Ochoa narrows gap in Rolex Player of the Year race

Lorena Ochoa's 27th career LPGA victory at last week's Navistar LPGA Classic Presented by Monaco RV caused a shake-up and some excitement in the race for Rolex Player of the Year. The reigning award winner - since 2006 - Ochoa earned 30 Rolex Player of the Year points with her victory and moved from sixth to second in the rankings. She now has 131 points and is just five points behind top rookie and three-time season winner Jiyai Shin. Shin also has a commanding lead in the race for Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year.  Should Shin win these two honors, it would be the first time a player claims both since Nancy Lopez did so in 1978.

Both awards will officially conclude at the season-ending LPGA Tour Championship Presented by Rolex, Nov. 19-22 at The Houstonian Golf & Country Club in Richmond, Texas, near Houston. The Rolex Player of the Year and Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year are both based on points systems, which awards players points based on how they finish in each official LPGA event. All points are doubled at the four major championships - Kraft Nabisco Championship, McDonald's LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola, U.S. Women's Open, RICOH Women's British Open.

Rolex Player of the Year point system is based on top-10 finishes: 1st place-30 points; 2nd-12; 3rd-nine; 4th-seven; 5th-six; 6th-five; 7th-four; 8th-three; 9th-two; 10th-one.
 
Top-10 Rolex Player of the Year standings (as of 10/4/09)

Place Name Points
1 Jiyai Shin 136
2 Lorena Ochoa 131
3 Cristie Kerr 118
4 Ai Miyazato 111
5 Suzann Pettersen 110
6 Angela Stanford 103
7 Yani Tseng 92
8 Paula Creamer 85
9 In-Kyung Kim 83
10 Karrie Webb 80

The Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year point system rewards points to rookies based on their finish after making the cut. Points range from 150 for a win and five points for positions 41st through each player making the cut.
 
Top-10 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year standings (as of 10/4/09)

Place Name Points
1 Jiyai Shin 1,344
2 Michelle Wie 764
3 Anna Nordqvist 663
4 Vicky Hurst 435
5 Mika Miyazato 405
6 Stacy Lewis 376
7 M.J. Hur 332
8 Mindy Kim 178
9 Haeji Kang 136
10 Shiho Oyama 114

Topics: Ochoa, Lorena, Shin, Jiyai

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