shin appears determined to sweep the major LPGA awards this season.
Shin opened with birdies at three of her first four holes Thursday morning at the LPGA Tour Championship at The Houstonian Golf & Country Club.
Shin is bidding to win Rolex Player of the Year, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the money title and Rolex Rookie of the Year. She’s already locked up the Rookie of the Year award and the money title but is engaged in a tight race for POY and the Vare Trophy.
Shin is eight points ahead of Lorena Ochoa in the POY race and 29 ahead of Cristie Kerr. The winner gets 30 points this week, second place 12 points, third place nine with points going down to a single point for 10th place.
Ochoa leads the tour in scoring average with a 70.22 average with Shin second at 70.267 and Kerr third at 70.274.
If Shin wins Player of the Year, she will join Nancy Lopez as the only players to win that award and Rookie of the Year in the same season. Lopez did it in 1978.
This marks the first time since Beth Daniel won in 1994 that the Player of the Year points race has come down to the final event.