NAPLES, Fla. – Ariya Jutanugarn added to her trophy collection during Thursday’s LPGA Rolex Awards dinner at the Ritz Carlton at Tiburon Golf Club.
She picked up her second Rolex Player of the Year Award and the Rolex Annika Major Award for the best overall performance in the year’s five majors. She has also clinched the LPGA money title, though there’s no official award that goes with it.
While Jutanugarn should have no problem securing the Vare Trophy for low scoring average at the CME Group Tour Championship this weekend, she has harder work left to complete a clean sweep of the LPGA’s most important performance awards. She came into this week ranked No. 1 in the Race to the CME Globe season-long point-based competition and the battle for its $1 million bonus. She must hold off her nearest challengers over the final two rounds of the season-ending event.
The other awards and winners:
Commissioner’s Award – Evian Championship chairman Franck Riboud and vice chairman Jacque Bungert won the award for their commitment to the tour in building the tournament into a major championship.
William and Mousie Powell Award – So Yeon Ryu won the award given to the player “whose behavior and deeds best exemplify the spirit, ideals and values of the LPGA.”
Heather Farr Perseverance Award – Jessica Korda won the award for determination pursuing the love of the game, an award that honors the memory of former tour player Heather Farr, who died of breast cancer at 28 in 1993. Korda won the Honda LPGA Thailand in February, her first start coming back from a complicated and painful offseason surgery to correct her jaw’s alignment and relieve debilitating headaches.
Ellen Griffin Rolex Award – Jane Frost won the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional membership’s top award for her dedication over 36 years as a teacher and administrator. She has coached Jane Blalock, Nancy Lopez, Sandra Haynie and Pat Bradley among her many students. She built and runs the Jane Frost Golf Performance Center in Massachusetts.
Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award – Jin Young Ko won the award in a year in which she claimed her second LPGA title, the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. She won her first title, the KEB Hana Bank Championship, as a non-member in 2017. She’s the fourth consecutive South Korean to win the award.