Women's World Golf Rankings

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The Women's World Golf Rankings, also known for sponsorship reasons as the Rolex Rankings, were introduced in February 2006. They are sanctioned by eight women's golf tours and the organisations behind them: Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA Tour), Ladies European Tour, Ladies Professional Golfers' Association of Japan (LPGA of Japan Tour), Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA of Korea Tour), Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG Tour), Symetra Tour, China Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour, the Ladies European Tour Access Series and also by The R&A, which administers the Women's British Open and the United States Golf Association which conducts the U.S. Women's Open.

The idea of introducing a set of women's rankings similar to the Official World Golf Ranking was developed at the May 2004 World Congress of Women's Golf, and was first planned for 2005,[1] but then put back to 2006.

Calculation of the rankings[edit]

The rankings are based on performances on the eight major tours (LPGA, JLPGA, KLPGA, LET, ALPG, Symetra Tour, LETAS, CLPGA) over a two-year period. Amateur players are eligible. The system for calculating the rankings is similar to that for the men's Official World Golf Ranking. Players receive points for each good finish on the relevant tours, with the number of points available in each event depending on the strength of the field, as determined by the competitors' existing rankings (when the rankings were introduced rankings were calculated for earlier periods; the first ever set showed notional changes since the previous week). The only exceptions are the five LPGA majors and all Symetra Tour, CLPGA and LETAS events, which have a fixed-point allocation. Rankings are tapered so the recent results are more important.

Original formula[edit]

When the rankings were first introduced in February 2006, a player's ranking as calculated in the above description was divided by the number of events played, with a minimum required events of 15 over the previous two years. In addition, players were required to play in a minimum of 15 eligible events over the previous two-year period to be included in the rankings.

Formula revisions[edit]

On 2 August 2006 the Rolex Rankings Board and Technical Committee announced following its bi-annual meeting two changes to the ranking formula.[2]

  1. The elimination of the minimum event requirement. Players would no longer be required to participate in 15 qualifying events to be included in the rankings and could be included after playing in as few as one qualifying event. This change would also have the effect of permitting amateurs who had played well in one event to be ranked (e.g., Morgan Pressel, who finished second in the 2005 U.S. Women's Open, or Michelle Wie from age 13).
  2. The introduction of a minimum divisor. Where previously a player's point total was divided by the number of events she played over the previous 104 weeks, now the player's point total would be divided by the greater of (i) the number of events played or (ii) 35. Thus, players with 35 or more events over the previous 104 weeks would continue to use the actual number of events played as the divisor, but players with fewer than 35 events would use 35 as the divisor.

Many commentators saw the latter change as directed at Michelle Wie, who at the time was ranked second in the world despite having competed in only 16 women's professional events in the two-year period. However, the chairman of the Rolex Rankings Technical Committee defended the change as one designed to make the women's rankings more comparable to the Official World Golf Ranking for men, which use a minimum divisor of 40 events.

On 16 April 2007, another modification in the formula was introduced. Instead of points being awarded on an accumulated 104-week rolling period, with the points awarded in the most recent 13-week period carrying a stronger value, points began to be reduced in 91 equal decrements following week 13 for the remaining 91 weeks of the two-year Rolex Ranking period rather than the seven equal 13-week decrements previously used.[3] This modification did not have an immediate impact on the rankings.

2019 event table[edit]

The events with the highest "Event rating" in 2019 are shown in the following table.

