The Rolex Women’s World Rankings (or “The Rolex Rankings”) were unveiled in February to the amusement of many – Michelle Wie was ranked third (and quickly moved up to second) ahead of four-time winner Paula Creamer, consistent performer Natalie Gulbis, multiple winner Lorena Ochoa, and others.
Since then, Michelle has finished in the top five in every LPGA event she’s played in 2006, including all three women’s majors played so far. Many feel this validates her spot below Annika Sorenstam in the rankings.
But that all changed yesterday when the Rolex Rankings announced a tweak to the system that will likely drop the 16-year-old phenom from second to seventh. The new rankings will be unveiled after this week’s Women’s British Open.
Michelle Wie is not the only golfer that will see a dramatic change: LPGA Tour rookie Morgan Pressel will drop from 16th to 23rd.
The cause? The initial rankings required 15 events to have been played over a rolling two-year period. This requirement actually caused Wie to drop from the rankings altogether a few times in 2006, only to re-appear after she played in another event. This requirement is being dropped, but a minimum divisor of 35 events is being enforced. This means that the points Wie earns in her 15 or 16 events will be divided by 35. It’s obvious how this also affects first-year pros who have yet to play 35 events.
Annika Sorenstam will naturally retain the top spot, and Karrie Webb – a three-time victor this year including a major championship and last week’s Evian Masters (over Wie), would move to second. Lorena Ochoa would find herself in third, just ahead of Paula Creamer.
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