Quest continues at this week's P&G NW Arkansas Championship Presented by Walmart
Daytona Beach, Fla., September 7, 2010. - Spain's Azahara Munoz holds a commanding lead in the 2010 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year race. The Arizona State University graduate has posted two top-10 finishes and six other top-20s in her rookie campaign. She holds a 288 point advantage over her closest challenger Amanda Blumenherst.
Munoz's season-best finish is a tie for fourth at the Bell Micro LPGA Classic. Her second top-10 came at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger. Munoz also finished in the top 20 in all three majors in which she has played, including a tie for 11th at the LPGA Championship Presented by Wegmans and ties for 19th at both the U.S. Women's Open and RICOH Women's British Open. Munoz is currently No. 42 in the Rolex Rankings.
The Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award, named for LPGA Founder and LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Louise Suggs, was established in 1962. The current top five in the race behind Munoz are Blumenherst, France's Gwladys Nocera, Spain's Maria Hernandez and Spain's Beatriz Recari.
|Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year|
|1. Azahara Munoz||535 points|
|2. Amanda Blumenherst||247|
|3. Gwladys Nocera||201|
|4. Maria Hernandez||109|
|5. Beatriz Recari||108|
Munoz, Hernandez and Recari represent the newest crop of LPGA talent hailing from Spain. The first player from Spain to join the LPGA Tour was Marta Figueras-Dotti in 1984. Figueras-Dotti won once on the LPGA Tour and currently serves as the coach of the Spanish National Team. As former members of the Spanish National Team, both Hernandez and Munoz have benefited from Figueras-Dotti's experience and tutelage.
American Blumenherst, a graduate of Duke University, held the lead in the Rolex Rookie of the Year race earlier in the season. After posting two top-10 finishes at the Tres Marias Championship and Sybase Match Play Championship, Blumenherst has struggled, missing four of the last five cuts. Nocera, a 10-time winner on the LET, has carded one top-10, a tie for sixth at the LPGA State Farm Classic. Hernandez, who won earlier in the season on the LET, sits in the fourth position with a season best tie for 14th at the RICOH Women's British Open. Rounding out the top five is Recari who has posted two top-10 finishes.
With eight tournaments remaining on the 2010 LPGA schedule, the members of the 2010 rookie class, including current points leader Azahara Munoz, are looking to notch their first LPGA victory. The last rookie to claim the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award without a win was Angela Park in 2007.
The Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Race continues at this week's P&G NW Arkansas Championship Presented by Walmart. The top five are all committed to compete. Also playing this week and rounding out the top 10 are No. 6 Mina Harigae, No. 7 Mariajo Uribe, No. 8 Pernilla Lindberg, No. 9 Misun Cho and No. 10 Alison Walshe.