Date Event Event
ranking
Winner Tour
28 Jul The Evian Championship 100 Ko Jin-young LPGA
7 Apr ANA Inspiration 100 Ko Jin-young LPGA
2 Jun U.S. Women's Open 100 Lee Jeong-eun LPGA
4 Aug AIG Women's British Open 100 Hinako Shibuno LPGA
23 Jun KPMG Women's PGA Championship 100 Hannah Green LPGA
25 Aug Canadian Women's Open 62 Ko Jin-young LPGA
30 Jun Walmart NW Arkansas Championship 62 Park Sung-hyun LPGA
3 Mar HSBC Women's World Championship 62 Park Sung-hyun LPGA
28 Apr Hugel-Air Premia LA Open 62 Minjee Lee LPGA
31 Mar Kia Classic 62 Nasa Hataoka LPGA
24 Mar Bank of Hope Founders Cup 62 Ko Jin-young LPGA
24 Nov CME Group Tour Championship 62 Kim Sei-young LPGA
24 Feb Honda LPGA Thailand 62 Amy Yang LPGA
20 Apr Lotte Championship 56 Brooke Henderson LPGA
5 May LPGA Mediheal Championship 56 Kim Sei-young LPGA
26 May Pure Silk Championship 56 Bronte Law LPGA
27 Oct BMW Ladies Championship 56 Jang Ha-na LPGA
16 Jun Meijer LPGA Classic 50 Brooke Henderson LPGA
3 Nov Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA 50 Nelly Korda LPGA
20 Oct Buick LPGA Shanghai 50 Danielle Kang LPGA
29 Sep Indy Women in Tech Championship 50 M. J. Hur LPGA
1 Sep Cambia Portland Classic 46 Hannah Green LPGA
10 Nov Toto Japan Classic 43 Ai Suzuki LPGA
17 Feb ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open 37 Nelly Korda LPGA
6 Oct Volunteers of America Classic 37 Cheyenne Knight LPGA
7 Jul Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic 31 Shanshan Feng LPGA
11 Aug Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open 31 M. J. Hur LPGA
20 Jan Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions 28 Ji Eun-hee LPGA
9 Jun ShopRite LPGA Classic 26 Lexi Thompson LPGA
14 Jul Marathon Classic 24 Kim Sei-young LPGA
6 Oct Hana Financial Group Championship 24 Jang Ha-na KLPGA
13 Oct Hite Jinro Championship 22 Ko Jin-young KLPGA
15 Sep Japan LPGA Championship Konica Minolta Cup 22 Nasa Hataoka JLPGA
6 Oct Japan Women's Open Golf Championship 20.5 Nasa Hataoka JLPGA
22 Sep Descente Ladies Tokai Classic 20.5 Hinako Shibuno JLPGA
10 Mar Daikin Orchid Ladies Golf Tournament 20.5 Mamiko Higa JLPGA
1 Sep Hanwha Classic 20.5 Park Chae-yoon KLPGA
10 Feb ISPS Handa Vic Open 20.5 Céline Boutier LPGA
27 Oct Nobuta Group Masters GC Ladies 20.5 Asuka Kashiwabara JLPGA
30 Jun Earth Mondahmin Cup 19.5 Jiyai Shin JLPGA
16 Jun Ai Miyazato Suntory Ladies Open Golf Tournament 19.5 Ai Suzuki JLPGA
17 Nov Ito En Ladies Golf Tournament 19.5 Ai Suzuki JLPGA
17 Mar Yokohama Tire Golf Tournament PRGR Ladies Cup 19.5 Ai Suzuki JLPGA
24 Nov Daio Paper Elleair Ladies Open 19.5 Hinako Shibuno JLPGA
11 Aug Hokkaido Meiji Cup 19.5 Bae Seon-woo JLPGA
20 Oct KB Financial Group Star Championship 19.5 Lim Hee-jeong KLPGA
19 May Hoken No Madoguchi Ladies 19.5 Lee Min-young JLPGA
24 Mar T-Point ENEOS Golf Tournament 19.5 Momoko Ueda JLPGA
18 Aug NEC Karuizawa 72 Golf Tournament 19.5 Lala Anai JLPGA
12 May World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup 19.5 Hinako Shibuno JLPGA
11 Aug Jeju Samdasoo Masters 19.5 Yoo Hae-ran KLPGA
1 Sep Nitori Ladies Golf Tournament 19 Ai Suzuki JLPGA
28 Apr CreaS F&C KLPGA Championship 19 Choi Hye-jin KLPGA
3 Nov SK Networks Seokyung Ladies Classic 19 Choi Hye-jin KLPGA
1 Dec Japan LPGA Tour Championship Ricoh Cup 19 Bae Seon-woo JLPGA
7 Apr Yamaha Ladies Open Katsuragi 19 Misuzu Narita JLPGA
29 Sep OK! Savings Bank Pak Se-ri Invitational 19 Cho A-yean KLPGA
5 May Panasonic Open Ladies Golf Tournament 19 Minami Katsu JLPGA
16 Jun Kia Motors Korea Women's Open Championship 19 Lee Da-yeon KLPGA
19 May Doosan Match Play Championship 19 Kim Ji-hyun KLPGA
7 Jul Shiseido Anessa Ladies Open 19 Hinako Shibuno JLPGA
14 Jul Nippon Ham Ladies Classic 19 Saranporn Langkulgasettrin JLPGA
10 Nov ADT CAPS Championship 19 Ahn Song-yi KLPGA
29 Sep Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Women's Open Golf Tournament 19 Asuka Kashiwabara JLPGA

