Is this Yealimi Noh's award to lose? I'm assuming that Shibuno isn't coming over, by the way.
My take is this: I tend to be underwhelmed by the college stars that, year after year, they tout as big stars, yet just as frequently, they rise to the middle of the pack (at best) and stall. And next year's college squad doesn't seem all that august TBH.
Looking at Symetra, I'm guessing the Thai girl Patty T might be tough. But even she hasn't contended on the LPGA the way Noh has, and I think Noh has more potential upside than any of the women in the rookie class including Patty.
But, will Yealimi explode in 2020, or will she take a few years to blossom? That I'm not sure about. I think, based on her recent record, she will contend a few times and notch 5 - 7 top tens, which ought to be enough to claim the prize.
The Korean streak of ROY will end next year alas. I can't seen any of the Korean rookies as doing much more than struggling to maintain their tour cards... UNLESS Hye Jin wins early in Australia and decides to jump the KLPGA ship, which is not so far fetched given that she finished second in Australia in 2018.
As I stated in the Q-Series thread, Dr. Noh has too much of everything to blow the ROY in 2020, although Yui has a lot of class and might put a dent in her once in a while. Patty T. is total blank to me ... I've never seen her play in person or on TV or in a video. Granted, winning is better than losing, but three Symetra victories plus 50 cents will get you a cup of coffee. Vickie Hurst had five Symetra wins in 2008 and finished far behind three players for 2009 ROY who did not travel "the road to the LPGA" (JY Shin, Nordqvist and Wie). I've seen Leona in person a couple of times and I think she can play decent golf.
I'm giving Patty T the benefit of the doubt because hers was a name that often surfaced back in her amateur days. I agree that Symetra Tour success doesn't mean much, but I also think that none of the gals in next year's class is in Jiyai Shin's class (Shin already had three LPGA wins before she joined the LPGA, including a Major!).
Looking at the Toto, I'm becoming intrigued with the possibility of one of the Koreans who plays on that tour winning and perhaps joining the tour next season. Sun Ju Ahn has already rejected that option after a win, but Min Young Lee or Seon Woo Bae would both be pretty tough rookies were they to get through.
Ok, Since she is tied for first at Toto. I believe she was in second place last year. I would just throw in the name Ai Suzuki if she win. Would she take Membership in the LPGA. She hasn't done that much in LPGA tournaments she played in.