Skip to main content

Can the United States Halt Asian Dominance in the Majors?

The LPGA will be playing its first major championship this week. It will be the first of five major championships this year. The Evian Championship has been upgraded to a major this year, giving the LPGA 5 majors for the first time.

Rancho Mirage, California will be the location this week for the the LPGA's first major championship.
I will have more on this championship in the next few days, for now let's look at some recent history.

The United States has struggled mightily in recent years, as Asia has dominated the victory circle of major championships. Here is a look at major winners dating back to the year 2000.

Year    Kraft Nabisco      LPGA Championship      U.S. Open             British Open  
2012    Sun Young Yoo     Shanshan Feng                  Na Yeon Choi        Jiyai Shin
2011    Stacy Lewis           Yani Tseng                        So Yeon Ryu         Yani Tseng
2010    Yani Tseng             Cristie Kerr                       Paula Creamer       Yani Tseng
2009    B. Lincicome          Anna Nordqvist                 Eun-Hee Ji             C. Matthew
2008    Lorena Ochoa        Yani Tseng                        Inbee Park              Jiyai Shin
2007    M. Pressel              S. Pettersen                      Cristie Kerr             L. Ochoa
2006    Karrie Webb          Se Ri Pak                         A. Sorenstam          S.Steinhauer
2005    A. Sorenstam         A. Sorenstam                    Birdie Kim              Jeong Jang
2004    Grace Park            A. Sorenstam                    Meg Mallon            K. Stupples
2003    P. M. Lebouc         A. Sorenstam                    Hilary Lunke           A. Sorenstam
2002    A. Sorenstam         Se Ri Pak                         Julie Inkster             Karrie Webb
2001    A. Sorenstam         Karrie Webb                    Karrie Webb           Se Ri Pak
2000    Karrie Webb          Julie Inkster                      Karrie Webb           Meg Mallon

Now let me break that down further by country:

South Korea - 13 wins
United States - 12 wins
Sweden - 9 wins (8 by Annika Sorenstam)
Australia - 6 wins (5 by Karrie Webb)
Taiwan - 5 wins  (all by Yani Tseng)
Mexico -2 wins
France - 1 win
England - 1 win
Norway - 1 win
Scotland - 1 win
Mainland China - 1 win

Over that 13 year period victories were spread out to 11 different countries, with no country really being dominant. As you could see, one dominant player could vault your country quite high in the standings.
Sweden with 9 victories, accomplished that with only 2 players winning for that country. On the other hand, South Korea's 13 victories were accumulated by 10 different players, and the United States 9.
The continent of Asia accounted for 19 wins, or 36.5%, The United States accounted for 23%.

Now let me break this down even further:

2000 - 2007 (8 year period):

Sweden - 9 wins
United States - 8 wins
South Korea - 6 wins
Australia - 6 wins
Mexico - 1 winsEngland - 1 win
France - 1 win

Still no dominance shown here by any one country. Annika Sorenstam was certainly the dominate player with 8 wins. The continent of Europe accounted for 11 wins, or 34.4%, leading the way over this period. The United States followed with 25%. Asia was third with 18.75%.

Now let me show you the most recent history, the last 5 years. This is where things have drastically changed:

2008 - 2012 (last 5 years)

South Korea - 7 wins
Taiwan - 5 wins
United States - 4 wins
Mainland China - 1
Norway - 1
Scotland - 1
Mexico -1

Now here is where Asia has become the dominant country in major championships. They have accounted for 65% of the victories over this period. The United States could only manage to win 20%.
To make matters worse for the United States, they have failed to win any of the last seven majors, with Asia winning them all.

Can the Asian countries continue thier dominance in 2013? Sure they can, but it will be more difficult because of the following reasons:

1- With 5 majors this year, there are more opportunities for other countries to shake things up.
2- Stacy Lewis has emerged as the top player in the world and could be a dominant factor.
3- Yani Tseng, who has contributed 5 of Asia's 13 wins over that 5 year period, isn't her dominant self.
4- Spain may very well be ready to break through and get their first major or two.

My prediction:

With great players such as Na-Yeon Choi, Inbee Park, Jiyai Shin, and So Yeon Ryu, South Korea is still the country to beat. That said, The United States has the most dominant player, and players such as Kerr and Creamer can't be counted out. They also have young players such as Jessica Korda, Gerina Mendoza, Danielle Kang, and Lizette Salas, who are coming in hot and could surprise. I think Spain will get that first major this year. When all is said and done I see 2 trophies being held up by the U.S. and South Korea, and one for Spain.

Other Major Facts:

In spite of the success by other Asian countries, Japan has not won a major championship since Chako, Higuchi in 1977. Ai Miyazato has not broken through as of  yet

Sandra Post won Canada's last major in 1968.


Popular posts from this blog

LPGA Player Profile - Natalie Gulbis

The player I have chosen this time around, may very well be in the twilight of her career, but has been a crowd favorite for many years. I have chosen:


Born: 1/7/83 (36 years old)
Hometown: Sacramento Calif.
Resides: Lake, Las Vegas, Nev.
Rookie Year: 2002

Natalie has won once on the LPGA tour:

2007 Evian Masters

 Natalie has had many of her best finishes in Major Championships!

Best Finishes in Major Championships:

ANA Inspiration - Finished 3rd in 2006KPMG Women's PGA Championship - Finished 5th in 2005U.S. Women's Open - Finished 4th in 2005Ricoh British Open - Finished 9th in 2013The Evian Championship - Finished 52nd in 2013 (It was not a Major Championship when she won this event).

