Rolex Womens World Golf Rankings Unveiled

By Associated PressFebruary 21, 2006, 5:00 pm
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- No one doubted Annika Sorenstam was the No. 1 player in women's golf.
 
Now it's official.
 
The Women's World Golf Ranking finally made its debut Tuesday morning with Sorenstam far atop the list based on her 21 victories worldwide and three major championships over the last two years. Such is her dominance that Sorenstam's lead was nearly double that of Paula Creamer at No. 2.
 
The only surprise was Michelle Wie.
 
The 16-year-old from Hawaii, who turned pro in October, checked in at No. 3 and could move ahead of Creamer depending on what happens in the Fields Open in Hawaii this week on the LPGA Tour.
 
The women's ranking, sponsored by Rolex, will be published every Tuesday and used as criteria for getting into tournaments such as the LPGA Championship, the Women's British Open and the HSBC Women's World Match Play.
 
'The Rolex Rankings make nationality, tour membership and amateur or professional status virtually invisible, providing a definitive answer to the question, 'Who are the best women golfers in the world?'' LPGA Tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens said.
 
The system is similar to the men's ranking. It measures performance over two years, with emphasis placed on the most recent 13-week period. Points are assigned based on the strength of field, then divided by the number of tournaments played.
 
But there are two major differences.
 
Professionals and amateurs can appear in the women's world ranking because anyone can earn points by competing in official events on the LPGA, European, Japan, Korean and Australian women's tours, along with the developmental Futures Tour in the United States.
 
And while the men have a minimum divisor of 40 tournaments over two years, the women's divisor is only 15.
 
That explains why Wie, who plays sparingly while attending high school in Honolulu, started out ranked so high.
 
She has played 15 events on the LPGA since 2004 with six top-10 finishes -- three in majors. She was fourth in the Kraft Nabisco Championship in '04, and last year was second at the LPGA Championship and tied for third in the Women's British Open.
 
Creamer, meanwhile, won four times worldwide as an LPGA Tour rookie last year. But she has played 35 times in the last two years as a pro and an amateur, so her point average comes out to 9.65. Wie was at 9.24.
 
Sorenstam has no such worries. The dominant force in women's golf over the last five years, she won 10 times on the LPGA Tour last year, including the first two majors. Her average was 18.47.
 
Yuri Fudoh of Japan had 7.37 points and was at No. 4, followed by Cristie Kerr at 6.94. Rounding out the top 10 were Ai Miyazato, Lorena Ochoa, Women's British Open champion Jeong Jang, Hee-Won Han and Juli Inkster.
 
There were seven Americans among the top 20, while Japan had five players there.
 
The idea of a women's ranking started two years ago during the World Congress of Women's Golf in New York. It is sanctioned by the five major tours around the world (plus the Ladies Golf Union, which runs the Women's British Open), and will be maintained by R2IT, an independent software development company.
 
Related links:
  • Current Women's World Rankings
  • Getty Images

    Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88

    By Associated PressJune 20, 2018, 1:35 am

    MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.

    Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.

    Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.

    The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.

    On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.

    Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.

    He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

    In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.

    Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.

    Getty Images

    Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M

    By Ryan LavnerJune 19, 2018, 11:00 pm

    In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.

    This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.  

    Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.

    Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.

    The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.  

    Getty Images

    Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout

    By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 9:44 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.

    Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.

    Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.


    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”

    Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.

    “There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”

    Getty Images

    Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break

    By Randall MellJune 19, 2018, 9:27 pm

    Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.

    Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.

    Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.

    “Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”

    Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.

    “Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”

    Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.