Friday, December 30, 2016

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Year 2016 - Final

As we wait for the 2017 season to begin, it gives me time to look back at the players that made the biggest moves in the Rolex Rankings in 2016.

The Rolex Rankings system awards points to players based on an accumulated 104-week "rolling" period, with the points awarded in the most recent 13-week period carrying a stronger value. A player is then ranked according to her average points per tournament, as determined by dividing her total number of points by the number of eligible tournaments played during the 104-week period. A minimum divisor (35) is also used. 


 I have gone back to the first Rolex Rankings of the year and compared them to the current rankings. The only requirements for my list is: (1) A player must have been ranked in the top 100 at the start of the year, or be in the top 100 now. (2) A player must have started the year 2016 with a minimum rating of 0.50 (or else this chart would be filled with unknown names.)



Image result for ariya jutanugarn
Ariya Jutanugarn was the biggest mover in the Rolex Rankings in 2016.


The Year's Biggest Gainers:

1- Ariya Jutanugarn - 1.83 to 7.90 = Gain of 6.07 (moved from #63 to #2)
2- Sung Hyun Park - 2.92 to 5.67 = Gain of 2.75 (move 27-10)
3- In Gee Chun - 5.23 to 7.34 = Gain of 2.11 (move 10-3)
4- Harukya Nomura - 1.46 to 3.46 = Gain of 2.00 (move 79-21)
5- Charley Hull - 2.21 to 4.20 = Gain of 1.99 (move 41-16)
6- Brooke Henderson - 4.03 to 5.93 = Gain of 1.90 (move 17-8)
7- Carlota Ciganda - 2.00 to 3.59 = Gain of 1.59 (move 51-20)
8- Ha Na Jang - 4.50 to 6.01 = Gain of 1.51 (move 13-7)
9- Jodi Ewart Shadoff - 0.53 to 1.83 = Gain of 1.30 (move 206-59)
10- Ritsuki Ryu - 1.09 to 2.35 = Gain of 1.26 (move 106-38)
11- Mi Jung Hur - 1.27 to 2.47 = Gain of 1.20 (move 91-35)
12- Brittany Lang - 2.18 to 3.34 = Gain of 1.16 (move 44-22)
13- Shanshan Feng - 5.89 to 7.03 = Gain of 1.14 (move 6-4)
14- Seung Hyun Lee - 0.95 to 2.05 = Gain of 1.10 (move 128-49)
15- Su Oh - 0.52 to 1.56 = Gain of 1.04 (move 209-70)
16- Ha Neul Kim - 1.46 to 2.43 = Gain of 0.97 (move 78-36)
17- Gerina Piller - 2.80 to 3.75 = Gain of 0.95 (move 28-19)
18- Jeongmin Cho - 0.68 to 1.54 = Gain of 0.86 (move 167-73)
19- Jiyai Shin - 2.56 to 3.33 = Gain of 0.77 (move 33-23)
20- I.K. Kim - 2.10 to 2.86 = Gain of 0.76 (move 46-28)
20- Beth Allen - 1.05 to 1.81 = Gain of 0.76 (move 111-60)

Image result for Inbee Park
It was a see-saw injury plagued year for Inbee Park. She won Olympic gold, but took the biggest tumble in the Rolex Rankings.

The Year's Biggest Decliner

1- Inbee Park - 11.34 to 5.52 = Loss of 5.82 (moved from #2 to #11)
2- Stacy Lewis - 7.88 to 4.69 = Loss of 3.19 (move 3-13)
3- Cristie Kerr - 5.05 to 2.84 = Loss of 2.21 (move 11-30)
4- Michelle Wie - 2.79 to 0.69 = Loss of 2.10 (move 29-173)
5- Hyo Joo Kim - 5.24 to 3.24 = Loss of 2.00 (move 9-25)
6- Brittany Lincicome - 4.13 to 2.15 = Loss of 1.98 (move 16-43)
7- Na Yeon Choi - 3.72 to 2.00 = Loss of 1.72 (move 19-54)
8- Jung Min Lee - 2.68 to 1.21 = Loss of 1.47 (move 32-95)
9- Julieta Granada - 1.88 to 0.43 = Loss of 1.45 (move 59-247)
10- Q-Baek - 1.98 to 0.70 = Loss of 1.28 (move 53-170)
11- Ilhee Lee - 2.26 to 0.99 = Loss 1.27 (move 39-117)
12- Yani Tseng - 2.34 to 1.10 = Loss of 1.24 (move 37-102)
13- Morgan Pressel - 3.14 to 1.95 = Loss of 1.19 (move 24-55)
14- Suzann Pettersen - 4.86 to 3.89 = Loss of 0.97 (move 12-18)
15- Karrie Webb - 2.71 to 1.77 = Loss of  0.94 (move 31-63)
16- Mika Miyazato - 2.34 to 1.46 = Loss of 0.88 (move 38-79)
17- Momoko Ueda - 1.94 to 1.07 = Loss of 0.87 (move 55-109)
18- Teresa Lu - 3.70 to 2.88 = Loss of 0.82 (move 20-27)
19- Sakura Yokomine - 1.78 to 0.98 = Loss of 0.80 (move 65-118)
20- Gwladys Nocera - 1.42 to 0.65 = Loss of 0.77 (move 80-187)