Career Stats:

318 career starts237 cuts made (74.5%)37 top tens (11.6%)Has $4,892,233 in career earnings through the 2016 season (57th on the all time LPGA career money list).
Other Career Highlights: A three time U.S. Solheim Cup Team member (2005, 2007, 2009) with a 5-4-1 overall reco…

LPGA Reshuffles 2018 Priority List

The LPGA had its first reshuffle of its Priority List this week. While most of the players moved up or down a few insignificant spots, there were some very significant moves also.

The Priority List is what is used to fill the required amount of spots for any given tournament. Without me getting into the categories, which is potentially confusing, here is a brief explanation. Most full field events have a field of 144 players. Usually 140 of the players come from the Priority List ranking. Two players are Monday qualifiers, and 2 more are sponsor exemptions. So to keep it simple, if your Priority Rating is #150, you have to hope that 10 players decide not to play, or you are probably not getting into the field.

The following players made some of the biggest jumps in this week's reshuffle (and by getting into the top 100 become part of my weekly field rating):
Bronte Law - 108 to 86
Amy Olson - 112 to 88
Nasa Hataoka - 116 to 92
Caroline Inglis - 126 to 93
Hee Young Park - 106 to 94

Most Popular Photos of the Year - 2018

1/24/19 Bonus photos added at bottom of page.

As many of my readers know, my wife and I go to quite a few LPGA tournaments each year. Since 2009 we have gone to almost 60 events, including two in Scotland (St. Andrews being our favorite), and 8 Canadian Opens.

I do all the writing on here, and my wife (who is a schoolteacher) is my proofreader and takes many of the photos. Neither of us are professional photographers, but once in a while we get lucky and capture a moment that is very popular with my viewers.

Below I have reposted the most popular photos of 2018. I based this on the number of website hits, and the number of comments each photo received. Some came as quite a surprise to me, as when they were taken I was not expecting such a reaction.


LPGA Qualifying Tournament 2018 Final Stage - The Q-Series

The final stage of the LPGA qualifying tournament, the Q-Series, will begin this week.
A field of 102 players will be teeing it up.

At the 2017 CME Group Tour Championship, the LPGA first announced that Q-Series will replace LPGA Qualifying School Final Stage, which was previously held annually in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Instead of 90 holes like the old Final Stage, the new Q-Series will be 144 holes. Players will compete in two, four-day tournaments with cumulative scores over the eight rounds for a $150,000 purse, which will be distributed at the end of the eight rounds.

The LPGA will debut the new Q-Series at the historic Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina, which has hosted several prestigious tournaments including the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open. 
The first week of the LPGA Q-Series presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will be played on the George and Tom Fazio-designed Pinehurst Course No. 6 from Oct. 24-27, while the Q-Series will conclude on the Rees Jon…

U.S. Women's Open Preview, Pairings, and More

Before I get started on this week's tournament, let me give a big congratulations to Minjee Lee for winning the LPGA Volvik Championship. Minjee's final round -4 under par 68, was good enough to win by one stroke over runner-up In Kyung Kim.

This week the LPGA travels to the state of Alabama for the playing of the U.S. Women's Open Conducted by the USGA. This is the second Major Championship of the 2018 season.

Sung Hyun Park will be trying to successfully defend the title she won last year at Trump National Golf Club by two strokes over Hye Jin Choi.

This will be tournament #14 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule. It is also the 2nd of five Major Championships to be held this year.

Course:  Shoal Creek
Location:  Shoal Creek, Alabama
Defending Champion:  Sung Hyun Park
Winning Score:  73-70-67-67 = 277 (-11)

Final Field:  156 players
Cut: Top 60 and ties
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,732
Purse:  $5,000,000

My strength of field rating is a mighty 87% (down from 91% last year). The re…

LPGA Player Profile: Belen Mozo

With the LPGA taking a two week break before resuming its schedule in the United States, I thought it would be a good time to do my third LPGA player profile.

The player I have chosen this time around, may not be a household name like the first two were, but I have received a number of requests to do this profile.

Belen Mozo

Pronounced: (bay-LEN moh-thoh) Born: 9/25/88 (28 years old) Hometown: Cadiz, Spain Resides: Cartagena, Colombia College: USC Rookie Year: 2011 2016 Earnings: $76,263 (104th)

Belen has not yet won on the LPGA tour: Here are her best finishes: Finished 5th at the 2016 LPGA Volvik ChampionshipFinished 4th at the 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA ClassicFinished 10th at the 2014 Airbus LPGA ClassicFinished 5th at the 2011 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

Best Finishes in Major Championships: ANA Inspiration (formerly the Kraft Nabisco Championship) - Finished 41st in 2013KPMG Women's PGA Championship - Finished 58th in 2013U.S. Women's Open - Finished 55th in 2014Ricoh …

KPMG Women's PGA Championship Preview

Congratulations go out to Anna Nordqvist for successfully defending her ShopRite Classic title. She came from behind, shooting a final round 64, which turned out to be one stroke better than runner-up Haru Nomura.

This week the LPGA travels to the state of Washington for the the playing of the KMPG Women's PGA Championship. This is the second Major Championship of the season. It is also the start of an extremely important part of the 2016 LPGA schedule that will include 3 Major Championships and the UL International Crown in the next 8 weeks.

This tournament was won last year in run-away fashion, when Inbee Park smoked the field by 5 strokes. She has won this championship 3 years in a row, and will be trying for a very rare four-peat. However, a recent injury to her thumb, will make that highly unlikely.

This will be tournament #16 of 33 on the 2016 LPGA schedule.
This will also be Major Championship #2 of 5 to be played in 2016.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Sahalee Country Club