By Ron Sirak
What seemed like a lock only a few weeks ago--that Stacy Lewis would become the first American since Beth Daniel in 1994 to be LPGA Rolex Player of the Year -- is now a race.
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Inbee Park's (above) second-place finish Sunday at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship moved the Korean within 28 points of Lewis with three events left. Thirty points are awarded to a tournament winner, 12 for second place and nine for third with seven for fourth place down to one for 10th. Since finishing T-9 at the Wegmans LPGA Championship in June, Park has earned POY points in 11 of the 12 events she has played.
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During that run, Park has two victories and five runner-up finishes. Meanwhile, Lewis, who skipped the Taiwan event, has not earned points in five of her last 11 tournaments.
"I think I have a good chance because I'm playing good, and I have confidence," Park said about winning the POY race.
Next up is this week's Mizuno Classic in Japan, then the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico and the season-ending CME Group Titleholders in Naples, Fla. Both Park and Lewis are scheduled to play all three.