Sure, Lorena Ochoa is leaving the LPGA for good, and she is doing it in a honorable and classy way, but, well, we fans are not really interested in what once was, but on what is going to be, and that is the next LPGA number one, so, who can that be?
Yes, just after a decade or so of the ranks being dominated by Annika Sorenstam and Ochoa herself, the highest spot is widely open for the next champ. Now, we have players like Suzann Pettersen, Jiyai Shin and even Michelle Wie, but have you give it a thought about Ai Miyazato?.
When we get to compare Miyazato and Shin, we can notice that both are certainly amongst the top ones in the JLPGA (Japan), and their winning odds on such league are clearly higher than those in the LPGA. The strength present in the fields of the JLPGA, with 8 of the top twenty five, fifteen of the top fifty and thirty six of the top one hundred playing over there regularly, can only mean that the good finishes (top ten) and outstanding finishes (top five) can truly contribute to their world ranking in a relevant way, even when they are not able of accumulating a series of wins over there in 2010.
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With the top performers so close to each other (Ochoa at 9.11 is just over 1 ½ points ahead of Cristie Kerr at 7.50). And, with about any of the top thirty LPGA regular ones being capable of taking over the highest spot in the upcoming years, to be able of incrementing your LPGA results with good performances on different tours, might end up being the determining factor.
To resume, the LPGA is, as of now, what the PGA would be without the presence of a man like Tiger Woods or even Phil Mickelson. Meaning a scenario made of a good number of competitors with not a clear favorite amongst them. Now, if you are the type of person who enjoys betting, you might as well consider Shin and Miyazato to take over the place of Lorena Ochoa, who is retiring after winning 2 majors and 27 victories in the tour and being honored the title of Player of the Year in the LPGA tour for 6 consecutive years.
Before Ochoa is done with professional golf for good, she will play the Tres Marias Championship, taking place in Morelia, Mexico.
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