Seesaw battle for No. 1 continues at Safeway

Jiyai Shin (No. 3 in Rolex Rankings), Cristie Kerr (No. 1) and Ai Miyazato (No. 2) are some favorites this week.

Jiyai Shin (No. 3 in Rolex Rankings), Cristie Kerr (No. 1) and Ai Miyazato (No. 2) are some favorites this week.

Safeway Classic

Aug. 20-22

Course: Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Ghost Creek Course (6,546 yards, par 72), North Plains, Ore.

Purse: $1.5 million. Winner's share: $225,000.

TV: Golf Channel (Fri., 12:30-2:30 p.m.; Sat., 3-5 a.m., 5:30-8 p.m.; Sun., midnight-2 a.m., 5:30-8 p.m.; Mon., midnight-2 a.m.).

Last year: South Korea's M.J. Hur won her first LPGA Tour title, beating Suzann Pettersen with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff. Michele Redman was eliminated on the first extra hole.

NORTH PLAINS, Oregon (USA) – American Cristie Kerr reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in the world this week from South Korean Jiyai Shin – without even playing a shot.

Kerr first took the top position in the Rolex Rankings after winning the LPGA Championship by 12 shots in June. She remained No. 1 for three weeks before losing the top spot to Japan’s Ai Miyazato. Shin, who won the Evian Masters in July, is now No. 3. The rankings are calculated based on a player’s results over the last 104 weeks.

The seesaw battle for No. 1 continues this week at the Safeway Classic at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. A staple on the LPGA schedule since 1972, the 54-hole tournament begins Friday.

World No. 5 Yani Tseng steps to the tee for the first time since raising her third major championship trophy two weeks ago at the Women’s British Open. The four-time LPGA winner will try for back-to-back victories. Miyazato was the last player to achieve that feat, winning the first two events of the season.

The top 15 players in the Rolex Rankings and defending champion M.J. Hur are also in the field.

Last year, Hur of South Korea won her first LPGA title, beating Suzann Pettersen with a birdie on the second playoff hole. Michele Redman was eliminated on the first extra hole. Miyazato and Michelle Wie, who is looking for her second LPGA win this week, tied for fourth.

Sponsor exemption Jennifer Song – fresh off a playoff victory at last week’s Greater Richmond Golf Classic on the Duramed Futures Tour – should have momentum in her favor. Song is playing her first LPGA event as a professional, following amateur exemptions at the 2009 Kraft Nabisco Championship and the 2009 Hana Bank Kolon Championship.

LPGA contributed to this report

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