Criticisms[edit]

When they were introduced the rankings attracted considerable criticism on two grounds.[4] First, it was widely felt that members of the LPGA of Japan Tour were ranked too high, since few of them had competed successfully outside Japan. Second, the minimum of 15 events needed to qualify for a ranking was widely seen as having been selected purely to enable Michelle Wie to be highly ranked because she had played exactly that number in the preceding two years, while every other highly ranked player had played many more events. If the women's rankings used the same system used for the men's rankings – that is a minimum number of events of one but a minimum denominator of 40 to calculate the average points per tournament – Wie would have been just outside the top 10. But under the women's ranking system where only players who had played a minimum number of events were included, if the minimum number of events had been set higher than 15, Wie would not have been ranked at all.

The August 2006 revised formula addressed the second criticism. The technical committee that administers the rankings urged patience with regard to the first criticism, since the continuing "strength of the field" weighting of tournaments may correct the issue without any technical changes being made.

Significance of the rankings[edit]

The rankings are used by each of the sponsoring tours to determine eligibility criteria for certain events. For example, 40 of the 144 places in the Women's British Open are currently awarded on the basis of the rankings—10 to LET members and 30 to LPGA members.[5] Four of the 12 places in the European Solheim Cup team are allocated on the basis of the rankings.[6]

Since 2013, the rankings at the end of each LPGA Tour season in odd-numbered years have determined the eight countries that will compete in the following year's International Crown, a LPGA-sponsored team event scheduled in even-numbered years and first held in 2014. More specifically, the countries whose top four players have the highest cumulative rankings are invited to compete.[7] The individual participants from each qualified country are determined by the rankings immediately prior to the ANA Inspiration (known before 2015 as the Kraft Nabisco Championship) in the year of the event.[8]

Current top ten[edit]

As of 14 June 2021

Rank Change Player Country Points
1 Steady Ko Jin-young  South Korea 9.42
2 Steady Inbee Park  South Korea 8.61
3 Steady Kim Sei-young  South Korea 7.66
4 Steady Nelly Korda  United States 7.40
5 Steady Brooke Henderson  Canada 6.20
6 Steady Danielle Kang  United States 5.88
7 Steady Lexi Thompson  United States 5.72
9 Increase1 Yuka Saso  Philippines 5.49
8 Decrease1 Kim Hyo-joo  South Korea 5.44
10 Steady Nasa Hataoka  Japan 5.42

Change column indicates change in rank from previous week.

Notes

  • On 12 January 2009, Annika Sörenstam, who was ranked No. 3 the previous week despite having announced her retirement effective at the end of the 2008 season, was removed from the rankings. No official explanation was given for her removal. Sörenstam later posted in her personal blog that she asked to be removed.[9]
  • On 10 May 2010, one week after announcing that she was retiring from golf, Lorena Ochoa also voluntarily removed herself from the rankings. Her last position in the rankings was No. 2 for the week of 3 May 2010.[10]

World number ones[edit]

