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Annika Sorenstam tops Women's World Rankings

No one doubted Annika Sorenstam was the No. 1 player in women's golf.

Now it's official.

The Women's World Golf Ranking finally made its debut Tuesday morning with Sorenstam far atop the list based on her 21 victories worldwide and three major championships over the last two years. Such is her dominance that Sorenstam's lead was nearly double that of Paula Creamer at No. 2.

The only surprise was Michelle Wie.

The 16-year-old from Hawaii, who turned pro in October, checked in at No. 3 and could move ahead of Creamer depending on what happens in the Fields Open in Hawaii this week on the LPGA Tour.

The women's ranking, sponsored by Rolex, will be published every Tuesday and used as criteria for getting into tournaments such as the LPGA Championship, the Women's British Open and the HSBC Women's World Match Play.

"The Rolex Rankings make nationality, tour membership and amateur or professional status virtually invisible, providing a definitive answer to the question, 'Who are the best women golfers in the world?"' LPGA Tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens said.

The system is similar to the men's ranking. It measures performance over two years, with emphasis placed on the most recent 13-week period. Points are assigned based on the strength of field, then divided by the number of tournaments played.

But there are two major differences.

Professionals and amateurs can appear in the women's world ranking because anyone can earn points by competing in official events on the LPGA, European, Japan, Korean and Australian women's tours, along with the developmental Futures Tour in the United States.

And while the men have a minimum divisor of 40 tournaments over two years, the women's divisor is only 15.

That explains why Wie, who plays sparingly while attending high school in Honolulu, started out ranked so high.

She has played 15 events on the LPGA since 2004 with six top-10 finishes -- three in majors. She was fourth in the Kraft Nabisco Championship in '04, and last year was second at the LPGA Championship and tied for third in the Women's British Open.

Creamer, meanwhile, won four times worldwide as an LPGA Tour rookie last year. But she has played 35 times in the last two years as a pro and an amateur, so her point average comes out to 9.65. Wie was at 9.24.

Sorenstam has no such worries. The dominant force in women's golf over the last five years, she won 10 times on the LPGA Tour last year, including the first two majors. Her average was 18.47.

Yuri Fudoh of Japan had 7.37 points and was at No. 4, followed by Cristie Kerr at 6.94. Rounding out the top 10 were Ai Miyazato, Lorena Ochoa, Women's British Open champion Jeong Jang, Hee-Won Han and Juli Inkster.

There were seven Americans among the top 20, while Japan had five players there.

The idea of a women's ranking started two years ago during the World Congress of Women's Golf in New York. It is sanctioned by the five major tours around the world (plus the Ladies Golf Union, which runs the Women's British Open), and will be maintained by R2IT, an independent software development company.

 
 
