Skip to main content

Surprises & Disappointments 2014 - Part 2

Back in April I wrote who I thought were the biggest  surprises & disappointments of the year. The LPGA had only played 7 tournaments at that point. So much has changed since then. The LPGA has now played 16 of its 32 tournaments, and I think it is time to take another look.

Biggest Surprises:

1- Michelle Wie - She started to play better the second half of last season, but not too many people saw this coming. With the possible exception of Stacy Lewis, Wie has become the most consistent player on the LPGA tour. Michelle Wie started the year as the #61 ranked player in the world, and is now #6. She finished last season #41 on the money list, and she is #2 this year. She has teed it up 14 times this year and has had 2 wins (one a major championship), 6 top 5's, 10 top tens, and 13 top 20's. Her worst finish this year is a tie for 23rd place.

2- Anna Nordqvist - Anna came onto the LPGA in 2010 and won twice that year, with one of those wins being a major championship. She did not win again the next 3 years. Coming into the 2014 season we didn't have very high expectations. Anna has turned it all around this year winning twice, and her consistency has her currently #5 on this year's money list.

3- Karrie Webb - After a huge comeback year in 2012 when she won twice, Karrie slipped just a bit last year. Taking into account that she will be turning 40 this year, there was every reason to think that her numbers would decline some more. Well, that certainly hasn't happened! Karrie has won twice already this season. Currently #7 on this year's money list, this Hall of Famer is not slowing down.

4- Lydia Ko - Sure I know she had already won a couple of LPGA tournaments before this year. I also know that everyone expected her to have a big rookie season this year. So why is she a surprise? She is a surprise because with all the hype she still had to go out and do it. And do it she has. She has gotten that first win as an LPGA member under her belt, along with 6 top 5 finishes, and seven top tens. Currently #3 on this year's money list, she is having a rookie season for the ages.

5- Jennie Shin - Talk about flying under the radar, most fans still don't know who she is. Although Jennie is still looking for that first victory, she has a top 5, 4 top tens, and 8 top 20 finishes this year. Her improvement has been dramatic. Jennie finished #45 on the money list in 2013, and is currently #16. Look for that first victory to come along soon.

6- Gerina Piller - Somewhat of a late bloomer at 29 years old, Gerina just keeps getting better every year. A real bomber, she is #1 in driving distance this year. Gerina finished #68 on the money list in 2011, #48 in 2012, #26 in 2013, and is currently #23 this year. I look for that trend to continue.

Honorable mentions: Chella Choi, Azahara Munoz.

Biggest Disappointments:

1- Ai Miyazato - There are players having worse seasons than Ai, but none of them are as disappointing based on our expectations. Maybe like Yani Tseng, I will have to lower my expectations next year, but for now I am still waiting for her to turn it around. The numbers don't seem to make sense. She has missed 3 straight cuts. She has gone 28 tournaments without a top ten. Worse yet, 17 tournaments without a top 20.
This former #1 player has now dropped to #53 in the world. Her decline started last season when she dropped to #26 on the money list, this year she is currently #85.

2- Mika Miyazato - Things are not good if your name is Miyazato this year. Mika has actually been worse than Ai. She has missed the cut in 4 of her last 7 starts. She has not finished in the top twenty all year. In 2012 Mika finished #11 on the money list, this year she is #88.

3- I.K. Kim - In some ways this is more puzzling then the top two. I.K. came into this season as one of the best players in the world, and we haven't seen anything resembling that player. She has one 13th place finish this year, but other than that she has finished 30th or worse in all the others. I.K. finished #7 on last year's money list. You can currently find her residing at the #60 spot.

4- Beatriz Recari - What is going on here? Beatriz won twice last year and finished #8 on the money list. This year she has missed 6 cuts, doesn't have a top 20 finish, and is currently #98 on the money list.

5- Moriya Jutanugarn - Last year's rookie the year, has not shown up at all this year. Moriya has played in all 16 events this year and her best finish is 27th. Currently #75 on the money list, it's time to wake up or she might be fighting to get into events next year.

