The 2013 LPGA season has brought us lots of surprises. We have had first time winners. We have had winners from 7 different countries. Five Major Championships were played for the first time, with one player (Inbee Park) winning 3 of them. We have even had 4 players win multiple championships this year. However the biggest surprise to date has to be the tumble taken by Yani Tseng.
Yani started the 2013 season ranked as the #1 player in the world. In fact, at one point during the 2011 season, the #2 ranked player in the world (Na Yeon Choi), was closer to the 180th Rolex ranked player than she was to Yani at #1. It seemed Yani would be number one forever.
Let us look at some of her accomplishments:
In 2008, at the age of 19, Yani won the LPGA Championship.
In 2009, Yani became the fastest player in LPGA history to reach $2 million in career earnings. She did it in only 32 events.
In 2010 Yani won 3 times, including 2 more championships.
In 2011 Yani won 7 times, including 2 more major championships.
In 2012 Yani won 3 more times.
Yani was the Rookie of the Year in 2008.
Yani was the LPGA Rolex Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011.
Yani won the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average in 2011.
Yani has 23 Hall of Fame points. Just 4 short of entry.
Quite a resume for someone that is just 24 years of age.
What we didn't expect was what has happened in the last 18 months. Yani has not only fell from her # 1 spot in the rankings, but is currently ranked #26. No that is not a mistake, she is #26. Yani has failed to win in her last 42 tournaments. Worse than that she has been in contention in very few. You almost never see her name anywhere near the leaderboard.
Let us look at some comparisons of today's Yani as compared to her 2011 final stats:
2013 Ranking 2011 Ranking
Money List 36 1
Driving Distance 4 1
Driving Accuracy 140 85
Greens In Regulation 70 2
Putts Per Greens In Regulation 21 5
Scoring Average 35 1
Rounds Under Par 44 1
Birdies 26 1
Rounds In The 60's 39 1
Player of the Year Ranking 28 1
Those statistics have all come from the Official LPGA website.
Now here are some more stats that I compiled myself:
Wins 0 7
Top 10 Finishes 4 14
Top 20 Finishes 5 17
Finishes Worse than 40th 12 1
Rounds shot of 75 or worse 15 3
Rounds over 80 3 0
Missed Cuts 6 1
Rolex Ranking 26 1
Quite an amazing difference. They look like statistics from 2 different players. As noted above Yani has 23 Hall of Fame points and needs just 4 more to qualify. The problem is, she has been stuck on that number for nearly 2 years now.
At 24, Yani still has plenty of time to turn it back around, but haven't we been saying that about Michelle Wie? Yani has stated that she is healthy, so that is not the problem. There seems to be no explanation for this unexpected fall.
I would like to hear any opinions my readers might have.