How LPGA awards races look with four tournaments remaining
The LPGA season is in its final stretch with this week’s BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea marking the first of four remaining tournaments.
As the tour anticipates crowning the Race to the CME Globe champion next month at the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida, there are also several postseason awards still very much up for grabs, including Rolex Player of the Year.
Here’s where several races stand:
Rolex Player of the Year
Who’s leading: Minjee Lee (149 points)
Who’s still in running: Brooke Henderson (130), Atthaya Thitikul (124), Lydia Ko (120) and 14 others
The skinny: With 30 points awarded for wins, several players are mathematically still in the POY race, but Lee, thanks in large part to her victories at the U.S. Women’s Open and Cognizant Founders Cup, certainly has a nice advantage over Henderson, especially considering Henderson is skipping the next two events. Lee, Thitikul and Ko are among those entered in the BMW Ladies, though Thitikul can only pass Lee this week with a win (runner-up finishes are worth 12 points with players earnings points all the way down to 10th place). Lee, Henderson and Thitikul are chasing their first POY honor while Ko is eyeing her second after winning in 2015.
Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year
Who’s leading: Atthaya Thitikul (1,425 points)
Who’s still in running: Hye-Jin Choi (1,182)
The skinny: The point allotment is different than POY, with wins earning 150 points, second 80, third 75 and so on, all the way down to made cuts outside the top 40 receiving five points. That said, Choi is still in it, but she will need a strong finish. She’ll join Thitikul in the BMW Ladies field.
Who’s leading: Lydia Ko (69.176)
Who’s still in running: Minjee Lee (69.333), Xiyu Lin (69.439), Atthaya Thitikul (69.464), Brooke Henderson (69.479)
The skinny: Ko is trying to become the first back-to-back Vare Trophy winner since Stacy Lewis won the LPGA’s scoring title in 2013-14. Per the math, Lee would need to average 68.389 in the four remaining events (assuming she plays every round) to pass Ko’s current average. Thitikul would need to average 67.158 while Lin and Henderson each would need to average just below 66.5.