Since Annika Sorenstam has retired and Michelle Wie has established herself as an LPGA golfer, it’s opened up the world of female golf to up and coming stars. This last season on the LPGA helped us see some of the best up and coming golfers on the LPGA tour and gave us a peek into what we can expect from their throughout their careers. Here are five of the best up and coming LPGA golfers:
Chie Arimura made a splash on the women’s circuit, making the fourth highest amount of money out of any rookie on the tour. Last year, she had three top ten finishes and earned more than $186,000. She boasts 13 career international wins, all of which came in Japan’s LPGA. She’s currently ranked 48th on the Rolex Ranking too. With more practice, experience, and time on the tour, Chie is bound to be one of the biggest names in women’s golf by the end of her career.
The only American on our list, Austin Ernst went pro this last year after playing two seasons in college at Louisiana State University. In 2013, Ernst earned two top ten finishes and made more than any other American rookie on the LPGA. At 162 on the Rolex Ranking, she certainly has a lot that she’d like to improve, but she’s still determined to make her mark on the tour. Finishing in a tie for ninth place left Austin hungry for more success in 2014.
The pride of Thailand, Moriya Jutanugarn was one of the best rookies in the LPGA last season. She made a big splash earning more than $215,000, and she had a top 10 finish too. She started off the season with a bang, finishing in a tie for fourth at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, but finished 2013 in a disappointing fashion, being cut from each of her last two tournaments. She’ll look to bounce back and have more top ten finishes in 2014.
As the best rookie golfer from Japan, Ayako was one of the most steady rookies from 2013. She only had one top ten finish, but she also had five top 25 finishes and ended the year in a tie for 27th at the Evian Championship. Uehara was one of the biggest rookie money makers, snatching just more than $187,000 last season, and is currently ranked number 77 in the world.
Caroline MassonHaving been born in Germany but attending college in the United States (Oklahoma State University), Masson has had plenty of experience on both European and American golf courses. That experience paid off last season as Masson was the top ranked rookie on the LPGA Tour coming in at 44th. She finished the season with two top ten finishes in her last three tournaments, and she made more money than her rookie opponents. Caroline Masson is going to be a name that you’ll want to remember.
Phil Oscarson is an avid golfer and golf analyst who writes for BleacherReport and Golfzing.com. He’s still trying to convince his wife to let him install a putting green in his backyard.