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Stats & Facts - Volume 20

Congratulations goes out to Spain for winning the inaugural playing of the International Crown. Spain won all four of its singles matches on Sunday to win by a comfortable margin. You can never tell how these events are going to turn out. The United States, who have won eleven tournaments this year, failed to make it to the Sunday round. Meanwhile Spain, whose players have not won a single LPGA tournament this year, came out victorious. The #2 seeded Republic of Korea was never really in contention, but Japan, who was overlooked by many, led most of the way.

It was another triumph for Commissioner Michael Whan. This tournament might need a little tweaking next time around, but was a tremendous success.
  • Munoz, Mozo, Ciganda, and Recari

The LPGA takes a break this week and will resume next week with the inaugural playing of the Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Look for my preview here in a few days.

I thought this would be a good time to look at some of the more important statistics that have been compiled over the first 18 events of this season.

Rolex Player of the Year: (winner receives a Hall of Fame point)
1- Stacy Lewis - 190 points
2- Michelle Wie - 150
3- Lydia Ko - 110
4- Lexi Thompson - 104
5- Inbee Park - 88

Vare Trophy: (winner receives Hall of fame point)
1- Stacy Lewis - 69.258 strokes per round
2- Michelle Wie - 69.707
3- Inbee Park - 70.058
4- Cristie Kerr - 70.189
5- Suzann Pettersen - 70.208

Race to the CME Globe: (1 Million Dollars)
1- Stacy Lewis - 3,721 points
2- Michelle Wie - 2,588
3- Lydia Ko - 2,481
4- Anna Nordqvist - 1,878
4- Inbee Park - 1,878

Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year:
1- Lydia Ko - 993 points
2- Mirim Lee - 311
3- Line Vedel - 269
4- Amy Anderson - 193
5- Jaye Marie Green - 178

Most Consecutive Tournaments Without a Missed Cut:
1- Stacy Lewis - 61
2- Lydia Ko - 31 (unofficial total that includes her playing as a non LPGA member)
3- Shanshan Feng - 25
4- Karine Icher - 22

Most Wins
1- Stacy Lewis - 3
2- Jessica Korda - 2
2- Michelle Wie - 2
2- Anna Nordqvist - 2
2- Karrie Webb - 2
2- Lydia Ko - 2

Most Top 5 Finishes:
1- Stacy Lewis - 9
2- Lydia Ko - 7
3- Michelle Wie - 6
3- Inbee Park - 6
3- So Yeon Ryu - 6

Most Top 10 Finishes:
1- Stacy Lewis - 13
2- Michelle Wie - 10
3- Cristie Kerr - 9
3- So Yeon Ryu - 9
3- Inbee Park - 9

Top 20 Finishes:
1- Stacy Lewis - 15
2- Michelle Wie - 13
3- Chella Choi - 12
4- Azahara Munoz - 11
4- Inbee Park - 11
4- So Yeon Ryu - 11

Most Wins by Country:
1- United States - 11
2- Sweden - 2
2- Australia - 2
2- New Zealand - 2
5- South Korea - 1

Solheim Cup Standings:
1- Stacy Lewis - 503 points
2- Lexi Thompson - 352
2- Michelle Wie - 352
4- Cristie Kerr - 202
5- Angela Stanford - 193
6- Jessica Korda - 151
7- Lizette Salas - 145
8- Paula Creamer - 144
Note: Mo Martin (#26) and Gerina Piller (#30) would get in via the Rolex Rankings.
Morgan Pressel, Jennifer Johnson, Brittany Lang, and Brittany Lincicome would not qualify.

What kind of season is Stacy Lewis having? She leads in every one of the above categories, except Rookie of the Year, which (of course) she is not eligible for.

Other Tidbits:
LPGA player Lee-Anne Pace who plays under the South African flag and therefore ineligible for the International Crown, played an L.E.T tournament this week. She finished in second place.

Rolex Ranking Mover of the Week:
Lee-Anne Pace moves up 5 more notches to #43.



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LPGA Player Profile - Natalie Gulbis

With the LPGA taking a one week break before resuming its schedule in the state of Texas, I want to take this opportunity to do my fifth player profile.

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 (34 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 (57…

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

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…

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.


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…

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

118th U.S. Women's Amateur Championship Preview

The LPGA is taking a one week break this week before resuming their schedule in Indianapolis.

I would like to take this time to preview a very important USGA event that is taking place this week.

The 118th U.S. Women's Amateur Championship

Many of my readers may remember last year's championship when University of Texas senior Sophia Schubert, 21, of Oak Ridge, Tenn., became the first player over the age of 19 to win the championship in nine years with her 6-and-5 victory over Stanford sophomore Albane Valenzuela, of Switzerland, at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, Calif.

Here are the Key Details:
Championship Venue:  Golf Club of Tennessee
Location:  Kingston Springs, Tenn.
Architect:  Tom Fazio
Par:  71
Yardage: 6,275

Dates of Championship:  August 6-12
Field:  156 players
Eligibility: Any female amateur whose handicap index does not exceed 5.4
Defending Champion: Sophia Schubert
Winning Margin: 6 and 5 over runner-up Albane Valenzuela

Championship Field
A starting field o…