Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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.



Michelle Wie was my Biggest Surprise of the 2014 Season



Biggest Surprises:

1- Michelle Wie - We waited for a long time for this to happen. So long, that most of us thought it might never happen at all. Well it did! In spite of missing a chunk of the season with an injury, she still managed to win twice (including the U.S. Open), have 9 top five finishes, and 13 top tens. Last year she finished #41 on the money list, this year she finished #4.

2- Mirim Lee - All the talk was about Lydia Ko this year, and in my opinion Mirim was overlooked. All she did was win twice in her rookie season, have 4 top tens, and 11 top twenty finishes. Her 14th place finish on the money list deserves to be noticed.

3- Julieta Granada - She really came into her own in 2014 with 3 top five finishes, 8 top tens, and 14 top twenties. She also improved her money list finish from # 55 last year to #18 this year. 

4- Ihlee Lee - You will not find her big improvement by comparing her numbers to last year. Her 2013 numbers were padded by a 36 hole win in the Bahamas, otherwise it was not a very good year. This year started horribly with no top 20 finishes in her first 18 starts, but then she caught fire and was one of the most consistent players on tour. In her next 10 tournaments she would have 5 top tens and 9 top 20 twenty finishes.

5- Brittany Lincicome - Brittany had a poor 2013 season, and had a very poor first half of 2014. Many thought that the end was near. That certainly didn't turn out to be the case as she had 3 top fives, and 5 top tens in her last 8 starts. 

6- M.J. Hur - Nobody has really paid attention to MJ in quite some time. She hadn't played very well for a number of years. That all changed in the second half of the 2014 season, when she was as hot as any player on tour. She not only won, but had 2 top fives, 3 top tens, and 5 top twenties. She finished #30 on the money list, up from # 75 last year.

7- Lydia Ko - Why do I have her this far down the list? It is because I think that some of us really weren't that surprised that she won 3 times and had 15 top ten finishes. That said, how can I leave off a rookie that finished in the #3 position.

8- Jenny Shin - Even though she tailed off some in the second half, it did not tarnish the fact that this was her best year on tour. With 6 top tens, and 14 top twenties, she climbed all the way up to #21 on the money list this year.

9- Kim Kaufman - Before the year started, many people wrote in listing their top rookie picks of the year. With so many good rookies, nobody, including myself, had Kim on their list. In spite of not playing the first one third of the season, she had 2 top fives, 3 top tens, and 5 top twenty finishes. With many fewer starts than most players ahead of her, she still managed to finish #58 on the money list.

10- Mi Hyang Lee - With all the Lee's on tour (see Mirim and Ilhee above), her comeback season didn't get much attention. Lost was the fact that she not only won, but had 4 top tens, and 8 top twenty finishes. Last year she finished #92 on the money list. This year she finished #31.

Honorable Mentions - Austin Ernst and Line Vedel.

Ai Miyazato was the biggest disappointment of 2014


Biggest Disappointments:

1- Ai Miyazato - Ai had an off year in 2013 finishing all the way down at #27 on the money list. We all thought she would bounce back in 2014. We were all wrong. It is hard to explain the dramatic fall she took this year, except to say that she did not have a single top ten finish all year. Her fall to #86 on the money list explains it even better.

2- Mika Miyazato - She had almost the same year as Ai did. Mika failed to have a single top twenty finish the entire season. She dropped on the money list from #36 to #91.

3- I.K. Kim - I.K. did not show up for many tournaments in 2014, playing in just 18 of a possible 32. When she did show up, she just didn't play that well. Managing just 2 top ten finishes, she fell from her #7 money list finish last year, to #48 this year.

4- Beatriz Recari - Beatriz had a breakout season in 2013 when she won twice. We expected a small drop this year, but got a big one. With only one top ten all year, she dropped from #8 last year to #53 on the money list this year.

5- Chie Arimura - She came onto the LPGA with high expectations, but has not lived up to them thus far. She had just one top 20 finish all year, and went back to Q-School where she missed the cut. She finished #106 on the money list.

6- Sun Young Yoo - Once one of the better players in the world, she just didn't show up in 2014. In 25 starts she had just one top ten, while finishing outside the top 25 eighteen times. She fell way back to #61 on the money list.

7- Amy Yang - Amy didn't have a terrible year, she just had a terrible year based on her standards. Although she had 4 top tens, she didn't contend very often, and fell all the way down to #25 on the money list.

8- Hee Young Park - In 29 starts this year, she managed just 2 top tens. Last year she finished #10 on the money list, this year #40.

9- Caroline Hedwall - Maybe if we didn't see her win all 5 of her matches at the last Solheim Cup, our expectations might have been lower. Still, just one top ten all year? She was #14 on last year's money list, and # 46 this year.

10- Jennifer Johnson - Jennifer was disappointed in 2013 when she was not picked for the Solheim Cup Team. With just one top ten in 25 starts in 2014, she is going to have to play much better than that to be considered in 2015. She finished all the way back at #57 on this year's money list.


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2 comments:

  1. Vickie Hurst, When she broke on the scene I followed her progress in many tournaments, she was explosive off the tee and looked like the future of the LPGA, I can't understand how shuch a talent can fall that far down in the rankings. I hope Vickie can play her way back to the LPGA someday soon.

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  2. There are some very good players in your top ten disappointments. They have achieved much success on the LPGA tour. Yet here they are going in the wrong direction. This is another reminder of just how hard it is to win out there.

    Jet Jockey

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