Japanese collegian leads inaugural female amateur ranking

photo

Mitsuki Katahira

Woman Amateur Ranking

  1. Mitsuki Katahira JPN 1552.63

  2. Cecilia Cho NZL 1522.64

  3. Emily Tubert USA 1447.22

  4. Leona Maguire IRL 1443.18

  5. Lydia Ko NZL 1440.00

  6. Megan McChrystal USA 1420.00

  7. Kayla Mortellaro USA 1416.67

  8. Marina Alex USA 1372.00

  9. Lisa McCloskey COL 1367.21

  10. Cydney Clanton USA 1340.35

Mitsuki Katahira of Japan has etched her name into golfing history.

She is the top amateur golfer in the world, courtesy of the first-of-its-kind ranking specifically for women.

Winner of the 2010 LPGA Xavier International, Katahira leads the standings in the first week of the official relaunch of the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Now jointly administered by the R&A and the USGA, and incorporating the men’s and new women’s ranking, the WAGR lists more than 8,000 players, awarding points based on 3,000-plus worldwide events. The WAGR compares amateur performance in these events over a rolling 52-week period.

The women’s ranking has a calendar of 1,350 counting events, with more than 3,100 ranked players from 50 countries.

Katahira, a sophomore at Daytona State College in Florida, won the individual title at the 2010 NJCAA National Championship with the lowest score in history, leading the team to a 60-shot routing for its fourth national championship.

“Her work ethic is amazing, I’ve never seen a player work that hard, ever,” head coach Laura Brown said in December. “Basically, if the sun is up and she’s not in class, she’s at the golf course.”

After Katahira graduates from college in the spring, she plans to go through LPGA Qualifying School in the fall. In her previous trip, she didn’t advance through the first stage.

Even if the pros don’t work out right away, Brown already has seen interest in Katahira from 4-year schools such as Miami, South Florida, Central Florida and defending national champion Purdue.

“I really think anybody would be interested in her,” Brown said.

American Peter Uihlein, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion and a junior at Oklahoma State, is No. 1 in the men’s ranking.

Julie Williams contributed to this report.

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