Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Player of the Year “Race”

Sergio, a frequent reader of the Hound Dog LPGA Blog, has asked if Lorena Ochoa has clinched the Rolex Player of the Year award yet. The answer is - mathematically, not quite.

Rolex POY points are awarded to only the Top 10 finishers at each tournament. Winners receive 30 points, second place gets 12, third gets 9, fourth gets 7…all the way down to one point for tenth place. Double points are awarded at the major tournaments and the ADT Championship. There are seven events remaining on the LPGA schedule, with the ADT supplying double points. So the maximum points available to be earned by any player is 240.

At the moment Lorena leads second-place Suzann Pettersen 318 to 129, a 189-point margin. Morgan Pressel, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr and Stacy Prammanasudh are the only other players within 240 of Ochoa. Lorena could clinch as early as this weekend if she wins the Longs Drugs Challenge and Pettersen finishes no better than fourth.

If Ochoa sat out the last seven events or failed to make Top 10 in any of them (she’s only failed to do that three times in 20 starts this year), Pettersen would have to:
1) Win the ADT plus four other events and earn 10 points from the other two events, or
2) Win six events and finish sixth or better at the ADT.

Since I doubt any of these players with a chance of catching the Spitfire are playing all of the remaining events (most skip at least one of the Asian tournaments), Ochoa has in reality already clinched. I’ll hold off pronouncing her POY until the math says she is.

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