Austin Ernst and Nasa Hataoka with Big Moves
The biggest move of the week belonged to Nasa Hataoka, who moved up 11 spots in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings to No. 19, the highest post of her career. Hataoka is one of only two teenagers ranked inside the top 20 in the world. Hye Jin Choi, No. 7 in the world, is the youngest player at 18. Hataoka, now the highest ranked player from Japan, also made a big stride forward in the Race to the CME Globe. She moved from 24th to 8th and is now in great position to chace the $1 million bonus at the end of the year. Austin Ernst, who finished solo second in Arkansas, vaulted up 21 spots in the world rankings to No. 37, the best of her career. Ernst started the year ranked 61st in the world. She’s now the 10th highest ranked American in the world.
Brittany Altomare Up to No. 38 in the World
Brittany Altomare quietly moved up seven spots in the world rankings to No. 38 after a T3 finish in Arkansas. It matches the highest ranking of her career. She moved to 38 in the world in 2017 a few weeks after finishing second at The Evian Championship when she fell short in a playoff to Anna Nordqvist. The T3 was also Altomare’s first top 10 of the 2018 season.
Minjee Lee Climbs to No. 3 in Race to the CME Globe
There is no debate that Ariya Jutanugarn has been the best player on the LPGA this year. There might be some disagreement on who has been second and Minjee Lee is definitely part of that conversation. Lee notched her seventh top 10 finish of the season last week in Arkansas to move from fourth to third on the Race to the CME Globe. She is now only behind the Jutanugarn sisters. Lee has finished inside the top 20 nine times this year and picked up her fourth career win at the LPGA Volvik Championship. After the win, she moved to No. 8 in the world, which was the highest ranking of her career. She has been No. 9 for the last two weeks.
Santiwiwatthanphong into UL International Crown…for now
Sherman Stantiwiwatthanaphong of Thailand finished in a tie for 22nd last week in Arkansas to move into the fourth spot on Team Thailand for the UL International Crown. Santiwiwatthanaphong moved up 16 spots in the world rankings and passed Thidapa Suwannapura. However, with one week left, Sherman is just four spots ahead of Suwannapura and eight spots ahead of Saranporn Langkulgasettrin. Sherman has three top 25 finishes in her last five weeks to really make a late charge onto team.
Hye Jin Choi Bumps IK Kim with Win on KLPGA
Hye Jin Choi won on the KLPGA over the weekend to get to No. 7 in the Rolex rankings and ahead of IK Kim for the fourth spot on Team Republic of Korea for the UL International Crown. Kim has one more chance to get back on Team Korea this week at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. In Gee Chun, No. 15 in the world, has an outside chance to squeeze onto the team, but likely needs a win.
Sandra Gal Up 20 Spots in World Rankings
Sandra Gal’s left-hand low putting has been a big story over the last month, in part because she is working with Cameron McCormick. She’s definitely rounding into form. Gal finished T3 in Arkansas to move up 20 spots in the world rankings to No. 82. It is her highest ranking since the middle of the 2017 season.