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Surprises & Disappointments - Final 2018

With the 2018 season in the books, I would like to look back at the players that I thought gave us the most surprising seasons, and those who disappointed. This is based purely on my expectations of these players coming into the 2018 season. You won't see names like Brooke Henderson or Ariya Jutanugarn on here, as we certainly expected them to have big years. Some of these players aren't household names, but had unexpected results this season.

Biggest Surprises:

1- Nasa Hataoka - Winner of the 2016 Japan's Women's Open Championship as a 16 year old, she came came onto the 2017 LPGA Tour with very high expectations. She did not live up to those expectations as she made just 7 cuts in 19 starts (finishing #140 on the year money list) and lost her playing privileges. She then went back to Q-school where she not only earned back her card, but was the medalist. Our expectations were much lower for the 2018 season. Who could have possibly predicted that she would win twice, re…

Memorable Moments of the 2018 LPGA Season

As we wait for the start of the 2019 season, I would like to look back at what I consider the most memorable moments of 2018.

I have narrowed it down to 8, although I know there were many more. This list is very subjective, depending on who your favorite golfers are. A top story for me may be one that someone else might want to forget.

So in reverse order, here we go:

8- Redemption For Lexi Thompson - Wins CME Group Tour Championship
Lexi, who missed a putt inside two feet to blow this championship in 2017, was winless in 2018 coming into this event. This year she made it look easy. She had a three stroke lead entering the final round and never looked back, winning by four strokes over Nelly Korda. Thompson has now won at least one tournament in each of the past six years. No one else on the LPGA has a streak longer than four years.

7- New Tournament Announcements for 2019
 The LPGA recently announced its 2019 schedule. What catches our eyes is the inclusion of three new tournaments tha…

LPGA Announces its 2019 Schedule!

The LPGA officially announced its 2019 schedule today, and it well worth the wait!

Here are the highlights:
1- The schedule features 34 events (33 official + The Solheim Cup). There were 33 last year (32 + UL International Crown).

2- The season will start one week earlier than last year, and kick off with two new tournaments.

3- There are a total of four tournaments:
     a) Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions (Jan 17-20)
     b) Vic Open (Feb 7-10)
     c) Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (July 17-20)
     d) BMW Ladies Championship (October 24-27)

     Tournaments that are no longer on the LPGA schedule:
     a) Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic (Pure Silk will be sponsoring the Virginia Event)
     b) LPGA Volvic Championship
     c) LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship
     d) Blue Bay LPGA

     There will be another tournament announced at a later date, that will take place Nov 14-17.

4- Will feature a record setting $70.55 million in prize money (up from 65.35 last year).

5- There w…

Stats & Facts - Final 2018

We have come to the end of another exciting LPGA season. In many ways it was one of the most exciting seasons ever. Each week we were treated to exciting and competitive tournaments. It certainly seemed that almost every week the tournament wasn't decided until the last hole. In fact, there were seven tournaments that needed a playoff to determine the final outcome. There were seven tournaments that were decided by one stroke, and eight more that were decided by two. We had winners from ten different countries. We also saw the Republic of Korea win The UL International crown in a very impressive fashion.

On that note I would like to take a look at some of the most important stats of the 2018 season.

1- Ariya Jutanugarn - 3
1- Sung Hyun Park - 3
3- Brooke Henderson - 2
3- Nasa Hataoka -2

Most Top Five Finishes:
1- Ariya Jutanugarn - 13
2- Minjee Lee - 10
3- Danielle Kang - 7
3- Sei Young Kim - 7
5- Marina Alex - 6
5- Carlota Ciganda - 6

Most Top Ten Finishes:
1- Ariya Jutanugar…

As the LPGA World Turns

The 2018 LPGA season ended a couple of weeks ago, but that hasn't stopped that tour from being in the headlines.

There have been several major announcements in the past few days. Here is a recap:

American International Group (AIG) Has Signed on to Sponsor the Women's British Open for the Next Five Years. AGI will take over from Ricoh who ended its sponsorship this year after a twelve year run. The championship will now be known as the "AIG Women's British Open."

Lancaster Country Club Has Been Selected by the USGA to Host the 2024 U.S. Women's Open Championship. The tournament will be held May 27 - June 2. The tournament was held there in 2015 when In Gee Chun edged out Amy Yang by one stroke. “The 2015 U.S. Women’s Open was one of the most successful in the championship’s history,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “The golf course is one of the best in the United States, and the community’s support for golf is record-setting. We can’t wait to return to crown…

Rating the 2018 Rookies - Final Analysis

Let me start off by saying that 2018 was not a very strong year for LPGA rookies when compared to other rookie seasons this past decade. When looking over the rookie roster last January (before the 2018 season started), this much was obvious.
Jin Young Ko was the obvious favorite to win rookie honors. She had already won as a non member on the LPGA Tour, and was a ten time winner on the KLPGA.Georgia Hall was the only player who might give Ko a bit of competition for top rookie.Nanna Koertz Madsen and Hannah Green both tore up the Symetra Tour in 2017, winning three times each.Emma Talley, Yu Liu, and Rebecca Artis, appeared to be the "best of the rest", but were certainly not a sure thing. As it turned out there weren't many big surprises and even players listed above failed to produce.

There were thirty rookies on the LPGA Tour in 2018, and only seven of those players managed to retain their 2019 LPGA playing privileges based on their 2018 tournament results. A finish i…

LPGA 2018 Year In Review

The year 2018 was a very exciting year for the LPGA tour. There were a record number of first time winners. There were rookie winners. There were winners from several different countries. There were several tournaments that needed extra holes to determine the winner. There were 5 different major championship winners that came from 5 different countries. There were two pairs of sisters that each recorded victories. All in all it was one of the most interesting seasons ever. Let's take a peek:

There were nine players who won their first LPGA tournament:
Pernilla Lindberg - ANA InspirationMoriya Jutanugarn - HUGEL-JTBC OpenAnnie Park - ShopRite LPGA ClassicNasa Hataoka - Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and Toto Japan ClassicThidapa Suwannapura - Marathon ClassicGeorgia Hall - Ricoh Women's British OpenMarina Alex - Cambia Portland ClassicNelly Korda - Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan ClassicGabby Lopez - Blue Bay LPGA Note: Jin Young Ko's victory is not included in the above count…