Ai Miyazato soars to top of LPGA charts

Five-time winner now No. 1 in Rolex Rankings, Rolex Player of the Year Race and Money List
Race for No. 1 heads north this week to the CN Canadian Women's Open
Choi, Creamer, Song-Hee Kim, In-Kyung Kim and Nordqvist eager to join the "mix"

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., August 23, 2010 - Japan's Ai Miyazato reclaimed the top spot in women's professional golf based on the Rolex Rankings released Monday after winning the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola. With the win this week, Miyazato also leads the LPGA Official money list and the race for the Rolex Player of the Year award.

Miyazato also leads the tour in wins with five. Rolex Rankings No. 2 Cristie Kerr and No. 5 Yani Tseng are the only other LPGA players with more than one victory in 2010. Tseng has won two 2010 majors--the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the RICOH Women's British Open--while Kerr has claimed the LPGA State Farm Classic and the LPGA Championship Presented by Wegmans, another LPGA major. The other major, the U.S. Women's Open, was won by Paula Creamer, currently ranked No. 8 in the Rolex Rankings.

Miyazato secured the coveted No. 1 spot from Kerr, who had regained the top position last week. Miyazato, Kerr, No. 3 Suzann Pettersen (who defends her title in Canada this week), No. 4 Jiyai Shin and Tseng have battled for the coveted position all season, while Na Yeon Choi (No. 6 who finished T-2 with Kerr on Sunday), Creamer, No. 8 Song-Hee Kim (No. 1 in 2010 Scoring Average at 69.94, and a top ten finisher in 12 of 15 events this season), No. 9 In-Kyung Kim and No. 10 Anna Nordqvist all hope to join the fray in the weeks ahead.

"I'm dying to get into that mix," Creamer said last week. "I've never made it a secret that I do want to be the No. 1 player in the world and I want to stay there for a long time. It's hard watching lots of people bounce back and forth."

Miyazato, a five-time winner in 2010, opened the season with two consecutive wins at the Honda PTT LPGA Thailand and the HSBC Women's Champions in February. She was the first player in 44 years to accomplish this feat. Miyazato then won the Tres Marias Championship, the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola. Last year, Miyazato became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the Evian Masters in Evian-Les-Bains, France. The last and only Japanese player to win both Rolex Player of the Year and LPGA Tour Money List was Ayako Okamoto in 1987.

Weeks as No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings*
Player/Country Weeks
Lorena Ochoa/Mexico 158
Annika Sorenstam/Sweden 60
Jiyai Shin/South Korea 11
Cristie Kerr/U.S. 4
Ai Miyazato/Japan 3
*Officially launched on Feb. 21, 2006

LPGA Official Money List   Rolex Player of the Year
1. Ai Miyazato $1,311,818.00   1. Ai Miyazato 172 points
2. Na Yeon Choi $1,297,082.00   2. Yani Tseng 146
3. Jiyai Shin $1,258,048.00   3. Cristie Kerr 145
4. Cristie Kerr $1,198,737.00   4. Na Yeon Choi 123
5. Suzann Pettersen $1,158,520.00   5. Jiyai Shin 110

The Battle for Rolex Rankings No. 1 will continue this week in Winnipeg, Canada at the CN Canadian Women's Open. The top-10 players in the Rankings, including defending champion and Rolex No. 3 Suzann Pettersen, all are slated to compete. Rolex Ranking scenarios for next Monday will be available from the LPGA later in the week.

About the Rolex Rankings

The Rolex Rankings is the first-ever world rankings system for women's golf sanctioned by the five major women's professional golf Tours: the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA); Ladies European Tour (LET); Ladies Professional Golfers' Association of Japan (LPGA of Japan); Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA); Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG); as well as the Ladies Golf Union (LGU), which administers the Ricoh Women's British Open. The Rolex Rankings are the only women's world rankings that incorporate player performances from the five major tours and the Duramed Futures Tour, the official developmental tour of the LPGA. R2IT, an independent software development company developed the software for the Rolex Rankings and maintains the Rolex Rankings on a weekly basis.

Topics: Rolex Rankings, Miyazato, Ai

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