There you have it. The biggest gainers and decliners of 2016. Who do you think will rebound in 2017? Who will be the next Ariya Jutanugarn and completely surprise us all?

I will be back soon with the most popular photos of 2016.

This Week's Trivia Question:

What LPGA player will be starting the 2017 season with a streak of 63 consecutive cuts made?

For the Answer to this week's trivia question press here.



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Monday, December 26, 2016

Top LPGA Highlights of 2016 Season


As we wait for the start of the 2017 season, which is only three weeks away, I would like to look back at what I consider to be the top stories of 2016.

It was a very interesting and exciting past year. There were multiple teenage winners, exciting playoffs, miraculous comebacks, engagements, marriages, and a number of first time winners.

I have narrowed it down to ten, although I know there were many more. This list is very subjective, depending on who your favorite golfers are. A top story for me may be one that someone else might want to forget.

So in reverse order, here we go:

10- Inbee Park's Induction into Hall of Fame.
In a way it was anti-climatic since she had the 27 points needed for induction for quite some time now. But the LPGA rules state that you have to be on tour for ten years. I think it is a terrible rule as it prevents players like Lorena Ochoa, who has the points but not the time, from being inducted. Why punish her for doing it in a shorter span? Isn't that even more impressive? Okay, that's a topic for another time. Getting back to Inbee, what is so impressive about her (aside from the obvious) is what an impressive speaker she has become. Every sentence is so well thought out and she has become one of the best interviews on tour.

9- Five First Time Winners.
I am such a sucker for first time winners. I could be rooting for another player other than that first time winner, but when that last putt drops you completely forget that it didn't go your way, and it gets very emotional. We certainly had plenty of that this year with Ha Na Jang, Jenny Shin, Ariya Jutanugarn, Carlota Ciganda, and Charley Hull, all winning for the first time.

8- In Gee Chun Wins Evian Championship.
I am not a big fan of this tournament being a major championship. I think that there are other events that deserve it more, like the Canadian Open whose names I won't mention. That said, it is a major and I will have to treat it as such. We all know that In Gee won the U.S. Open as a non LPGA member. I have always felt that it is that second major championship win that validates the first one. In Gee certainly did that by winning this one by four strokes.

7- Brittany Lang Wins The U.S. Open.
Since this is my very favorite tournament of the year, it is always going to be on this list no matter who the winner. The fact that it was won by Brittany, one of the most approachable players on tour, just made it that much more satisfying. The controversial ending (Anna Nordqvist receiving a two stroke penalty), doesn't change the fact of how well Brittany played.

6- The CME Group Tour Championship.
How can you possibly plan for anything to be this exciting? If this was a boxing match, I would have said it was fixed. I know that the way they reset the points before the beginning of this event, that the race for the 1 million dollars is going to go down to the very end. That didn't surprise me. But how after thousands of strokes, does the Vare Trophy go down to the very last putt on the very last hole? This was golf at its best. You could not have scripted this.

5- Se Ri Pak Retires.
Stating what Se Ri Pak meant to the people of her country, and how she changed the face of the LPGA, would only be repetitive. Seeing players of every age (even retired ones) and from every country, line up on the 18th green at the Hana Bank Championship, is something we will not forget for a very long time.

Image result for Se Ri Pak retires
I am sure that Se Ri Pak's retiremnet will be on the top of many 2016 lists.