  Rank   Player               Country     Avg        Pts     Evts
  ----   ------               -------     ---        ---     ----
   1     Annika Sorenstam      SWE      18.47     757.00      41
   2     Paula Creamer         USA       9.65     338.00      35
   3     Michelle Wie          USA       9.24     139.00      15
   4     Yuri Fudoh            JPN       7.37     369.00      50
   5     Cristie Kerr          USA       6.94     333.00      48
   6     Ai Miyazato           JPN       6.58     362.00      55
   7     Lorena Ochoa          MEX       6.10     317.00      52
   8     Jeong Jang            KOR       4.91     290.00      59
   9     Hee-Won Han           KOR       4.49     256.00      57
  10     Julie Inkster         USA       4.11     173.00      42
  11     Grace Park            KOR       3.89     194.00      50
  12     Karrie Webb           AUS       3.69     185.00      50
  13     Sakura Yokomine       JPN       3.59     169.00      47
  14     Shiho Ohyama          JPN       3.46     211.00      61
  15     Pat Hurst             USA       3.44     165.00      48
  16     Rosie Jones           USA       3.40     136.00      40
  17     Kasumi Fujii          JPN       3.39     186.00      55
  18     Natalie Gulbis        USA       3.38     193.00      57
  19     Catriona Matthew      SCO       3.38     192.00      57
  20     Soo-Yun Kang          KOR       3.30     178.00      54
  21     Ju-Mi Kim             KOR       3.29     125.00      38
  22     Candie Kung           TWN       3.10     167.00      54
  23     Liselotte Neumann     SWE       3.06     147.00      48
  24     Jennifer Rosales      PHL       3.01     147.00      49
  25     Carin Koch            SWE       2.97     158.00      53
  26     Hyun-Ju Shin          KOR       2.94     121.00      41
  27     Mi Hyun Kim           KOR       2.93     167.00      57
  28     Christina Kim         USA       2.86     177.00      62
  29     Michele Redman        USA       2.84     128.00      45
  30     Gloria Park           KOR       2.83     170.00      60
  31     Midori Yoneyama       JPN       2.78     153.00      55
  32     Michiko Hattori       JPN       2.77     147.00      53
  33     Karen Stupples        ENG       2.71     146.00      54
  34     Shi Hyun Ahn          KOR       2.68     140.00      52
  35     Heather Young         USA       2.66     138.00      52
  36     Junko Omote           JPN       2.65     167.00      63
  37     Akiko Fukushima       JPN       2.63     129.00      49
  38     Karine Icher          FRA       2.61     115.00      44
  39     Wendy Ward            USA       2.59     130.00      50
  40     Young Kim             KOR       2.53     124.00      49
  41     Meg Mallon            USA       2.41      99.00      41
  42     Hee-Young Park        KOR       2.39      48.00      20
  43     Sophie Gustafson      SWE       2.36     125.00      53
  44     Lorie Kane            CAN       2.32     123.00      53
  45     Shinobu Moromizato    JPN       2.31      53.00      23
  46     Marisa Baena          COL       2.28     103.00      45
  47     Laura Davies          ENG       2.23     136.00      61
  48     Ji-Hee Lee            KOR       2.22     115.00      52
  49     Meena Lee             KOR       2.21     108.00      49
  50     Rachel Hetherington   AUS       2.19     121.00      55
  51     Birdie Kim            KOR       2.17     106.00      49
  52     Kaori Higo            JPN       2.14     107.00      50
  53     Nicole Perrot         CHL       2.12      89.00      42
  54     Beth Daniel           USA       2.05      78.00      38
  55     Michie Ohba           JPN       1.98      99.00      50
  56     Laura Diaz            USA       1.97      97.00      49
  57     Mi-Jeong Jeon         KOR       1.94      83.00      43
  58     Miho Koga             JPN       1.93     118.00      61
  59     Na-Yeon Choi          KOR       1.84      37.00      20
  60     Eun-Hye Lee           KOR       1.82      58.00      32
  61     Bo-Bae Song           KOR       1.82      58.00      32
  62     Stacy Prammanasudh    USA       1.80      90.00      50
  63     Nikki Campbell        AUS       1.77      97.00      55
  64     Hiroko Yamaguchi      JPN       1.76     106.00      60
  65     Kim Saiki             USA       1.76      86.00      49
  66     Maria Hjorth          SWE       1.70     102.00      60
  67     Akane Iijima          JPN       1.69      49.00      29
  68     Leta Lindley          USA       1.64      56.00      34
  69     Yun-Jye Wei           TWN       1.63      89.00      55
  70     Hiromi Mogi           JPN       1.62     102.00      63
  71     Wendy Doolan          AUS       1.61      64.00      40
  72     Toshimi Kimura        JPN       1.55      93.00      60
  73     Mikiyo Nishizuka      JPN       1.55      93.00      60
  74     Julie Lu              TWN       1.53      84.00      55
  75     Jill McGill           USA       1.48      75.00      51
  76     Iben Tinning          DEN       1.46      54.00      37
  77     Yun-Hee Ku            KOR       1.46      58.00      40
  78     Chieko Amanuma        JPN       1.43      80.00      56
  79     Gwladys Nocera        FRA       1.43      50.00      35
  80     Hyun-Hee Moon         KOR       1.37      31.00      23
  81     Moira Dunn            USA       1.36      66.00      49
  82     Ya Huei Lu            TWN       1.34      34.00      25
  83     Yukari Baba           JPN       1.33      81.00      61
  84     Soo-Young Moon        KOR       1.31      45.00      34
  85     Suzann Pettersen      NOR       1.31      38.00      29
  86     Yuko Saitoh           JPN       1.30      76.00      59
  87     Mitsuko Kawasaki      JPN       1.29      80.00      62
  88     Aree Song             KOR       1.28      64.00      50
  89     Veronica Zorzi        ITA       1.27      32.00      25
  90     Se-Ri Pak             KOR       1.20      42.00      35
  91     Yun-Joo Jeong         KOR       1.20      42.00      35
  92     Tamie Durdin          AUS       1.19      51.00      43
  93     Noriko Aso            JPN       1.18      53.00      45
  94     Tina Barrett          USA       1.18      55.00      47
  95     Sung-Ah Yim           KOR       1.16      58.00      50
  96     Cecilia Ekelundh      SWE       1.16      42.00      36
  97     Trish Johnson         ENG       1.16      32.00      28
  98     Rebecca Stevenson     AUS       1.15      21.00      18
  99     Janice Moodie         SCO       1.15      58.00      50
 100     Angela Stanford       USA       1.13      57.00      50
 

February 22, 2006




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