A closer look at the LPGA’s top spot

Who is the No. 1 player in women’s golf?

Most settle for the obvious answer of Lorena Ochoa, who has collected 18 tournament titles since the start of the 2007 season. What’s maybe more impressive is Ochoa has placed inside the top 10 in 50 of 68 starts (or 73.5 percent of her appearances) during that same time frame. However, Ochoa’s 2009 season has brought those numbers down. In her 2009 starts she has finished outside the top 10 nine times, compared to only nine times in all of 2007 and 2008.

Ochoa remains the top player in the Rolex Rankings by a comfortable margin, and she ranks No. 1 in scoring average. Ochoa would be considered by many to be the top player in the women’s game, and you won’t get any real argument from me.

But, this week a new player could jump to the top in what is really a close race for the top women’s player right now.

In the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, which measures players based on their past 52 weeks of play, Ochoa has a very narrow lead over Paula Creamer. If Creamer were to repeat her good finish from this event last year and finish ahead of Ochoa at the LPGA Championship, she could be the top player in the women’s game heading into 2010.

For those of you who don’t agree, maybe this will help: In common starts, Creamer has an 8-6-1 head-to-head record against Ochoa. And in 58 common rounds played, Creamer has bettered Ochoa 27 times compared to Ochoa beating Creamer 23 times - they have tied eight rounds.

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