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Now that we have completed about 1/3 of the LPGA season, I would like to look at the players that have made the biggest leaps, and taken the biggest falls in the Rolex Rankings this year.

The Rolex Rankings system awards points to players based on an accumulated 104-week "rolling" period, with the points awarded in the most recent 13-week period carrying a stronger value.
A player is then ranked according to her average points per tournament, as determined by dividing her total number of points by the number of eligible tournaments played during the 104-week period. A minimum divisor (35) is also used.

I have gone back to the first Rolex Rankings of the year and compared them to the current rankings. The only requirements for my list is: (1) A player must have been ranked in the top 100 at the start of the year, or be in the top 100 now. (2) A player must have started the year 2014 with a minimum rating of 0.50 (or else this chart would be filled with unknown names.)


The Year's Biggest Gainers:

1- Michelle Wie - 1.77 to 4.48 = Gain of 2.71 (moved from #61-#12)
2- Karrie Webb - 5.06 to 7.15 = Gain of 2.09 (move 8 to 5)
3- Lydia Ko - 7.38 to 9.31 = Gain of 1.93 (move 4 to 3)
4- Lexi Thompson - 4.86 to 6.71 = Gain of 1.85 (move 9 to 6)
5- Anna Nordqvist - 3.04 to 4.56 = Gain of 1.62 (move 26 to 11)
6- Stacy Lewis -  8.98 to 9.78 = Gain of 0.80 (move 3 to 2)
7- Charley Hull - 1.13 to 1.87 = Gain of 0.76 (move 103 to 48)
8- Azahara Munoz - 2.73 to 3.48 = Gain of 0.75 (move 31 to 20)
9- Jenny Shin - 1.51 to 2.17 = Gain of 0.66 (move 73 to 39)
10- Se Ri Pak - 2.75 to 3.28 = Gain of 0.53 (move 30 to 22)
11- Kyu-Jung Baek - 0.53 to 1.03 = Gain of 0.50 (move 205 to 100)

The Year's Biggest Decliners:
1- Suzann Pettersen - 10.25 to 8.71 = Loss of 1.54 (move 2 to 4)
2- Ai Miyazato - 3.56 to 2.22 = Loss of 1.34 (move from 21 to 38)
3- Mika Miyazato - 3.54 to 2.43 = Loss of 1.11 (move 22 to 34)
4- Na Yeon Choi - 5.36 to 4.31 = Loss of 1.05 (move from 7 to 13)
5- I.K. Kim - 4.55 to 3.57 = Loss of 0.98 (move 10 to 18)
6- So Yeon Ryu - 6.56 to 5.62 = Loss of 0.94 (move 5 to 7)
7- Beatriz Recari - 3.72 to 2.79 = Loss of 0.93 (move 19 to 29)
8- Shanshan Feng - 6.36 to 5.49 = Loss of 0.87 (move 6 to 8)
9- Yani Tseng - 2.62 to 1.79 = Loss of 0.83 (move 35 to 54)
10- Carlotta Ciganda - 2.51 to 1.75 = Loss of  0.76 (move 39 to 56)
11- Inbee Park - 10.72 to 9.99 = Loss of 0.73 (move 1 to 1)
12- Chie Arimura - 1.65 to 0.95 = Loss of 0.70 (move 66 to 110)
12- Jiyai Shin - 3.96 to 3.26 = Loss of 0.70 (move 16 to 23)
14- Ihlee Lee - 2.69 to 2.02 = Loss of 0.67 (move 32 to 44)
15- Miki Saiki - 2.32 to 1.67 = Loss of 0.65 (move 44 to 62)

Note : It is interesting to point out that there is not one American player on the above list. Brittany Lincicome is currently #18 on the list.

I will revisit this again at the 2/3 mark of the season, and again at season's end.

Priority List Reshuffle:
The first of two LPGA Priority List reshuffles were done today.
The Priority List is what is used to fill the required amount of spots for any given tournament. Without me getting into the categories, which is potentially confusing, here is a brief explanation. Most full field events have a field of 144 players. Usually 140 of the players come from the Priority List ranking. Two players are Monday qualifiers, and 2 more are sponsor exemptions. So to keep it simple, if your Priority Rating is #150, you have to hope that 10 players decide not to play, or you are probably not getting into the field.

The biggest gainers were:
Mirim Lee 118- 84
Line Vedel 127-86
Hara Nomura 137-87
Mi Hyang Lee 108-88
Tiffany Joh 119-89
Amy Anderson 120-92
Brooke Pancake 114-94
Katie Burnett 115-95
Ashleigh Simon 138-102

Although the above gains are quite impressive, it does not change those players' playing status all that much. Those players were already playing in full field events.

The most important gainers were:
These players should be playing regularly now.
Kim Kaufman 164 - 93
Amelia Lewis 146 - 91
Dori Carter - 142 - 90
Jenny Suh - 160 -100
Laura Davies 154 - 143
Stacey Keating - 175 - 145
Lori Kane - 155- 146
Megan McChrystal 159 - 147
Alejandra Llaneza 162-149
Lee-Anne Pace - 169 - 152

The players that got hurt the most:
These players will find it much harder to qualify for tournaments now.
Kris Tamulis - 144 -159
Karen Stupples - 147- 158
Maude-Aimee Leblanc - 148 - 161 (chose to play Symetra Tour this year)
Mi Hyun Kim - was #58 is now off list.
Amanda Blumenherst - Was #140, is now off list.

Other Tidbits:
Stacy Lewis is now #1 on the money list, leader for the Vare Trophy, leads the Rolex Player of the Year Award and the CME Race to the Globe.
Several players had their consecutive cuts made streak snapped. Hee Young Park (21), Eun-Hee Ji (19), Morgan Pressel (16),  and Se Ri Pak (15), all missed the cut.

Rolex Movers of the Week:
Stacy Lewis moves from #3 to #2, and is now within a whisker of taking over the #1 position.
Meena Lee leaps up from #70 to #51, while outside the top 100 rookie Kim Kaufman's 4th place finish has vaulted her past 143 players. She soars from #336 to 193.

Race to the CME Globe: (1 million dollars)
Stacy Lewis has taken a commanding lead with 1,979 points. She is followed by Michelle Wie (1,540), and Karrie Webb (1,417).

Who's Hot:
Stacy Lewis has finished in the top 10 in 19 of her last 20 tournaments. Although Cristie Kerr has not won this year, she might be playing some of the finest golf of her career. She has six consecutive top 10 finishes.
Michelle Wie remains the only LPGA player to finish in the top 20 in every start this year. She has not finished out of the top 16.

Who's Not:
Ihlee Lee has not yet finished in the top 20 this year in 9 tries. She has also missed 3 cuts.
Moriya  Jutanugarn has failed to register a top 20 in any of her 10 starts this year. Her best finish was a T28.
Louise Friberg has missed 16 consecutive cuts. Reilly Rankin has missed her last 10.

Consistently Mediocre: Very strangely, Jodi Ewart Shadoff has made the cut in all 8 of her starts this year but has never finished better than 23rd or worse than 45th.