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Showing posts from November, 2014

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 …

Lorena Ochoa Invitational Preview & Pairings

First let me say congratulations to Mi Hyang Lee for winning the Mizuno Classic. Lee won on the 5th hole of a three player playoff. It has been quite an exciting year for the LPGA with almost every tournament going down to the final hole, or going to a playoff.

With the Asian swing of the tour completed, the LPGA moves to Mexico this week for the playing of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. With a field of just 36 players, this will be the smallest field of the year.

This will be tournament # 31 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule.
Here are the key details:
Course:  Club de Golf Mexico Location:  Mexico City, Mexico Defending Champion:  Lexi Thompson Winning Score:  72-64-67-69  = 272 (-16)
Final Field:  36 players Par: 36/36 = 72 Yardage:  6,684  Purse: $1,000,000
My strength of field rating is just 44.5%, but in this case that is a bit misleading. The low rating is because the field lacks depth with only 36 players, but the top 7 players in the world will be teeing it up. Players ski…

Mizuno Classic Preview & Pairings

After another exciting finish in Taiwan, the LPGA moves to Japan for the playing of the Mizuno Classic. This will be the 6th and final leg of the Asian swing. This is one of the longest running tournaments on the LPGA. It was first won in 1976 by Donna Caponi. It is also one of the few 54 hole events that remain on the LPGA schedule.

This will be tournament #30 of 32 on the LPGA 2014 schedule.

Here are the Key details:

Course:  Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club
Location:  Shima-Shi, Mie, Japan
Defending Champion:  Teresa Lu (non-LPGA member)
Winning Score:  70-68-64 = 202 (-14)

Final Field:  78 players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,506
Purse:  $1,200,000

My strength of field rating is just 36.5%, making it the weakest field of the year. The field will include Stacy Lewis, who will be attempting to take back the #1 spot. There will also be several top players from the JLPGA tour teeing it up.

Here are the pairings for round 1:

There is no television coverage of this event.

Here are my Pak…