Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ten Questions for the 2016 Season

As we approach the beginning of the 2016 LPGA season, there are a number of questions that I am looking forward to getting the answers to. In reverse order, here are my top ten:

10- Was Michelle Wie's 2015 season an aberration mainly caused by her injuries?
And if so,can she return to her 2014 form?

9- Will the inclusion of golf in the 2016 Olympics be a success, or will it be dropped by the IOC?

8-  With rookies Budsabakorn Sukapan, Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras, Benyapa Niphatsophon, Wichanee Meechai, Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong, Prima Thammaraks, and Pavarisa Yoktuan, is Thailand the new South Korea?

Budsabakorn Sukapan is one of many LPGA rookies from Thailand
7- Can International Crown defending champion Spain, who as of this writing does not qualify, get it together and make the final eight?

6- Can Lydia Ko win the CME Group Championship and its 1 million dollar bonus for the third consecutive year?

5- Can one or more of the following players: Gerina Piller, Carlotta Ciganda, Ha Na Jang, or Alison Lee, break through and get that first LPGA championship.

4- Is Lexi Thompson ready to join the big three (Lydia, Inbee, Stacy) and make it the big four? And can she pass Stacy Lewis and become America's top player?

Can Lexi Thompson emerge as the #1 player in the United States?

3- Can either the USA or South Korea rebound from their disappointing 2014 International Crown result and become the 2016 champion?

2- With Brooke Henderson passing on her chance to be a rookie in 2016, can anyone else challenge In Gee Chun for Rolex Rookie of the Year?

1- Now that Lydia Ko has taken over the #1 spot in the Rolex Rankings, is there anyone who can step up and prevent her from keeping it for a very long time?

Can anyone challenge Lydia Ko for #1 in the world rankings?




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9 comments:

  1. They're committed to having golf in the Olympics through Tokyo 2020 but before then they'll have a review to determine if it remains beyond that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 10- Was Michelle Wie's 2015 season an aberration mainly caused by her injuries?
    And if so,can she return to her 2014 form?
    [COLOR="Red"]
    Doubtful. Injuries seem chronic. May play well here and there.[/COLOR]

    9- Will the inclusion of golf in the 2016 Olympics be a success, or will it be dropped by the IOC?

    [COLOR="Red"]No it will not be dropped, but it needs the stars to compete and it looks like they want to. There is money in golf so it will be there. Not much money in softball.[/COLOR]

    8- With rookies Budsabakorn Sukapan, Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras, Benyapa Niphatsophon, Wichanee Meechai, Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong, Prima Thammaraks, and Pavarisa Yoktuan, is Thailand the new South Korea?

    [COLOR="Red"]No[/COLOR]

    7- Can International Crown defending champion Spain, who as of this writing does not qualify, get it together and make the final eight?

    [COLOR="Red"]No. [/COLOR]

    6- Can Lydia Ko win the CME Group Championship and its 1 million dollar bonus for the third consecutive year?

    [COLOR="Red"]No.[/COLOR] [COLOR="Red"]3 is tough. She slowed down at the end of the year, but somehow found big energy at this tournament.
    [/COLOR]
    5- Can one or more of the following players: Gerina Piller, Carlotta Ciganda, Ha Na Jang, or Alison Lee, break through and get that first LPGA championship.

    [COLOR="Red"]Will not happen.[/COLOR]

    4- Is Lexi Thompson ready to join the big three (Lydia, Inbee, Stacy) and make it the big four? And can she pass Stacy Lewis and become America's top player?

    Can Lexi Thompson emerge as the #1 player in the United States?
    [COLOR="Red"]
    I think that she can pass Stacy and go at least #3, but that is more on Stacy. Needs to play more consistent.[/COLOR]

    3- Can either the USA or South Korea rebound from their disappointing 2014 International Crown result and become the 2016 champion?

    [COLOR="Red"]Yes. The tournament has a good structure that makes for close results and can turn on a dime. You can't make mistakes.[/COLOR]

    2- With Brooke Henderson passing on her chance to be a rookie in 2016, can anyone else challenge In Gee Chun for Rolex Rookie of the Year?

    [COLOR="Red"]No, class does not look impressive.[/COLOR]

    1- Now that Lydia Ko has taken over the #1 spot in the Rolex Rankings, is there anyone who can step up and prevent her from keeping it for a very long time?

    Can anyone challenge Lydia Ko for #1 in the world rankings?

    [COLOR="Red"]No indication that Inbee Park is going away. They are so close.[/COLOR]

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting and vital questions to be answered in 2016.
    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think the Olympics golf, with its small, weak field, will not live up to its billing. In Gee Chun has to be considered the favorite in the rookie of the year race. Annie Park and Megan Khang (a dark horse) might be heard from.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My thoughts on a couple...

    4 - Putting consistency has always been Lexi's nemesis. If she can be a more consistently solid putter, she can challenge anyone.

    8 - Thailand needs to break through for that first win. Ariya and Pornanong have come very close a number of times, I am hoping they can breakthrough this year. Also, a number of them are very young (Budsabakorn, Pannarat and Sherman are all 18 I believe) so the future looks very bright. I don't necessarily believe they will dominate like the Koreans have, but they have a chance to be very successful.

    2. In Gee is definitely the favorite, but then again, so was Hyo Joo last year.

    ReplyDelete
  6. 10 - Michelle Wie was not the only one who had a year of great plays, and then the next year of some disasters.

    9 - 60 golf players in Olympic 2016, and that's the minimum of 15 different countries. If more countries qualify, then there is a possibility that this sport will not be dropped soon.
    I think baseball was dropped from Olympics because only 8 countries qualified.

    8 - Many rookies from Thailand this year. We will find out soon if they play well enough to be at the top of the rankings, like many Koreans in top 20.

    7 - Spain has to get the top 4 people's ranking to less than 400, then there is the competition of whether they will make it or not. This will most likely be against Australia and Thailand.

    6 - Very possible.

    5 - Maybe they will get some 2nd and 3rd places, but not the championship.

    4 - If Lexi keeps it up, she will be one of the top 4.

    3 - USA is more likely to be the champion this time.

    2 - We will see.

    1 - Inbee Park will have to play really competitively. If Lydia Ko stays in #1 until end of June 2017, then she beats Yani Tseng's 109 weeks. (Not consecutive weeks though.)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Baseball was dropped from the Olympics because the world's best players, those who play in MLB, were never available for USA, the Dominican, Japan, etc. since that would have required an Olympic break in the 162 game schedule, which MLB refused to consider. Baseball's distaff twin softball was routinely dominated by the USA and Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I hate to sound like a broken record but almost every Sunday the LPGA sees fit to move the tees up. If they quit doing that look for Lexi to have good year and Lydia a slight fall off. Inbee always going to be there as is Stacy.

    ReplyDelete