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Rolex Rankings Movers of the Year 2014 - Final

As we wait for the 2015 season to begin (we are about three weeks away), it gives me a little time to look back at the players that made the biggest moves in the Rolex Rankings in 2014.

The Rolex Rankings system awards points to players based on an accumulated 104-week "rolling" period, with the points awarded in the most recent 13-week period carrying a stronger value. A player is then ranked according to her average points per tournament, as determined by dividing her total number of points by the number of eligible tournaments played during the 104 week period. A minimum divisor (35) is also used.

I have gone back to the first Rolex Rankings of the year and compared them to the current rankings. The only requirements for my list is: (1) A player must have been ranked in the top 100 at the start of the year, or be in the top 100 now. (2) A player must have started the year 2014 with a minimum rating of 0.50 (or else this chart would be filled with unknown names.)





The Year…

How Well Were My Pre-Season Questions Answered?

Way back in January, before the LPGA season began, I listed 10 questions that I hoped would be answered this year.

Below I have shown those questions again. Let's see how well those questions were answered:

1- Can Inbee Park hold on to the world's #1 ranking?

She lost it pretty early in the season, but regained it with a very strong second half. 

2- Can anyone really challenge Lydia Ko for the rookie of the year award?

No one did. Although Mirim Lee tried her best, winning two tournaments.

3- Is Lexi Thompson ready to join the big three (Inbee, Stacy, Suzann), and make it the big four?

No. She did win her first major, but that was her only win in a very inconsistent year. Lydia Ko replaced Suzanne in the big three.

4- Will one or more of the following players: Chella Choi, Caroline Hedwall, Carlotta Ciganda, Gerina Piller, break through and get that highly anticipated first LPGA victory?

Although there were a number of players that broke through for their first career victories, none o…

Surprises & Disappointments - Final 2014

With the 2014 season in the books, I would like to look back at the players who were the biggest surprises and biggest disappointments of the 2014 season.




Looking Back At My 2014 Predictions. Did I Get It Right?

The 2014 LPGA season was full of surprises. We had 21 different winners. We had 8 multiple winners. Two winners were non LPGA members. We also had winners that came from 7 different countries. We had seven first time winners. It was a year that was almost impossible to predict, although I did give it a try.

Way back in January, before the season began, I made my predictions of who I thought would be the top players of 2014. I put it out there for the whole world to see. Let's see how I did:

Stacy Lewis - She won every major award possible. She was the top money winner of 2014. She won the Rolex Player of the Year, and won the Vare trophy. Needless to say, I got this one correct.Suzann Pettersen - Suzann finished the 2013 season very strongly and figured to have a big 2014.  Back problems slowed her down for a part of the year, and she never seemed to get on track. She did not have a win, but did finish #11 on the money list.Lydia Ko - Predicting a rookie to finish #3 is usually not…

LPGA Qualifying School: The Final Stage

The Final Stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament will be held Wednesday December 3 through Sunday December 7 at LPGA International - Jones & Hills Courses.

There will be 154 players in the field competing to earn LPGA membership for the 2015 season.


Update - Monday 12/8/14

Karlin Beck made a 75 foot chip shot on the 5th playoff hole of the day and the 11th in total, dating back to Sunday night, to earn the final Category 12 LPGA Card. Casey Grice was eliminated on the 10th playoff hole, and Stephanie Meadow was eliminated by Beck's chip shot on the 11th playoff hole.

Both Meadow and Grice have earned Category 17 LPGA Cards. Grice was the first round leader. Meadow, who finished third in the 2014 U.S. Open, figures to get a number of sponsor exemptions. She will have ample opportunities to improve her status during the LPGA reshuffles. 

Update - Sunday 12/7/14

Believe it or not, they have finished 5 rounds and 90 holes and it is still not over!
When 90 holes were completed there wer…

Rating the Rookies - Part 3 - Final Analysis

Let me start by saying that 2014 was a very good year for LPGA rookies. Thirteen of the 28 rookies have retained their playing cards based on their 2014 LPGA performance. That is 46.4%, up from 22.8 % in 2013, when only 8 of 35 rookies retained their cards. Two more rookies retained their playing cards for 2015 as a result of their play on the Symetra Tour, and 3 did in 2013.

