LPGA Rookie of the Year race update: Park v Yin v Korda

Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Captain Juli Inkster has to be keeping a close eye on Angel Yin as she contemplates her Team USA captain’s picks for the 2017 Solheim Cup. The rookie from Arcadia, California is impressive.

Like Nelly Korda, Angel Yin enjoyed a very successful amateur career. She qualified as a 13-year old for the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open and finished T55 the following year at the Tour’s Kraft Nabisco Championship. Yin notched her first AJGA win in 2015 at the ANNIKA Invitational and went on to record back-to-back top 10s at the Rolex Junior Girls Championship and the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Yin and Nelly Korda were teammates on the American Junior Solheim Cup team!

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While Korda headed to the Symetra Tour, Angel Yin qualified for the Ladies European Tour by finishing 25th at the 2015 Lalla Aicha Tour School and played her LET rookie year in 2016. By any measure is was a splendid rookie season, with 9 top 25 finishes and a career high 3rd place at the Lalla Meyren Cup. Yin wrapped up her LET rookie year at 11th place on the Tour’s Order of Merit and 3rd in the ROY race.

Angel Yin moved right on over to the LPGA, finishing T3 at the Tour’s 2016 Q-School and playing back-to-back rookie years. So far, it’s looking like another fine rookie season. Yin’s made 9 starts, played the weekend 6 times, and finished in the top 5 twice, at the Texas Shootout and the Lorena Ochoa Match Play. That Lorena Ochoa finish is probably the one that has Captain Inkster sitting up and taking notice.

Yin is long off the tee – she ranks 9th on the Tour in driving distance – and she’s very effective on the putting surface, averaging 28.88 putts per round. That puts her among the top 15 putters on the Tour! Now, if she could tighten up direction she couldn’t be caught. That probably won’t take too much longer.