Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings unveiled, first-ever sanctioned women's golf rankings
Sorenstam tops list, Creamer 8.82 average points behind
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 21, 2006 - Annika Sorenstam is the number-one player in women's golf. Not that anyone was prepared to dispute that fact, but thanks to a joint unveiling today by the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), Ladies European Tour (LET), Ladies Professional Golfers' Association of Japan (JLPGA), Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA), Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) and the Ladies' Golf Union (LGU) women's golf now has its first official rankings system, the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings.
The Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings—which was developed at the May 2004 World Congress of Women's Golf—is the first-ever world rankings system for women's golf sanctioned by the five major women's professional golf Tours: the LPGA; LET; JLPGA; KLPGA; and the ALPG, as well as the LGU, which administers the Weetabix Women's British Open. The Rolex Rankings are the only women's world rankings that incorporate player performances from the five major tours and the Duramed Futures Tour, the official developmental tour of the LPGA.
“Rolex is delighted to become the founding sponsor of the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings,” said Jean-Noel Bioul, co-director of sponsorship at Rolex S.A. “The Rolex commitment to golf is substantial and widespread and the addition of the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings is confirmation of the company's support for the women's game worldwide.
“The Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings create the opportunity to bring all the women's golf around the world together as one family. Golf and Rolex are perfect partners.”
The five major golf tours and the LGU developed the Rolex Rankings and the protocol that governs the rankings, while R2IT, an independent software development company was retained to develop the software for the Rolex Rankings and will continue to maintain the rankings on a weekly basis. The Rolex Rankings will be updated and released every Tuesday following the completion of the previous week's tournaments around the world.
Sweden's Annika Sorenstam, who has 21 worldwide wins in the last two years, is ranked first on the inaugural Rolex Rankings with 18.47 average points, while Paula Creamer, of the United States, is second with 9.65 average points. Michelle Wie is third (9.24 average), while Yuri Fudoh (Japan, 7.37 average) and Cristie Kerr (USA, 6.94 average) round out the top five, respectively.
“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?'” said Carolyn F. Bivens, LPGA commissioner. “We are so pleased to fully endorse the Rolex Rankings with the cooperation of the ALPG, JLPGA, KLPGA, LET and LGU. Rolex has long been a dedicated supporter of women's golf and we are excited that they have expanded their global commitment to women's golf by sponsoring the Rolex Rankings.”
The formation of the Rolex Rankings provides a unified and authoritative reference source to the relative performance of the world's leading players. Rolex Rankings shares the established men's world rankings philosophy of awarding points based on field strength and evaluates players performance over a rolling two-year period weighted in favor of the current year with even more importance placed on the most recent 13 weeks. A divisor is used to take into account the number of tournaments played by each ranked player, and players must compete in at least 15 events over the two-year rolling period in order to be ranked.
The official events from all of the world's five major tours will be taken into account and points will be awarded according to the strength of the field with exception to the four major championships on the LPGA Tour schedule and the Futures Tour events, which will have a fixed point distribution. The number of points distributed to each player is dependant upon her finish and scale of points allocated on the basis of the number and rankings of players in the field.
Click here for the full list of Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings.>>
Internationally recognized as the premier luxury timepiece, Rolex, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, has an unrivalled reputation for quality and craftsmanship.
After obtaining the first official chronometer certification for a wristwatch in 1910, Rolex went a step further and introduced, in 1926, the first truly water-proof, pressure-proof and dust-proof case, fittingly named the Rolex Oyster.
Since 1927, Rolex has been associated with the quest for excellence inherent in sport, when it placed a Rolex Oyster on the wrist of a young swimmer, Mercedes Gleitze, as she swam across the English Channel. In 1933, Rolex began to sponsor Himalayan and polar expeditions, including the first successful ascent of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953.
Today Rolex supports top sporting and cultural events all over the world. It is present at more than 150 events in the realms of golf, yachting, tennis, equestrian events, motorsports, culture and the arts, as well as philanthropic awards programs. Because of the commitment and continuity of these relationships, Rolex is seen as not only a sponsor… but as a real partner.
Please see the attached document for the extensive history of Rolex's involvement in the sport of golf around the world.
About R2 Innovative Technologies
With more than 16 years of experience at hundreds of events, R2 Innovative Technologies (R2IT) is the leading provider of high-tech entertainment to the world of professional golf and beyond. Originally the Computer Services division of Executive Sports and Golden Bear International, this division was one of the first companies to deliver computerized scoring services to the professional golf community and successful interfaces to televised productions.
In 1999, Executive Sports Computer Services strategically separated from its parent company to form R2 Innovative Technologies.
R2IT currently services or supports more than 65 professional golf tournaments annually on the three major tours in the United States (PGA Tour, Champions, and LPGA). For more information on R2IT, call 800-660-R2IT (7248) or log on to www.r2it.com.
About Ladies Professional Golf Association
Featuring the world's best women golfers, the LPGA's membership includes touring, teaching and club professionals. The LPGA Tour in 2006 features 34 events, with total prize money of nearly $50 million. Since 1981, the LPGA and its tournaments have raised approximately $170 million for charity. From the dreams of its 13 founders in 1950, the LPGA has evolved into the world's preeminent women's professional sports organization. The LPGA has grown from its roots as a playing tour into a non-profit organization involved in every facet of golf. The LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) membership boasts a total of nearly 1,200 women golf professionals who serve as teachers, golf professionals, club managers and coaches. Through the LPGA T&CP membership, the LPGA is working to increase the involvement of women and youth in golf, as well as contribute to the growth of the sport overall. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla. For more information on the LPGA, log on to www.LPGA.com.