Below are my ratings for all 2014 LPGA rookies. These ratings are strictly based on how they fared on the LPGA tour this season. Any successes or failures on other tours, excluding the Symetra Tour, are not considered here. Success in retaining their 2015 LPGA playing card was my determining factor for my final ratings.


The Best:
1-Lydia Ko- We may never see another rookie like Lydia again in our lifetime. Lydia not only won three times, but had ten top five finishes. She did not miss a cut in any of her 27 starts. She finished #3 on the money list, and is presently ranked #3 in the Rolex World Rankings. The sky i…

Stats & Facts - Volume 22 - Final 2014

We have now come to the end of 2014 LPGA season. A season that was without a doubt the best season ever. Every week we were treated to exciting and competitive events. It certainly seemed that week in and week out the outcome wasn't decided until the final hole. There were 8 tournaments that went to a playoff. We had winners from 7 different countries. Last year I asked, "How are they going to top this year?" They certainly did. Now I am thinking, "How can they top this next year?" Well, Commissioner Michael Whan is sure going to give it a try. His announcements last week that 2015 will have 33 tournaments plus the Solheim cup, higher purses, and 10% more television coverage, tells me they are off to a flying start.


On that note I would like to look at some of the most important statistics from 2014:

Rolex Player of the Year:
Winner:  Stacy Lewis- 231 points (receives Hall of Fame point)
Runner Up:  Inbee Park - 226
3rd Place:  Lydia Ko:  182

Vare Trophy:
Winner:  …

Spectacular Ending to 2014 LPGA Season

If this was a movie script we would have said that "it could never happen that way." The fact that it actually did, left us all with smiles on our faces, as the 2014 LPGA season came to an end. In the opinion of many, this was the greatest LPGA season ever.

I have said over and over again that it seems that every tournament this year came down to the 72nd hole, and many weren't even decided then. The last three tournaments of the season all went to a playoff. There were eight playoffs this year.

Lydio Ko, the amazing 17 year old from New Zealand was the latest playoff winner, winning the CME Group Tour Championship on the fourth hole of a sudden death playoff. She defeated Julieta Granada and Carlotta Ciganda, as all three players finished regulation at ten under par.

Besides winning the $500,000 first prize check, Lydia also won the $1,000,000 bonus.



Carlotta Ciganda had a chance to win the tournament on the 3rd playoff hole, but missed a short putt and play would conti…

LPGA Announces 2015 Schedule

The LPGA announced its 2015 LPGA schedule at 3:00PM today, and continued its current trend of upward momentum. 
LPGA Chief Communications Officer Kraig Kann hosted the live stream which took place at the CME Tour Championship in Naples, Florida. Commissioner Michael Whan and Chief Commercial Officer John Podany jointly announced increased prize money, increased television coverage, and another increase in the  total number of tournaments.
Here are the highlights:
1- There will be 33 official tournaments in 2015, up from  32 in 2014. 
2- The 2015 LPGA season will kick off on Jan 28-31 with the Coates Golf Championship, in Ocala Florida. This is a brand new event. It will have a Saturday finish as the next day is the Super Bowl.
3- There will be 33 tournaments televised in 2015 (32 official tournaments and the Solheim Cup). The Mizuno Classic remains the only tournament with no TV coverage.
4- There will be 410+ hours of television coverage, up from 380 hours in 2014. Television rating…

CME Group Tour Championship

This is the one!
 If you are an LPGA fan, and you are not excited about this week's tournament, then maybe you should start watching curling or water polo.

The LPGA's overwhelmingly successful 2014 season comes to an end this week with the playing of the CME Group Tour Championship. With one million dollars and many of the most important awards still undecided, this figures to be the most exciting tournament of the year.

At stake this week are the following prizes and awards:
Nine players will have a chance at the $1 million bonus for winning the 72 hole event. The top 3 players (Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, and Lydia Ko) have their fate in their own hands. If they win the championship, the $1 million will go to one of them.  2. The Rolex Player of the year award will be decided. Stacy Lewis currently leads Inbee Park by a 229-226 count. Player of the Year points are given out in the following way:
1st place - 30 points 2nd place - 12 points 3rd place - 9 points 4th place - 7 points 5th …