Because the Rolex Ratings roll into a 15th season it stands because the same old of high quality towards which historical past is gauged in ladies’s golfing. Since its debut Feb. 21, 2006, the score has been embraced by way of 8 excursions, the LPGA majors, the Solheim Cup, World Crown and – as will dramatically spread this 12 months – the Olympic Video games.
The scores have additionally been a really perfect reflect of the international expansion of the ladies’s sport. Annika Sorenstam of Sweden was once the primary No. 1 and held that spot for 60 weeks. She was once adopted by way of Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, who ran off a report 158 weeks as highest on this planet, till Might 2, 2010, a pair weeks after she retired on the age of 28.
In all, the 14 avid gamers who’ve reached No. 1 within the Rolex Ratings come from 9 other nations – South Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand, China, Thailand, Japan and the USA in addition to Mexico and Sweden. These days sitting on height of the sector is Jin Younger Ko of South Korea, closing 12 months’s LPGA Rolex Participant of the Yr, who’s decisively the highest on this planet.
Because the LPGA Excursion heads east for 5 weeks – ISPS Handa Vic Open, ISPS Handa Girls’s Australian Open, Honda LPGA Thailand, HSBC Girls’s International Championship in Singapore and the Blue Bay LPGA in China – Ko has a commanding lead of greater than 2.Five issues over No. 2, her fellow Korean Sung Hyun Park. However Ko has a ton of ability peeking over her shoulder.
There’s nearly the similar hole between No. 2 Park and No. 18 So Yeon Ryu as there may be between Park and Ko. And the distance between Park, No. Three Nelly Korda, No. 4 Nasa Hataoka, No. 5 Dannielle Kang and No. 6 Sei Younger might be lined with a golfing towel – slightly greater than some degree.
What’s transparent because the LPGA starts the dash to the primary primary of the 12 months on the ANA Inspiration is that anybody with designs on catching Ko will want to just do that – catch her. And that implies going out and successful a couple of instances, together with a big. If Ko’s temporary historical past tells us anything else it’s that she’s now not coming again to the pack.
In her first two LPGA seasons, Ko has made 46 of 47 cuts with 25 top-10s. Her six wins come with two majors – the ANA Inspiration and the Evian Championship closing 12 months, when she was once additionally T-Three within the AIG Girls’s British Open, T-14 within the KPMG Girls’s PGA Championship and T-16 within the U.S. Girls’s Open. That more or less consistency racks up a large number of global score issues.
Of the 14 avid gamers who’ve reached No. 1 within the historical past of the Rolex Ratings, there were two American citizens. Cristie Kerr held the highest spot 3 other instances between 2010-13 whilst Stacy Lewis had it two times, the closing time Oct. 26, 2014. That was once the closing time an American was once highest on this planet.
However with Nelly Korda at No. 3, Danielle Kang at No. 5 and Lexi Thompson at No. 10, there are a trio of Yanks poised to make a transfer. Since Oct. 28, 2018, Korda has gained 3 LPGA occasions, as soon as at the LET and had a 3-0-1 report within the Solheim Cup. Kang has one win each and every of the closing 3 years, which moved her from No. 68 within the Rolex Ratings on the finish of 2016 to No. 5.
Korda, Kang and Thompson even have a leg up on qualifying for the U.S. ladies’s staff in Olympic golfing, which shall be in Japan this summer time. The 4 highest-ranked avid gamers from a rustic qualify for the Olympics, if they’re within the height 15 of the Rolex Ratings. Differently, it’s the 2 highest-ranked golfers from the rustic.
There’s nonetheless an opportunity that the U.S. can qualify a fourth participant. Jessica Korda is lately No. 17 on this planet scores whilst Lizette Salas is No. 19. Brittany Altomare, Marina Alex, Angel Yin, Megan Khang and Kristen Gillman also are within the height 50.
Probably the most intense festival – because it was once in 2016 – is to be a few of the quartet representing South Korea within the Olympics. As of now that may be Jin Younger Ko (No. 1), Sung Hyun Park (No. 2), Sei Younger Kim (No. 6) and Jeongeun Lee6 (No. 8).
The protecting gold medal winner, Inbee Park, is sitting in 6th position a few of the Koreans at No. 16, 4 spots at the back of Hyo-Joo Kim. So Yeon Ryu may be very a lot within the hunt at No. 18 with Amy Yang at No. 20 and Mi Jung Hur at No. 21. The Rolex Ratings on June 29 – the day after the KPMG Girls’s PGA – will decide the Olympic Qualifiers.
Obviously, the Rolex Ratings have accomplished the whole lot the creators dreamed, offering an correct measuring stick for ability in ladies’s golfing in addition to a speaking level for debates. As the sector score enters its 15th season there are two winners: The lovers and the ones occasions having a look to place ahead the most efficient box conceivable.
Whilst Jin Younger Ko enters the brand new season as a cast No. 1, the chance for volatility within the scramble at the back of her is plain. Simply because it did when it first gave the impression in 2006, the Rolex Ratings has set the degree for an exhilarating season forward.