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LPGA Tour Season Highlights: Rankings Spotlight Career Shifts

LPGA Tour Season Highlights: Rankings Spotlight Career Shifts

3 Key Points

  • Hyo Joo Kim dominates the year-end Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings and ascends to Rolex ranking No. 8.
  • Ruoning “Ronni” Yin and Angel Yin make significant leaps, showcasing impressive season performances.
  • Former number ones Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson experience notable declines in rankings.

Overview of 2023 LPGA Season Rankings

With an eventful year in golf concluded, the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings lay out the unexpected twists and turns in the LPGA Tour. The system, formulated by Jeff Sagarin, gives a statistical perspective on player performance, focusing on head-to-head results and score differentials among players.

To be considered for these rankings, a golfer must compete in at least ten events. This ensures the integrity and fairness of the comparisons made across the season.

For context and a broader view, this report also incorporates comparative insights into the Rolex rankings.

Hyo Joo Kim’s Rise to Number 1

Consistency paid off for Hyo Joo Kim whose stellar season launched her to the pinnacle of the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. With numerous rounds under par and an impressive scoring average, she not only led the way but also maintained robust records against her competitors. In notable tournaments, her placements were strong, solidifying her status within the top players, as reflected in her Rolex ranking of No. 8.

The Ascent of Ruoning “Ronni” Yin

After overcoming an injury, Ruoning “Ronni” Yin’s year turned spectacular, with a swift victory at the Dio Implant Open followed by a major win. Her final-round performance and precision on the greens during the KPMG Women’s PGA catapulted her Rolex ranking to No. 2, an astounding rise from the previous year’s closing at No. 104.

Angel Yin’s Breakthrough and Putting Prowess

Angel Yin employed a new strategic approach this season, which translated into significant achievements, including her first LPGA victory and the Aon Risk Reward Challenge’s sizable prize. Accuracy on the green was a standout aspect, leading her to become the tour leader in strokes gained putting and advancing her Rolex ranking to No. 22.

Rose Zhang’s Pro Debut and Early Victory

From amateur prominence to professional success, Rose Zhang’s leap to professional golf was highlighted by an immediate win at the Mizuho Americas Open. Her entry into professional golf started with a bang, with her rankings reflecting a notable debut year, landing her among the top 20.

The Decline of Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko’s season served as a stark contrast to her preceding success, with a significant drop in the Sagarin rankings. Her struggle to contend in LPGA events until later in the year resulted in a decline, though her Rolex ranking remains within the top tier, emphasizing the difference between the one-year window of the Sagarin system and the two-year metric of the Rolex rankings.

Lexi Thompson’s Comeback Attempt

A challenging season for Lexi Thompson saw her attempting to reclaim her position in the game, with new instructional guidance and a resolve to overturn a series of missed cuts. Her recovery effort highlighted the ebb and flow of a player’s career, evident in her year-end rankings.

In sum, the 2023 LPGA Tour season was marked by tales of comeback, perseverance, and the unpredictable nature of competitive golf, as some veterans struggled while newcomers made their indelible marks on the game.

Chip Greenway, an ardent golf enthusiast and writer, brings a unique and knowledgeable perspective to golf journalism. His profound passion for golf, rooted in his childhood, has shaped his distinct fan-based approach, evident in his engaging and detailed writings. Through "Greenway’s Fairway," his blog, Chip delivers heartfelt stories and analyses, blending his personal playing experiences with the sport's rich history and spirit. His contributions extend beyond journalism, as he actively promotes golf's camaraderie and cultural significance within his local community. EMAIL: Quote from Chip Greenway "Golf is more than a game; it's a culture and a community, and through my writing, I aim to capture its spirit and celebrate its rich history with fellow enthusiasts."

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