Stacy Lewis enters the final six tournaments of the 2012 season with a decided edge in points for the Rolex Women’s Player of the Year honor, but the 27-year-old Texan will be playing four consecutive tournaments closest to the homes of her main competitors, all Asian players who have outstanding records playing in these events.
Holding a 56-point lead and a record of three top-10 finishes in nine starts and a worst finish of T45 in the four tournaments bodes well for Lewis. The Asian Swing of tournaments begins next week at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The most daunting statistic for Lewis is that among the four tournaments – the Sime Darby, LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship in South Korea, Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship and Mizuno Classic in Japan – only one has been won by an American, and that was Betsy King at the Mizuno Classic in Japan in 1993.
Here is a look at the top 10 players in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, who are all entered in the Malaysia event, and how they have fared in the four tournaments, with a best finish listed for each. Points are awarded for top-10 finishes, from 30 for first place down to one for 10th. So, for example, second-place Jiyai Shin would need to win twice and Lewis finish out of the top 10 both times to overtake Lewis in a two-tournament span.
|Player, Points||Malaysia||HanaBank||Taiwan Mizuno||Total Top-10s|
|1 Stacy Lewis, 184||T5||T12||T29||3 3|
|2 Jiyai Shin, 128||T6||T4||T29||Win (2) 9|
|3 Yani Tseng, 120||2||Win||Win||2 7|
|4 Inbee Park, 114||7||T29||T5||4|
|5 Shanshan Feng, 112||T9||T13||NA||2 2|
|6 Ai Miyazato, 110||T28||NA||NA||T2 3|
|7 Mika Miyazato, 105||T3||T25||NA||T5 2|
|8 Na Yeon Choi, 101||Win||Win (2)||T29||3 7|
|9 So Yeon Ryu, 98||NA||T12||NA||NA 0|
|10 Sun Young Yoo, 81||T12||T7||9||T17 3|
Time change preparation
When Asian players travel to play in the United States they must adjust to a different time schedule nearly a day earlier. Now, it’s the American players’ turn for altering their schedules. For example, Stacy Lewis would need to take a flight from Dallas to Kuala Lumpur, which takes 21 hours going through Dubai, for next week’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. Here are the time differences between Eastern Daylight Time and the sites of the next four events:
|Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||12 hours ahead|
|LPGA KEB-HanaBank||Seoul, South Korea||13 hours ahead|
|Sunrise LPGA Taiwan||Tapei, Taiwan||12 hours ahead|
|Mizuno Classic||Tokyo||13 hours ahead|
The biggest quick turnaround will come following the Asian Swing when the next event, the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, is scheduled the following week, Nov. 8-11 in Guadalajara, Mexico – 14 hours earlier than in Tokyo from the Mizuno Classic.
Playing all week long
Next week’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia is a limited-field, 72-hole event (72 players) and doesn’t have a 36-hole cut. The top 62 players from the LPGA earned a spot in the field and there were 10 sponsor exemptions, including four from the local and regional qualifier on Sept. 4-5. Amanda Blumenherst and Michelle Wie are among the sponsor exemptions.
Rookie Lizette Salas played in the final threesome at the Navistar LPGA Classic two weeks ago and finished T16. Her $16,557 paycheck pushed her from 61st to 58th on the LPGA money list at $159,557 and safely into the field in Malaysia. The Sime Darby will be her second international LPGA start as she also played in the CN Canadian Women’s Open.
The Golf Channel will televise five of the final six LPGA events this season, with the first three Asian Swing events shown on tape delay. The Mizuno Classic is not scheduled to be televised. The Lorena Ochoa Invitational and the CME Group Titleholders, the final two events, are scheduled to be shown live. … Lexi Thompson must be feeling the sibling pressure. Her oldest brother Nicholas is now 18th on the Web.com Tour (the top 25 advance to the 2013 PGA Tour) and middle brother Curtis, a sophomore at LSU, won his first collegiate title at the Shoal Creek Intercollegiate last week with a 6-under-par 210 total as the Tigers won the team title. … Lorena Ochoa will make her first individual start since 2010 at this week’s French Open on the Ladies European Tour. Ochoa is scheduled to play in her event, the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, on the LPGA in early November. … Last week at the Japan Women’s Open, Shanshan Feng beat Inbee Park by one stroke. Yani Tseng struggled to a final-round 81 and finished T55.
Topics: Stats and Stuff