The Race Continues…
Miyazato versus Kerr sounds reminiscent of an episode of the Iron Chef, but viewers don’t need to tune-in to the Food TV Network to see this one. Ai Miyazato, the current Rolex Rankings No. 1, and Cristie Kerr, who has held that spot on a few occasions this season, will continue their friendly rivalry this week on the Golf Channel at the Navistar LPGA Classic Presented by Monaco RV.
Several players have been battling for the honor of Rolex Rankings No. 1, the pinnacle in the world of women’s professional golf, since the Lorena Ochoa retired back in April. Miyazato, who leads the tour in wins this season with five, has held the position for the last six weeks.
Kerr, currently No. 3 and a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour this year, has been very vocal about wanting to be the best player in the world and will attempt to dethrone the star from Japan in Prattville, Alabama. Kerr has a strong history on the Senator Course, finishing tied for second in 2008 and tied for 17th in 2009. Her scoring average on the Robert Trent Jones Trail course is 69.00.
The battle for Rolex Rankings No. 1 is not the only race featuring Miyazato and Kerr. Both players are also in the hunt for the LPGA money list title, Rolex Player of the Year and Vare Trophy. Miyazato and Kerr are currently third and sixth on the LPGA Official money list, respectively, with Jiyai Shin currently on top. For the Vare Trophy, Kerr sits third with a scoring average of 70.10 while Miyazato is seventh with an average of 70.46 (Suzann Pettersen leads with a 70.00). Miyazato is currently second in the Rolex Player of the Year race, a mere two points behind Taiwan’s Yani Tseng and 26 points ahead of Kerr, who is third.
With seven official events remaining on the LPGA schedule, Miyazato and Kerr are not simply just chasing titles and awards, but pieces of history as well. The last player from Japan to claim the Rolex Player of the Year award and LPGA money title was 17-time LPGA Tour winner Ayako Okamoto back in 1987. The last American player to become the Rolex Player of the Year was Beth Daniel in 1994, while the last American to lead the money list was Betsy King in 1993.
Miyazato, Kerr, and Shin
Pettersen, Tseng, and NY Choi