4- Golf Returns to the 2016 Olympics.
I was a bit nervous before this one played out. As it turned out I had nothing to worry about. It was a very big success. Inbee Park. Lydia Ko and Shanshan Feng all won medals. Stacy Lewis missed by one stroke, Brooke Henderson and Minjee Lee by two. It was exciting to watch. While golf's future in the Olympics is still uncertain, we have Tokyo to look forward to in 2020.

3- Brooke Henderson Wins KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
It will be remembered for a long time as the showdown at Sahalle. After being tied at the end of regulation, Brooke and Lydia Ko went into a playoff. Brooke made what was in my opinion the shot of the year (considering the circumstances). She left her approach shot to the 18th green (the first playoff hole) just 28 inches from the cup. When she made the putt, she had her first major championship (Kudos to Lydia for being the first player to run up and congratulate her).

Image result for brooke henderson wins kpmg
Brooke Henderson Wins Her First Major Championship.

2- The United States Wins the International Crown. 
Lets face it, it was a lousy year in 2016 for American players. Maybe that is part of the reason that I rate this so high (Spain's win in 2014 was #8 on my list). The fact that this is not an official tournament (neither was the Olympics), doesn't make it any less exciting. I was there, It was highly competetitive, the players were really into it, the team press conferences were classic. Team USA played great golf.

1- Ariya Jutanugarn's Month of May.
We have not seen anything like this in quite some time. It is quite fitting that her nickname is May, since she won three times in that month. It was a dominant display of golf where she certainly put her name in the conversation of who is the tour's best player. She went on to win 2 more times, including her first major championship at the Ricoh British Open. She would also win the Player of the Year award, the 1 million dollar CME bonus, and finish on top of the year's money list.

Image result for ariya jutanugarn
Ariya Jutanugarn dominated the LPGA tour in 2016 with her 5 victories.


Please feel free to add your own favorite moments in the comments section. I would like to hear your opinions.

This Week's Trivia Question:

The LPGA released its Priority List for the 2017 season this past week. Who is the highest ranked player on that list, that has never won an LPGA tournament?

For the answer to this week's trivia question press here.

I want to thank all my readers for making 2016 a record breaking year. The LPGA has been gaining fans, and this blog has shown a 15% increase over last year.

I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season, and a let's make 2017 the greatest year ever!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

LPGA 2017 Priority List

I have been asked many times how the LPGA constructs their field lists for tournaments.

Below is the 2017 priority list taken directly from the LPGA website:

The following priority with regards to a Member’s playing status will be used for Standard Tournament fields and other tournaments as applicable:

      1. Top 80: Members in the top 80 on the previous year’s season-ending Money List. Priority is based on the order of the list.


Ties will be broken by the Members’ positions on the Career Money List as of the end of the previous year.

1. Ariya Jutanugarn     
2. Lydia Ko 
3. Brooke M. Henderson
4. In Gee Chun
5. Shanshan Feng
6. Sei Young Kim
7. Anna Nordqvist 
8. Ha Na Jang
9. Brittany Lang 
10. So Yeon Ryu 
11. Haru Nomura    
12. Minjee Lee
13. Amy Yang 
14. Carlota Ciganda 
15. Charley Hull
16. Stacy Lewis
17. Mirim Lee 
18. Lexi Thompson
19. Gerina Piller
20. Hyo Joo Kim 
21. Mi Jung Hur 
22. Suzann Pettersen 
23. Mo Martin 
24. Jessica Korda 
25. Candie Kung 
26. Caroline Masson 
27. Jenny Shin 
28. Karine Icher 
29. In-Kyung Kim 
30. Pornanong Phatlum 
31. Chella Choi 
32. Jodi Ewart Shadoff 
33. Eun-Hee Ji 
34. Hee Young Park 
35. Lee-Anne Pace
36. Danielle Kang 
37. Angela Stanford 
38. Alison Lee 
39. Cristie Kerr 
40. Moriya Jutanugarn 
41. Alena Sharp 
42. Mi Hyang Lee 
43. Azahara Munoz 
44. Catriona Matthew 
45. Christina Kim
46. Jennifer Song 
47. Brittany Lincicome 
48. Morgan Pressel 
49. Beatriz Recari 
50. Su Oh 
51. Austin Ernst 
52. Karrie Webb 
53. Kim Kaufman 
54. Ryann O’Toole 
55. Na Yeon Choi 
56. Sarah Jane Smith 
57. Megan Khang 
58. Lizette Salas 
59. Pernilla Lindberg 
60. Gaby Lopez 
61. Xi Yu Lin
62. Sandra Gal 
63. Mariajo Uribe 
64. Nicole Castrale **
65. Jacqui Concolino 
66. Marina Alex 
67. Paula Creamer 
68. Ai Miyazato 
69. Mika Miyazato 
70. Inbee Park 
71. Kris Tamulis 
72. Sakura Yokomine 
73. Jing Yan 
74. Katie Burnett 
75. Paula Reto 
76. Kelly Shon 
77. Lee Lopez 
78. Nontaya Srisawang 
79. Ayako Uehara 
80. Simin Feng
81. Sydnee Michaels

