As the LPGA season comes down to the final three events, the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year competition has tightened considerably.
Germany’s Caroline Masson has led the competition for the first-year players’ top award for the majority of the season, but it has dwindled to 26 points. That lead was most recently built with a T7 at the CN Canadian Open and a fifth-place finish at the Safeway Classic in consecutive weeks in late August. Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn, the co-medalist at last year’s Qualifying Tournament, finished T11 last week in Taiwan to close the gap. It was her best finish since a T4 at the season-opening ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in February.
Masson, 24, and Jutanugarn, 19, are both in the field next week in Japan and at the season finale, the CME Group Titleholders in Naples, Fla. Japanese rookies Ayako Uehara and Chie Arimura, ranked third and fourth, respectively, are also in the field next week and could easily leapfrog Masson and Jutanugarn with high finishes. Uehara finished third at the Mizuno last year as a non-LPGA member.
“I still have a chance to win the Rookie of the Year, so I’m not complaining,” Masson said in early October in Malaysia. “I’m pretty happy with it so far.”
Unlike the Rolex LPGA Player of the Year points system, which rewards points based solely on top-10 finishes, the Rookie of the Year scale is much wider. If a rookie makes the cut in a tournament, they receive points. The largest point reward is 150 for first place, followed by 80 for second, with double points at the major championships.
|** Positions 41st through each player making the cut receive five points each.|
Note: If there is a tie at season’s end, the player with the lowest scoring average is the winner. If it is still tied, the LPGA Official Money List is the next deciding factor. All points are doubled for the four LPGA major championships. Points are awarded as follows:
|Rookies of the Year|
|2012||So Yeon Ryu|
|2011||Hee Kyung Seo|
|1999||Mi Hyun Kim|
|1998||Se Ri Pak|
|1986||Jody Rosenthal (Anschutz)|
|1980||Myra Van Hoose (Blackwelder)|
|1963||Clifford Ann Creed|
Topics: Stats and Stuff