2 up, 2 down: Eddie Pepperell runs out of balls, falls down the list

Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

2 up, 2 down: Eddie Pepperell runs out of balls, falls down the list

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2 up, 2 down: Eddie Pepperell runs out of balls, falls down the list

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Golfweek takes a look at who’s up and who’s down each week on the three major golf tours. Here are the latest rankings for men and women.

Since the PGA Tour held no event last week, we look at LPGA and Euro Tour rankings.

The Golfweek/Sagarin ranking for each player is in parentheses.

LPGA

Up

Jennifer Kupcho (103)

Only 18 events into her LPGA career, Kupcho crossed the $500,000 mark in official earnings. Not bad for someone who didn’t turn professional until midway through the season. The Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion played her way into the Asian swing and season-ending CME Group Tour Championship. A share of fourth in Japan was the former NCAA champ’s third top-five finish of the season.

Hyo Joo Kim (2)

Somewhat quietly putting together a strong season. Birdied the last three holes in Japan to vault into solo second with a closing 66. Leads the tour in putting and ranks second to Jin Young Ko in scoring. Hasn’t won on the LPGA since 2016 but certainly trending toward ending that drought.

Down

Lexi Thompson (25)

What kind of shape is Thompson in going into the CME Group Tour Championship, where she won in 2018? Hard to say. She competed for the first time since September last week in Japan and finished T-24. Took over 30 putts in each round but said she’s now hitting fewer errant shots off the tee. Thompson said she’s trying to tame down the jump in her swing to gain consistency. Said she’s happy with the progress.

So Yeon Ryu (38)

Hasn’t contended since the U.S. Women’s Open in late May. Hasn’t notched a top-10 since June. Hasn’t won on the LPGA since the summer of 2018. Typically near the top of the tour in greens in regulation (top 5), Ryu is currently 54th. Her driving accuracy has dipped to 129th.

Euro Tour

Up

Tyrrell Hatton (46)

The Englishman earned his first win since the 2017 Italian Open by surviving a six-man playoff to in the $7 million Turkish Airlines Open. Hatton was the last man standing after finally seeing off Matthias Schwab after four holes in darkness. Only floodlights on the back nine of the Maxx Royal course allowed Hatton to prevail. He triumphed thanks to good iron play. Hatton was second in strokes gained in approach shots to France’s Victor Perez, picking up an average of +2.62 per round. The 28-year-old leads the tour in that category, averaging +1.48 strokes per round. He moves to sixth on the Race to Dubai with a realistic chance to finish the season as European number one.

Matthias Schwab (82)

The former Vanderbilt player will rue the fact he did not win his first European Tour by missing out in a playoff for the $7 million Turkish Airlines Open. The Austrian had a great chance to birdie the par-5 18th hole in the final round but could only manage a par and then lost out to Hatton. It was Schwab’s 10th top 10 of a fantastic season and moved him to 14th on the Race to Dubai. The 24-year-old finished 72nd last year in his rookie season. He’s averaging 29.62 putts per round this season compared to 30.24 last year, and his stroke average is under 70. He’s averaging half a shot better per round with a 69.94 stoke average in 2019 against 70.58 last year. That’s roughly two shots better per tournament.

Down

Ross Fisher (233)

The Englishman was in good position for a high finish in Turkey only to falter when it mattered most. The 38-year-old got to 18-under par through 12 holes of his second round and in contention to win. However, he dropped three shots in his final six holes to finish T-10. It was costly since it ended his season. Fisher could have moved into the top 60 on the Race to Dubai and into this week’s Nedbank Challenge with a higher finish. Instead, he ended up 84th. Fisher is a five-time European Tour winner but is still looking for his first win since the 2014 Tshwane Open. Fisher has always been long off the tee, but he’s not been too accurate this year. He has hit just 54.86 percent of fairways versus 63.28 percent last year, and ranks 148th in driving accuracy.

Eddie Pepperell (98)

Literally ran out of balls in the third round of the $7 million Turkish Airlines Open much to the bemusement of playing companions Martin Kaymer and George Coetzee. The Englishman is one of the smarter players on the European Tour, but he couldn’t find a way to play the par-5 fourth hole in the third round. He went for the green in two, found the water, went for the green in four, found the water, then for six, and carried on until he had no more balls in his bag. Call it Eddie’s Tin Cup moment. Pepperell ran out of golf balls and was disqualified. He arrived in Turkey 41st on the Race to Dubai and dropped to 48th. He needs to stay inside the top 50 to make it to the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

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