          ** Medical


      2. Career Top 20: Members in the top 20 on the Career Money List as of the end of the last Official Tournament of the previous year. Priority is based on the order of the list. To be included in this category (a) the Member must notify the LPGA that she wants to be included in the Career Top 20 Category by December 15 of the previous year, (b) if a Member elects to be included in the Career Top 20 Category, she will be in this Category for one year, (c) a Member may be included in this category only two times in her career, and (d) a Member may only be in the Career Top 20 Category or the Career Top 40 Category (but not both) in her career.

82. Yani Tseng 

     3. Major Winner: Members who have won an LPGA Major Championship while a Member during the previous five (5) calendar years or during the current year. Priority is based on the number of such wins during the previous five (5) years. Ties are broken by the Members’ positions on the Career Money List as of the end of the previous year. 

83. Michelle Wie 

    4. Winner: Members who have won an Official Tournament while a Member within the last two (2) calendar years or during the current year. Priority is based on the number of Official Tournament wins during the previous two (2) years. Ties are broken by the Members’ positions on the Career Money List as of the end of the previous year. 

    5. Multiple Wins: Members who have won at least two (2) Official Tournaments while a Member in the same calendar year in any of the previous three (3) calendar years. Priority is based on the number of wins during all of the previous three years. Ties are broken by the Members’ positions on the Career Money List as of the end of the previous year.

    6. Three Wins in the Same Season: Members who have won three (3) or more Official Tournaments while a Member during the same calendar year in any of the previous four (4) years. Priority is based on the number of wins during all of the previous four (4) years. Ties are broken by the Members’ positions on the Career Money List as of the end of the previous year. 

    7. Non-Member Win: Players who have won at least one (1) Official Tournament as a Non-member within the previous calendar year or during the current calendar year. Priority is based on the earliest date of such wins. A Player must be eligible for and accept LPGA membership to be included in this category. 

    8. Current Year Top-80: Members in the Top-80 of the current year’s Money List after the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout Presented by JTBC with priority based on the order of the list. For the remaining Official Tournaments of the year, Members in the Top-80 on the current year’s Money List after Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. Priority is based on the order of the list. Ties are broken by the Members’ positions on the 2016 Priority List as of the commitment deadline for each respective reshuffle tournament.

    9. Top 10 LPGA Symetra Tour: Top 10 on the previous year’s season-ending Symetra Tour Money List. Priority is based on their position on the list.  

84. Madelene Sagstrom 
85. Ally McDonald 
86. Jackie Stoelting 
87. Wichanee Meechai 
88. Laura Gonzalez Escallon 
89. Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong 
90. Dana Finkelstein 
91. Marissa Steen 
92. Nelly Korda 
93. Peiyun Chien

    10. Non-Member Top 40: Non-Members who, as of the conclusion of the last Official Tournament of the previous year, won an amount of money during such year in Official Tournaments with a cut, that is equal to or greater than the amount of official money won by the Member who was in 40th place on the Money List at that time. Priority based on the amount of money won in such tournaments. Ties will be broken by the earliest time at which the Non-Member achieved the amount of money necessary to be included in the category. A player must be eligible for and accept LPGA membership to be included in this category.

94. Sung Hyun Park

    11. Nos. 81-100: Members finishing Nos. 81-100 on the previous year’s season-ending Money List. Priority is based on the order of the list. Ties will be broken by the Members’ positions on the Career Money List as of the end of the previous year.