6- Vicky Hurst - I only rank her this low because my expectations weren't as high as the players above her, but Vicky might be having the worst season of any LPGA player. She has only made 1 cut this year in 12 attempts and ranks #157 on the money list. Once such a promising young player, she will now have a hard time retaining her playing card.

7- Sun Young Yoo - With just 1 top 20 finish in 13 starts she has not contended this year. Just 2 years ago she finished 17th on the money list. This year she currently #57.

Dishonorable mentions: Ihlee Lee, Carlotta Ciganda, Irene Coe.

Other Tidbits:
Lexi Thompson missed the cut this past week for only the 2nd time in her last 21 starts.

The LPGA has now hit the halfway point of the season with only 5 players that played all 16 tournaments.
They are: Hee Young Park, Chella Choi, Mo Martin, Moriya Jutanugarn, and Caroline Masson.

Chella Choi and Na Yeon Choi have only 6 top tens between them, but have finished 11th to 20th sixteen times.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Stacy Lewis remains #1, but now has a very large lead that would suggest she may be staying there for quite some time. Lydia Ko passes Inbee Park and moves up to the #2 spot.

Race to the CME Globe:  (1 million dollars)
Stacy Lewis has a huge lead with 3,524 points. She is followed by Michelle Wie with 2,588, and Lydia Ko with 1,928.

Who's Hot:
So Yeon Ryu has done everything but win. She has finished in the top ten in 5 of her last 6 starts.
Meena Lee has four consecutive top 15 finishes.

Who's Not:
Mindy Kim has missed the cut in her last 10 starts.





Comments

  1. It would be something to see Vicky Hurst have to go through Q School. It would be her first time, I'm pretty sure, since she got her card at 18 off the Symetra Tour when she finished as the top money winner in 2008 with 5 victories, I think, and set a record for the most money won in a season. Hard to figure out what has gone wrong with her game.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perhaps Tony you should have listed the $ and not the # and at the halfway point of the season with the exception of Hurst your disappointments don't look so bad. Players have a life outside of golf and external factors have to come in to it. A good example is In-Bee Park the poor girl is trying to organise one of the biggest events of her life.. getting married so I can see why she is a little off at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the input Colin. I don't really consider Inbee a disappointment. There is no way she could have matched last year. I think she is playing pretty close to what I expected.

      Delete
  3. Don't be freaked out if she has Asian mama problems now that her daddy has passed away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm talking about Vicky Hurst.

      Delete
  4. Last year Nordqvist had a scoring average of 70.833. This year so far it is 70.700. Last year she had no wins and no missed cuts--this year she has two of each. I wonder if longer drives have led to greater variability in her results.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

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:

NATALIE GULBIS


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
Mariajo…

Most Popular Photos of the Year - 2017

1/9/18 - Bonus pics added at bottom of this page!


As many of my readers know, my wife and I go to quite a few LPGA tournaments each year. Since 2010 we have gone to over 50 events, including two in Scotland (St. Andrews being our favorite), and the last 8 Canadian Opens.

I do all the writing on here (my wife who is a teacher, is my proofreader), while my wife Cindy does most of the picture taking. 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 2017. 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.

#18
#17
#16
#15
#14
#13
#12
#11
#10
#9

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…

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…

Breaking News: Lexi Thompson Withdraws From Ricoh Women's British Open

Lexi Thompson announced today via Instagram that she has withdrawn from the Ricoh Women's British Open. She released the following statement:

Hi everyone, I wanted to let you know that I am officially withdrawing from the 2018 Ricoh Women's British Open.  It is extremely difficult for me not to play in this prestigious Major, but I realized recently that I need to take some time to work on myself. The events of the past year and a half (on and off the golf course) have taken a tremendous toll on me both mentally and emotionally. I have not truly felt like myself for quite some time. I am therefore taking this time to recharge my mental batteries, and to focus on myself away from the game of professional golf.  Thank all so much for your continued support. I hope to see everyone soon as I plan to defend my title at the 2018 Indy Women in Tech Championship. Lexi
It has been a tough past couple of years for Lexi. She lost the 2017 ANA Inspiration in a playoff when she was given a 4 s…