Bianca Pagdanganan struggled in Texas after missing her first LPGA Tour win, but still managed to make the move of the week, jumping 73 spots in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings to 160th, the highest result of her career as of June 2021. With limited opportunities to compete on the LPGA Tour and having lost his full player status for the 2023 season, Pagdanganan is taking every opportunity to continually work towards regaining his position in the world rankings and the race for the CME Globe.
While Padanganan’s rise in the Rolex rankings has been significant, her move in the Race to the CME Globe rankings will have more significant implications for 2024, in which members will finish in the top 80 and tie on the previous season-ending points list, earning full status on next time of year. Over the past two weeks, the Filipino long-ball hitter has recorded consecutive top-10 finishes, taking second place at The Ascendant LPGA for Volunteers of America and third place at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G to move from 129th to 48th in rankings, both placing deep in the top 80 and top 60 of the CME Group Tour Championship standings.
Last week, the 25-year-old was asked if she thinks about the Race to CME Globe rankings during every tournament and admitted that although she knows she needs to improve her status, she tends to focus on the small details in hopes that everything will work out in the end will arrange.
“It’s just funny because it started with conditional status,” she said after T2 in Texas. “I just had to get back to shuffling. Oh, the reshuffle. Try to work your way up. It’s a step-by-step process for me, so after last week I was like, OK, I’m in a good position. Let’s try to stay in the top 100. Honestly, I don’t know where I am now, but honestly, I didn’t think it would be that much later.
Sarah Kemp climbs to 17 places
Sarah Kemp made her second-most impactful rise in the Rolex Rankings, jumping 17 spots to 121st in the world with a fourth-place finish at Old American Golf Club, her third top-10 finish this season. This finish marks her second-best tour result, which she achieved in 2021 at the Pure Silk Championship.
Like Pagdanganan, Kemp’s rise in the Rolex rankings may have been impressive, but her rise in the Race to the CME Globe rankings was more significant, as the Australian jumped from 72nd to 47th place to take the field at the season-ending CME Touring Group Championship. The LPGA Tour veteran has made 13 cuts in 20 starts this season, earning two top-10 appearances in addition to her top five in Texas, finishing ninth in Trust Golf’s FREED GROUP Women’s Scottish Open and finishing eighth in the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational with with playing partner and Epson Tour winner Alena Sharp.
The Australian has been competing on the LPGA Tour since 2008 and has had 12 career top-10 finishes for earnings of $1,660,281. However, her success last week could be the breakthrough moment that takes her up a few notches and finally puts her in the winner’s circle.
Ten Epson Tour players will receive LPGA Tour cards for 2024
On Sunday, the Epson Tour handed out ten LPGA Tour cards for the 2024 season following the Epson Tour Championship at LPGA International’s Jones Course. The top 10 finishers in the Epson Tour Race for the Card will play full-time in next year’s LPGA Tour tournament in category nine of the LPGA’s priority list.
Auston Kim and Kristen Gillman made the biggest moves on Sunday. Kim finished the tournament at 23 under for her first professional victory, jumping from 15th to 3rd on the final prize list and earning the opportunity to play on the LPGA Tour. Three weeks ago, Kristen Gillman finished 17th in the card race and had three straight top-10 finishes in the final three events of the 2023 Epson Tour season to regain her LPGA Tour status. She was up to 35-under over the final 10 rounds on her way to earning her card, placing fourth in the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout, third in the Tuscaloosa Toyota Classic and fourth in the Epson Tour Championship.
In addition to Kim and Gillman, eight additional players have secured LPGA Tour cards for the 2024 season: Gabriela Ruffels, Natasha Andrea Oon, Jiwon Jeon, Minji Kang, Agathe Laisne, Jenny Coleman, Roberta Liti and Isabella Fierro.
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