^ Record
* Current No. 1 player as of 14 June 2021[11]
No. Player Country Start date End date Weeks Total weeks
1 Annika Sörenstam  Sweden 21 February 2006 22 April 2007 60 60
2 Lorena Ochoa  Mexico 23 April 2007 2 May 2010 158^ 158^
3 Jiyai Shin  South Korea 3 May 2010 20 June 2010 7 7
4 Ai Miyazato  Japan 21 June 2010 27 June 2010 1 1
5 Cristie Kerr  United States 28 June 2010 18 July 2010 3 3
Ai Miyazato (2)  Japan 19 July 2010 25 July 2010 1 2
Jiyai Shin (2)  South Korea 26 July 2010 15 August 2010 3 10
Cristie Kerr (2)  United States 16 August 2010 22 August 2010 1 4
Ai Miyazato (3)  Japan 23 August 2010 24 October 2010 9 11
Cristie Kerr (3)  United States 25 October 2010 31 October 2010 1 5
Jiyai Shin (3)  South Korea 1 November 2010 13 February 2011 15 25
6 Yani Tseng  Taiwan 14 February 2011 17 March 2013 109 109
7 Stacy Lewis  United States 18 March 2013 14 April 2013 4 4
8 Inbee Park  South Korea 15 April 2013 1 June 2014 59 59
Stacy Lewis (2)  United States 2 June 2014 26 October 2014 21 25
Inbee Park (2)  South Korea 27 October 2014 1 February 2015 14 73
9 Lydia Ko  New Zealand 2 February 2015 14 June 2015 19 19
Inbee Park (3)  South Korea 15 June 2015 25 October 2015 19 92
Lydia Ko (2)  New Zealand 26 October 2015 11 June 2017 85 104
10 Ariya Jutanugarn  Thailand 12 June 2017 25 June 2017 2 2
11 Ryu So-yeon  South Korea 26 June 2017 5 November 2017 19 19
12 Park Sung-hyun  South Korea 6 November 2017 12 November 2017 1 1
13 Shanshan Feng  China 13 November 2017 22 April 2018 23 23
Inbee Park (4)  South Korea 23 April 2018 29 July 2018 14 106
Ariya Jutanugarn (2)  Thailand 30 July 2018 19 August 2018 3 5
Park Sung-hyun (2)  South Korea 20 August 2018 28 October 2018 10 11
Ariya Jutanugarn (3)  Thailand 29 October 2018 3 March 2019 18 23
Park Sung-hyun (3)  South Korea 4 March 2019 7 April 2019 5 16
14 Ko Jin-young  South Korea 8 April 2019 30 June 2019 12 12
Park Sung-hyun (4)  South Korea 1 July 2019 28 July 2019 4 20
Ko Jin-young (2)*  South Korea 29 July 2019 Present 91 103[a]
  1. ^ The rankings were frozen due to the COVID-19 pandemic from 16 March 2020 to 18 May 2020. (8 weeks)

Total weeks at No. 1[edit]

* Current No. 1 player as of 14 June 2021[11]
Rank Player Country Weeks Order Majors
1 Lorena Ochoa  Mexico 158 2 2
2 Yani Tseng  Taiwan 109 6 5
3 Inbee Park  South Korea 106 8 7
4 Lydia Ko  New Zealand 104 9 2
5 Ko Jin-young*  South Korea 103[a] 14 2
6 Annika Sörenstam  Sweden 60 1 10
7 Jiyai Shin  South Korea 25 3 2
Stacy Lewis  United States 7 2
9 Shanshan Feng  China 23 13 1
Ariya Jutanugarn  Thailand 10 2
11 Park Sung-hyun  South Korea 20 12 2
12 Ryu So-yeon  South Korea 19 11 2
13 Ai Miyazato  Japan 11 4 0
14 Cristie Kerr  United States 5 5 2
  1. ^ The rankings were frozen due to the COVID-19 pandemic from 16 March 2020 to 18 May 2020. (8 weeks)

Year end No. 1[edit]

Year Player Country
2006 Annika Sörenstam  Sweden
2007 Lorena Ochoa  Mexico
2008 Lorena Ochoa (2)  Mexico
2009 Lorena Ochoa (3)  Mexico
2010 Jiyai Shin  South Korea
2011 Yani Tseng  Taiwan
2012 Yani Tseng (2)  Taiwan
2013 Inbee Park  South Korea
2014 Inbee Park (2)  South Korea
2015 Lydia Ko  New Zealand
2016 Lydia Ko (2)  New Zealand
2017 Shanshan Feng  China
2018 Ariya Jutanugarn  Thailand
2019 Ko Jin-young  South Korea
2020 Ko Jin-young (2)  South Korea

Weeks at No. 1 by country[edit]

* Country with the current number one player as of 14 June 2021
Rank Country No. of
players
No. of
weeks
Players
1  South Korea* 5 273[a] Jiyai Shin, Inbee Park, Ryu So-yeon, Park Sung-hyun, Ko Jin-young
2  Mexico 1 158 Lorena Ochoa
3  Taiwan 1 109 Yani Tseng
4  New Zealand 1 104 Lydia Ko
5  Sweden 1 60 Annika Sörenstam
6  United States 2 30 Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis
7  China 1 23 Shanshan Feng
7  Thailand 1 23 Ariya Jutanugarn
9  Japan 1 11 Ai Miyazato

Active players are in bold.

