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Women's World Rankings to being in 2005

The leaders of the five major women's golf Tour's met on the opening day of the inaugural World Congress of Women's Golf in New York City and have announced their plans to develop a unified world ranking of professional women golfers in time for the 2005 season.

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour (LET), the Ladies Professional Golfers' Association of Japan, the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA), Australian La dies Professional Golf (ALPG) have agreed that in the best interests of the development of women's golf around the globe, a rankings system should be in place as soon as is practicable.

"Having a unified world rankings in place will encourage a spirit of collaboration between the five main Tours and will provide a platform for fair and consistent means of determining eligibility of players for elite events," said Ian Randell, chief executive of the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour .

"The public and the media will also have a yardstick from which to measure the top players in the game and a world ranking would also help facilitate the process of integrating golf into the Olympics by providing a competent selection process."

Ty M. Votaw, commissioner of the LPGA and host of the W orld Congress of Women's Golf added:

"We believe that a comprehensive world rankings system that is universally agreed upon by the leading professional golf tours is a natural evolution in the advancement of women's golf,"

 "It will benefit all of the sport's participants, including players, fans and sponsors."

While specific details of the rankings system, which would be the first ever developed by the leaders of the top world tours in women's golf, are currently under discussion, it is expected that the final version will share the men's rankings philosophy of awarding points based on the strength of the field and evaluate players' performance over a two-year period.  An initial governing board will be formed, comprised of representatives from the five major golf tours.  In addition, a technical committee and an independent chairman will be appointed.

Professionals playing qualified events on the LPGA, LET, the Ladies Professional Golfers' Association of Japan, the KLPGA and the ALPG will be eligible initially, and professionals playing on other tours will be considered as they grow in stature.

Additionally, should golf become an Olympic sport, a world rankings system is the ideal method to determine eligibility, and if recognized by the International Golf Federation (IGF), could facilitate a player selection process for each country.  Throughout the development of the women's world rankings, the five major tours have been and will continue to be in communication with the IGF to ensure the proposed women's world rankings will meet the Olympic eligibility requirements.


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