10 of 2010
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Last updated: Tuesday, February 16, 2010

In 3 days the 2010 LPGA season will kick off; therefore it’s time to talk about those players who will be serious contenders to win one or more tournaments out of the 26 events that are already scheduled. Their expertise, curriculum and talent put them as this season’s figures.

This year the Mexican has assured that she only  has golf on her mind; we have to remember that world number 1 had a tough 2009, mainly because she was focused in her personal life, specifically on her wedding, which led her to fight for the POY award  until the last event. Now, Ochoa needs to prove that she has what it takes to continue to reign in the LPGA; even when she’s made clear that she wants to win 10 tourneys, the feat looks quite complicated due to the competitiveness of the tour. Nevertheless it wouldn’t be odd to see her lift more than three trophies.

The 21 year old has 30 professional victories under her belt: 20 in the KLPGA, six in the LPGA, two in the Ladies Asian Golf Tour and one in the JLPGA. And if that wasn’t enough, Shin is less than two percentile points away from Ochoa at the Rolex Rankings. In 2009 she took home three tittles: HSBC Women’s Championship,  Wegmans LPGA and P&G Beauty NW Arkansas Championship, she posted 12 top tens, won the ROY award and topped the Official Money List.
The “Pink Panther” couldn’t win last year  since she caught a rare stomach virus and dealt with a thumb injury, which led her to WD or DNS four times. Anyways, the American earned more than 1 million dollars, posted 10 top tens and  claimed the first position in GIR. The last time Creamer had a win less season was in 2006, but she came back with a triumph in 2007 at the SBS Open and claimed five victories in 2008.
She’s one of the LPGA’s young promises; after being a non-exempt member, the 22 year old Swedish devoted herself to compete in Monday qualifiers. In her fifth event, the McDonald’s LPGA Championship, she surprised with her short game and strong mentality; eventually she won the major and got her exempt card. In November she hold back a ferocious  Lorena Ochoa to claim the season ending LPGA Championship. Anna is considered to be the next Annika Sörenstam.
After several trips, she managed to win the Lorena Ochoa Invitational last year. Besides, she was part of the victorious 2009 Solheim Cup team after Beth Daniel picked her as one of her wild cards. Her appearance in that event was crucial since she won three out of four matches and tied one. Until now, Wie is considered as one of the players that must assume the tour’s leadership to keep it safe and in one piece.
The greatest figure of the Far East claimed her first victory in 2009, after almost four seasons of constant fighting. Miyazato lifted the Evian Masters trophy, but she had already shown what she was made of. The Japanese super star completed eight more tourneys in which she posted six top tens. Without hesitations, last year she posted her best season as a LPGA member and will be a threat in 2010. Remember, she has 15 victories in the JLPGA.
Another strong South Korean; she has seven professional victories: five in the KLPGA and two in the LPGA. Choi joined the tour in 2008 as non-exempt, but her talent led her to qualify to almost every single tournament of the schedule and was runner-up for the ROY award, behind Taiwanese Yani Tseng.  Her great performance gave her exempt status for 2009, year in which she earned more than 1.3 million dollars after winning the Samsung Championship and the Hana Bank COLON Championship. Besides, she was second in birdies and fifth in eagles; she managed to post 11 top tens and was seventh in scoring average.
She’s one of this season’s rookies and leads the Latin American contingent. The Colombian has always displayed magnificent skills; nevertheless, it was in the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open when media started to look closely at her after she tied for 10th, ahead of players like Cristie Kerr and Annika Sörenstam. Last year she received a sponsor’s exemption to play the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, where she tied for eighth along with Brittany Lang y Yani Tseng.
Last season she finished second in the Duramed FUTURES Tour Money List. Nevertheless, the American  set people talking after grabbing the lead of the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open, which she maintained for three rounds; eventually she lost focus and finished tied for 17th in front of Paula Creamer, Crisie Kerr and Brittany Lincicome. It was precisely at that tourney where she amazed everyone with her impeccable short game and sharp iron control. During her time at the Futures she won twice and posted 10 top tens.

She represented Duke University; as a Blue Devil she became the only golfer to win the NGCA Award three consecutive years and received the LPGA Foundation Award for the second time. In 2006 she got a sponsor’s exemption to play the U.S. Women’s Open, where she tied for 10th. Two years later Amanda won the U.S. Women’s Amateur. In September 2009 she participated in the CVS Pharmacy LPGA Challenge finishing fifth. In November she became medalist of the Q-School and earned her card as an exempt player.

There’s no doubt that these golfers will be in the limelight; they have what it takes to grab some titles at the most competitive women’s golf tour. For now, those who are going to play in Thailand and Singapore are already there to embrace a new season, one that will be for sure the toughest of the LPGA history.

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