  1. ^ The rankings were frozen due to the COVID-19 pandemic from 16 March 2020 to 18 May 2020. (8 weeks)

Players who have reached No. 1 without having won a major title[edit]

Players Date of first No. 1 position First major title
Lorena Ochoa 23 April 2007 2007 Women's British Open
Ai Miyazato 21 June 2010 none
Lydia Ko 2 February 2015 2015 Evian Championship

Historical rankings[edit]

Annika Sörenstam of Sweden topped the first set of rankings, which was released on Tuesday 21 February 2006. Paula Creamer (United States); Michelle Wie (United States); Yuri Fudoh (Japan); and Cristie Kerr (United States) took the other places in the top 5. The top one hundred players in the initial rankings came from the following countries:

  • 25: South Korea
  • 23: Japan
  • 21: United States
  • 6: Australia, Sweden
  • 5: United Kingdom (England 3; Scotland 2)
  • 4: Taiwan
  • 2: France
  • 1: Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Philippines

Breakdown by nationality[edit]

A breakdown of the year-end top-100 by nationality.

Country 20
20
20
19
20
18
20
17
20
16
20
15
20
14
20
13
20
12
20
11
20
10
20
09
20
08
20
07
20
06
 South Korea 35 40 39 41 40 39 39 41 38 37 36 35 31 32 26
 United States 23 20 24 22 22 21 18 19 17 15 18 22 23 20 23
 Japan 12 14 11 10 10 11 14 17 18 22 22 20 21 23 24
 England 5 4 4 3 2 3 3 1 1 2 3 2 2 3 2
 Australia 4 3 3 5 3 2 3 1 3 3 5 5 4 4 4
 Thailand 3 3 4 3 3 2 1 3 1 1
 China 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 2 1 2 2 1
 Spain 2 2 2 2 3 2 3 3 3 2 2
 Denmark 2 2 1 2 1 1 1
 Germany 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1
 Sweden 2 1 2 2 1 2 3 2 5 4 3 4 7 4 6
 Canada 1 1 1 1 2 1 1
 New Zealand 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
 Mexico 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
 Netherlands 1 1 1 1 1 1
 France 1 1 1 1 2 3 2 1 1 3 2 3
 South Africa 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
 Philippines 1 1
 Chinese Taipei 2 2 2 2 3 2 3 2 4 3 3 4 3 3
 India 1 1
 Norway 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
 Scotland 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 3 1
 Paraguay 1 1 1 1 1
 Colombia 1 1 1
 Italy 1 2 1 1 1 1
 Brazil 1 1 1
 Finland 1
 Wales 1
 Chile 1

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Women's World Rankings to begin in 2005". Golf Today. 2004. Retrieved 16 April 2007.
  2. ^ "Two modifications announced for Rolex Rankings". LPGA. 3 August 2006. Retrieved 3 August 2006.
  3. ^ "Modification Announced to Rolex Rankings Calculations". LPGA. 9 April 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2007.
  4. ^ Kelley, Brent (21 February 2006). "First Women's World Golf Rankings Stir Up Controversy". about.com. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Entry Form, 2011 Ricoh Women's British Open: Rules and Conditions" (PDF). Ladies' Golf Union. Retrieved 29 July 2011. See especially "7. Exemptions from Pre-Qualifying and Final Qualifying", pages 2–3.
  6. ^ "Solheim selection process changes". BBC Sport. 18 April 2006. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  7. ^ "32 Players, 8 Countries, 1 Crown: LPGA Unveils the International Crown" (Press release). LPGA. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  8. ^ "LPGA International Crown Celebrates "Year from Here" Event" (Press release). LPGA. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  9. ^ Sörenstam, Annika (February 2009). "Annika's Blog February 2009". Archived from the original on 24 March 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2009.
  10. ^ "Ochoa removed from women's golf rankings". UPI.com. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  11. ^ a b "Rolex Rankings". Rolex Rankings. Retrieved 14 June 2021.

External links[edit]