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Making Moves: Lauren Hartlage Rockets Up Rankings

Lauren Hartlage came up short in Washington after missing out on her first LPGA Tour win, but she still had the move of the week, jumping 139 spots in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings to No. 133, the highest rank of her career.

Hartlage, a 2022 LPGA Tour rookie, has shown remarkable resilience since joining the Tour three years ago. She has overcome challenges, like returning to LPGA Q-Series after her first two seasons just to try and earn enough status to secure tournament entry each week on the LPGA Tour. She first earned Tour membership after finishing in a tie for 26th at 2021 LPGA Q-Series.

The young American continues to seize each playing opportunity she gets, steadily moving up in the world rankings and the Race to the CME Globe in an effort to keep her LPGA Tour status in 2025.

While Hartlage’s move in the Rolex Rankings was notable, her move in the Race to the CME Globe standings has more considerable implications for 2025, with members finishing in the top 80 and ties on the previous season-ending Points List earning full status for the next season.

In the last four weeks, the 26-year-old’s game is trending in the right direction, as she has collected a T50 finish at the Cognizant Founders Cup, a T21 result at the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer, a T17 at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give and a tie for fifth at last week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship to move from No. 94 to No. 63 in the standings, both well inside that top-80 cutoff and just outside the top-60 cutoff for the CME Group Tour Championship.

Jin Young Ko On the Rise
Jin Young Ko carded a final-round 71 in Washington and came three shots short of matching Amy Yang’s four-day total of 7-under for her third major title. But the Republic of Korea native’s T2 finish pushed her up four spots to No. 3 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, the first time she’s been in the top three since October 2023.

The former world No. 1 has made eight cuts in nine starts this season, earning four top-12 results in addition to her tie for second at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. She recorded a tie for eighth at the HSBC Women’s World Championship, a tie for fourth at the JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro and a pair of T12 finishes at both the Cognizant Founders Cup and ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer.

Ko, a two-time major champion, has been a force to reckon with on the LPGA Tour for seven seasons. She has captured 15 wins and 55 career top-10 finishes, making over $13 million in career earnings. Her success last week could be the momentum shift Ko needs to get back into the winner’s circle for the first time since the 2023 Cognizant Founders Cup. Ko has secured a victory each year since she stormed onto the LPGA Tour scene in 2017, picking up her first win at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship as a non-member.

U.S. Solheim Cup Standings Update
Players have shuffled in and out of the top seven positions in the Solheim Cup standings, and the final few guaranteed spots on this year’s team are still very much up for grabs. With Ally Ewing’s tie for fifth at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, she moved from fourth to third in the U.S. Solheim Cup Team point standings and is getting closer and closer to playing in her fourth Solheim Cup.

Lauren Coughlin’s T24 result moved her from 10th to eighth, and she is now just 31.5 points out of the seventh and final automatic qualifying spot, currently held by Rose Zhang. Sarah Schmelzel, who tied for ninth at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, moved from 12th to ninth in the points standings, while Lexi Thompson, who joined Schmelzel in that tie for ninth, moved up one spot to 14th.

The two Rolex Rankings qualifiers for the U.S. Team are Alison Lee (No. 22) and Angel Yin (No. 31). The next two players are Lexi Thompson (No. 33) and Jennifer Kupcho (No. 50).

The U.S. Team will comprise the top seven players in the U.S. Solheim Cup standings, the top two in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings not already eligible, and three captain’s picks. The team will be finalized on Aug. 25, 2024, following the AIG Women’s Open.

Europe Solheim Cup Standings Update
Charley Hull continues to lead the Solheim Cup standings for Team Europe, with Linn Grant moving into the second automatic qualifying spot for the European Team following her tie-for-ninth showing at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Maja Stark has closed the gap and now only trails Grant by nearly seven points for one of the two automatic qualifying spots on the team. The Swede’s T50 finish in Sammamish, Wash., has her at No. 21 in Rolex Rankings, and she is currently one of six players eligible to qualify via the world rankings if she does not get in on points.

The five additional Rolex Rankings qualifiers for the European Team are Celine Boutier (No. 6), Carlota Ciganda (No. 30), Leona Maguire (No. 32), Madelene Sagstrom (No. 35) and Georgia Hall (No. 36). The next two players are Esther Henseleit (No. 64) and Anna Nordqvist (No. 66).

The European Team will comprise the top two players in the Europe Solheim Cup standings, the top six players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings not already eligible, and four captain’s picks. Like the U.S. Team, the European team will be finalized on Aug. 25, 2024, after the conclusion of the AIG Women’s Open.

Race for the Card Continues on the Epson Tour
The Race for the Card continues as the Epson Tour tees it up in the Sunflower State for the Dream First Bank Charity Classic, with players vying for 500 points as they pursue their LPGA Tour cards.

Fiona Xu remains atop the standings with 1,031.500 points after a T33 finish at the Island Resort Championship. Kim Kaufman jumped to second and is now only 187 points behind Xu after tying for second in Harris, Mich. Epson Tour sophomore Cassie Porter is currently in third with 832.455 points, while Madison Young and Yahui Zhang round out the top five, each dropping in the standings after their performances at Sweetgrass Golf Club.

Despite the weather dominating the headlines, Soo Bin Joo overcame a four-shot deficit to clinch her first Epson Tour victory at the rain-shortened Island Resort Championship. The Republic of Korea native secured her maiden victory and jumped from No. 40 to the sixth position in the Race for the Card standings with 728.867 points.

Some other significant moves following the Island Resort Championship are as follows:

Kaleigh Telfer, who tied for second at the Island Resort Championship, her second top 10 of the season, went from 20th to 13th with 617.750 total points

Epson Tour rookie Ingrid Lindbald jumped from 119th to 45th in the standings after her T2 performance at Sweetgrass Golf Club, now sitting with 226.667 total points after only three starts this season
The Race for the Card is a season-long points competition in which Epson Tour members accumulate points in every official Epson Tour tournament. The ultimate goal is to finish in the top 15 in the point standings to earn LPGA Tour membership for the 2025 season. The point-based system, new on the Epson Tour this season, replaces the money-based system and will award points to those who make the cut weekly.

The 2024 season will also be the first year that Epson Tour athletes will vie for 15 LPGA Tour cards. They will be awarded after the season-ending Epson Tour Championship in Indian Wells, Calif., this fall.