The race for the 2017 women's World Title is one of the closest in history. When the contest began five of the sport's biggest names were still very much in the mix heading into the final event of the season, the Maui Women's Pro. Jeep Leader Sally Fitzgibbons, however, lost her razor-thin lead over Tyler Wright on Wednesday when she was upset by wildcard Brisa Hennessy.
While Wright now has the advantage, Courtney Conlogue right on her heels. And both Stephanie Gilmore and Carissa Moore will be playing the long odds, but will be ready to step up should the frontrunners stumble.
While there's a long list of possibilities, the gist is that Wright and Conlogue both control their own destinies. Here are some basic takeaways of how this showdown can shake out.
Minimum Requirement for a World Title Shot:
Tyler Wright: Needs at least a 5th (which she has achieved already by making the Quarters). Courtney can't get 3rd or better. Steph and Carissa can't win.
Courtney Conlogue: Needs at least a 3rd, but can only win the World Title if she finishes ahead of Tyler.
Carissa Moore: Needs to win the event, but Tyler can't get better than 5th, and Courtney can't make the Final.
Stephanie Gilmore: Needs to win the event, but Tyler can't get better than 5th, and Courtney can't make the Final.
The Devil's in the Details
The most interesting thing to note is Tyler Wright now has the clearest path to victory, but here are the kickers...
- Tyler and Courtney can both win the World Title by winning the Maui Pro, so ultimately they're in control of their destiny.
- If Tyler gets 3rd, and Courtney doesn't make the Final, the World Title goes to Tyler.
- If Tyler gets 5th, Courtney doesn't make the Semifinals, and Steph or Carissa don't win, the World Title goes to Tyler.
Watch the Maui Women's Pro live on the WSL Nov. 25 - Dec. 6.