Shin slips into first place

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. --- One day after Lorena Ochoa retired, there's a new No. 1 in women's golf.

Jiyai Shin, of South Korea, on the verge of sweeping both the LPGA's rookie of the year and player of the year awards, is the top women's golfer after Lorena Ochoa's retirement.   Associated Press
Associated Press
Jiyai Shin, of South Korea, on the verge of sweeping both the LPGA's rookie of the year and player of the year awards, is the top women's golfer after Lorena Ochoa's retirement.

Jiyai Shin of South Korea moved to the top of the women's world ranking Monday after winning on the Japan LPGA Tour. The victory gave her an average of 9.29 points, narrowly ahead of Ochoa at 9.20.

Ai Miyazato of Japan, who won the LPGA event in Mexico, is now at No. 3.

Ochoa had been No. 1 for 158 weeks since overtaking Annika Sorenstam in April 2007.

Shin was the LPGA Tour rookie of the year last season when she captured the money list and narrowly won player of the year.

MCILROY MANIA: Rory McIlroy first gained worldwide attention when he was 18 and opened the British Open with a bogey-free round at Carnoustie. Then came a European Tour victory a year later, and a pronouncement by Tiger Woods that the teenager had all the tools to one day be No. 1 in the world.

Sunday's victory at the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte, N.C., was only a step.

Even so, the now 21-year-old from Northern Ireland showed why there is so much fuss about him.

With one dazzling shot after another, McIlroy shattered the course record at Quail Hollow with a 10-under 62 for a four-shot victory over Masters Tournament champion Phil Mickelson, making him the youngest PGA Tour winner since Woods.

He has been billed as Europe's next big star. He made quite an impression in America.

"One of the best rounds I've seen in a long, long time," Mickelson said after a birdie on the final hole gave him a 68 and second place alone. "He's an incredible player, a great talent, a great young man, a great kid. I really enjoy being around him. And I'm so happy for him. I'm just disappointed it's at my expense."

The young golfer can sure put on a show.

"I suppose I got into the zone," said McIlroy, who turned 21 today. "I hadn't realized I was going in 9, 10 under. I just know I got my nose in front, and I was just trying to stay there."

McIlroy, who moved to No. 9 in the world with the victory, said he can only hope he is headed in the right direction. He heads south to Florida for The Players Championship and a big birthday bash today.

PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP: Steve Stricker has withdrawn from The Players Championship to rest his sore right shoulder.

Stricker, the No. 3 player in the world ranking, first withdrew from New Orleans two weeks ago when he began experiencing pain. Tests revealed inflammation in the joint where the clavicle meets the sternum.

Stricker says the injury doesn't appear to be serious, although he doesn't want to risk it getting worse by playing before it properly heals. He hopes to be back out on the PGA Tour by the end of the month. His next start likely will be Colonial, where he is the defending champion.

Stricker was replaced in the field by Spencer Levin .

MISLABELED: In Denver, a man who replaced labels on dozens of Gatorade bottles with an image of Tiger Woods and his wife and the word "unfaithful" has been sentenced to two years of probation and fined $1,000.

Jason Kay was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty in February to a federal misdemeanor charge of mislabeling a food product.

Prosecutors say the bottles were found in Safeway and King Soopers stores around Colorado in January, with several orange Gatorade bottles incorrectly labeled as mango.

An FBI investigator says Kay claimed he considered what he did to be pop art in the style of Andy Warhol.

Woods returned to golf this year after admitting he was unfaithful to his wife, Elin, and undergoing therapy.


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