Skip to main content

How Good are the 2015 LPGA Rookies?

If we had any doubts that the 2015 LPGA season could ever match the excitement of 2014, those doubts no longer exist. Once again this weekend we had an extraordinary finish. This time it was a 3 way playoff that included two 2015 rookies, Sei Young Kim, and Ariya Jutanugarn.

How good is the 2015 rookie crop? I am going to say without a doubt the best in LPGA history.
Not only did 2 rookies go into a playoff in this week's Pure Silk LPGA Classic, but a rookie finished in 2nd place last week at the Coates Championship.

Sei Young Kim holds up her Pure Silk Classic trophy

With 32 rookies this year, here are my top ten picks:

1- Hyo- Joo Kim - The cream of the crop. If she doesn't win the top rookie award it will be because she chose to play a number of tournaments in Asia, and her LPGA appearances were limited.  She has won 8 times on the KLPGA tour. This 19 year old is already ranked #7 in the Rolex Rankings. She received her LPGA card when she won the Evian Championship last year. 

2- Ha Na Jang - She has won 6 times on the KLPGA tour, and at the age of 22 is ready to make some big noise on the world's biggest tour. In her first event as an LPGA member, she finished in 2nd place last week at the Coates Championship. She is currently ranked #19 in the world rankings.

3- Ariya Jutanugarn - Trying to become part of the first sister act to both win the Rookie of the Year award. At just 19 years old  she is a future superstar! She finished in second place this past weekend losing in a playoff to Sei Young Kim. She is currently ranked # 58 in the world, and will see the top 10 very soon.

4- Q-Baek - She received her LPGA card as a result of winning last year's KEB Hana Bank Classic as an non LPGA member. This 19 year old has already won 4 times on the KLPGA, and is ranked #11 in the current Rolex Rankings. 

5- Sei Young Kim - Don't have to say much here except that she won the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic this past weekend. She is 22 years old and is currently ranked #23 in the world.

6- Charley Hull - Will make her debut as an LPGA member next week in Australia. Already a winner on the LET (and took top rookie honors), this 18 year old future star is set to make a big splash on the LPGA tour. As a non LPGA member, she finished 7th at last year's Kraft Nabisco Championship. She is currently ranked #39 in the world.

7- Minjee Lee - Co-winner of the Q-School tournament, Minjee is 18 years old and destined for greatness. As a non LPGA member, she finished 11th at the Australian Open, 22nd at the U.S. Open, and 16th at the Evian Championship last year. She is currently ranked #68 in the world.

8- Alison Lee - She doesn't have the experience of the players above, but she has an abundance of talent. One of only two Americans on this list, she finished 13th last week at the Coates Championship. She was also the co-winner of the Q-School tournament.

9- Sakura Yokomine - This rookie, at 29 years old, is the veteran of the group. A 23 time winner on the JLPGA, she finished 7th in the 2014 U.S. Women's Open. She is ranked #51 in the world.

10- Cheyenne Woods -  I don't think she is of the caliber of the players listed ahead of her, but she does have an LET victory on her resume.

I think any one of the top 7 on this list could be in contention for rookie honors. There are other players like Stephanie Meadow (third at last year's U.S. Open), and Ju Young Park (Hee Young's sister), who could make some noise.

Other Tidbits:
Mika Miyazato's 19th place finish at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, was her first top 20 finish in her last 19 starts.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Sei Young Kim's victory this past weekend catapults her from #40 to #23. Ariya Jutanugarn leaps from #100 to #58, while Brittany Lincicome moves from #20 to #18.

Race to the CME Globe:
Na Yeon Choi and Sei Young Kim lead with 500 points apiece. They are followed by Lydia Ko with 390 points.

Who's Hot:
Lydia Ko and Sun Young Yoo are the only players to finish in the top ten in the first two LPGA tournaments.

Who's Not:
Haeji Kang, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Belen Mozo, and Ayaka Uehara, have missed both cuts.

 (currently 1,232 followers)


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

LPGA Player Profile - Natalie Gulbis

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 (36 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:   (Updated through the 2018 season)

329 career starts238 cuts made (72.3%)37 top tens (11.2%)Has $4,898,508 in career earnings through the 2018 season (67th on the all time LPGA career money list).


Other Career Highlights: A three time U.S. Solheim Cup Team member (2005, 2…

My Top Ten LPGA Blogs of All-Time

Let me start out today by saying that I am looking forward to next week when the LPGA resumes it's schedule for real this time. They will play four consecutive weeks before the next break that will take them back to the USA. 
Needless to say with all the off time, I have been running out of things to write about. 
This week is the 9th anniversary of my blogging about the LPGA!


Those of you that have been with me from the beginning will remember that the first 3 years I blogged for Mostly Harmless. I created Tony's LPGA Report in 2013.

Over that period of time I have published over 750 blogs. Most have turned out to be quite successful, some have fallen flat. But one thing that you can be sure of is that I have always tried my best to be the "go to" resource for up-to-date and accurate news about the LPGA.

I recently went back through all of my blogs and made a list of the ten most popular. The results were quite surprising. It seems like the pieces that I spend the most t…

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.

#17
#16
#12

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…

Michelle Wie Gets Engaged!

Michelle Wie announced on Instagram last night that she is engaged to marry Jonnie West, the Golden State Warriors' director of basketball operations.





Jonnie is the son of NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West.



Wie, 29, a Punahou School and Stanford graduate, is a five-time winner on the LPGA Tour. West, 30, played basketball at West Virginia, his father’s alma mater. Wie, who has been recovering from hand surgery in October, is expected to play in the Lotte Championship, April 17-20, at Ko Olina.

This Week's Trivia Question:
Who was the only LPGA player to play in 30 events in 2018?

For the answer tothis week's trivia question press here.

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

LPGA Announces its 2019 Schedule!

The LPGA officially announced its 2019 schedule today, and it well worth the wait!

Here are the highlights:
1- The schedule features 34 events (33 official + The Solheim Cup). There were 33 last year (32 + UL International Crown).

2- The season will start one week earlier than last year, and kick off with two new tournaments.

3- There are a total of four tournaments:
     a) Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions (Jan 17-20)
     b) Vic Open (Feb 7-10)
     c) Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (July 17-20)
     d) BMW Ladies Championship (October 24-27)

     Tournaments that are no longer on the LPGA schedule:
     a) Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic (Pure Silk will be sponsoring the Virginia Event)
     b) LPGA Volvic Championship
     c) LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship
     d) Blue Bay LPGA

     There will be another tournament announced at a later date, that will take place Nov 14-17.

4- Will feature a record setting $70.55 million in prize money (up from 65.35 last year).

5- There w…