95. Maude-Aimee Leblanc 
96. Annie Park 
97. Tiffany Joh 
98. Jane Park 
99. Brittany Altomare 
100. Ilhee Lee 
101. Kelly Tan 
102. P.K. Kongkraphan 
103. Lindy Duncan 
104. Q Baek 
105. Perrine Delacour **
106. Sun Young Yoo 
107. Min Seo Kwak 
108. Julie Yang 
109. Min Lee 
110. Thidapa Suwannapura **
111. Joanna Klatten 
112. Cheyenne Woods 
113. Juli Inkster 
114. Cydney Clanton 
115. Caroline Hedwall 
116. Celine Herbin 
117. Jennifer Johnson ** 

               ** Medical 

   12. Top 20 Q-School: Players finishing Nos. 1-20 at the previous year’s LPGA Qualifying Tournament. Ties are broken on the basis of the lowest, most recent round in Stage III of the Qualifying Tournament, and if necessary by a match of cards starting with the 18th hole of the final round and working backward. In the event of a tie for 20th place, the 20th place shall be determined through a play-off held at the Qualifying Tournament.

118. Jaye Marie Green 
119. Olafia Kristinsdottir 
120. Angel Yin 
121. Sadena Parks 
122. Jeong Eun Lee 
123. Ssu Chia Cheng 
124. Beth Allen 
125. Therese O’Hara 
126. Jennifer Ha 
127. Mel Reid 
128. Maria Parra 
129. Amy Anderson 
130. Laetitia Beck 
131. Katherine Perry 
132. Dani Holmqvist 
133. Regan De Guzman 
134. Dori Carter 
135. Nasa Hataoka 
136. Pavarisa Yoktuan 
137. Karen Chung

    13. Three-Time LPGA Symetra Tour Current-Year Win Category: Winners of three (3) official LPGA Symetra Tour tournaments during the current year. (A player does not gain LPGA membership by winning three times on the LPGA Symetra Tour. If the player entering through this category is a Non-Member, any prize money she wins will be unofficial. If the player is a Member, any prize money she wins will be official.) 

    14. Career Top 40 Category: Members in the top 40 on the Career Money List as of the end of the previous year. Priority is based on the order of the list. To be included in this category (a) the Member must notify the LPGA that she wants to be included in the Career Top 40 Category by December 15 of the previous year, and (b) if a Member elects to be included in the Career Top 40 Category she will be in this category for one year, (c) a Member may be included in this category only one time in her career, (d) a Member may only be in the Career Top 40 Category or the Career Top 20 Category (but not both) in her career. 

    15. Current-Year Reshuffle – After the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout Presented by JTBC, Members in categories 16 through 21 who have earned official money will be re-seeded into Category 15. Members placed into Category 15 will be ranked in the order of their position on the current year’s Money List through the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout Presented by JTBC. Members will remain in this category until the next reshuffle. After the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G, Members in categories 15, and 16 through 21, who have earned official money will be re-seeded into Category 15. Members placed into Category 15 will be ranked in the order of their position on the current year’s Money List through Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. Members will remain in this category for the remainder of the calendar year. For all reshuffles, ties are broken by the Members’ positions on the 2016 Priority List as of the commitment deadline for each respective reshuffle tournament. 

16. Nos. 101-125 Category: Members finishing Nos. 101-125 on the previous year’s season-ending Money List. Priority is based on the order of the list. Ties will be broken by the Members’ positions on the Career Money List as of the end of the previous year.

138. Vicky Hurst 
139. Becky Morgan 
140. Wei-Ling Hsu 
141. Belen Mozo 
142. Amelia Lewis 
143. Ashleigh Simon 
144. Maria Hernandez ** 
145. Giulia Molinaro 
146. Katherine Kirk 
147. Christel Boeljon 
148. Stephanie Meadow 
149. Casey Grice 
150. Sandra Changkija 
151. Mina Harigae 
152. Brooke Pancake ** 
153. Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras 
154. Demi Runas 
155. Holly Clyburn

         ** Medical 

    17. Nos. 21- 45 Q-school Category: Players finishing Nos. 21-45 and those players tied at the 45th position at the previous year’s LPGA Qualifying Tournament. Priority is based on the order of their finish at the Qualifying Tournament. Ties are broken on the basis of the lowest most recent round in the Final Qualifying Tournament, and if necessary by a match of cards starting with the 18th hole of the final round and working backward.

156. Madeleine Sheils 
157. Mariah Stackhouse 
158. Dottie Ardina 
159. Bronte Law 
160. Aditi Ashok 
161. Nicole Broch Larsen 
162. Emily Pedersen 
163. Jenny Coleman 
164. Emily Tubert 
165. Brittany Benvenuto 
166. Daniela Darquea 
167. Lauren Kim 
168. Britney Yada 
169. Jessy Tang 
170. Prima Thammaraks 
171. Min-G Kim 
172. Justine Dreher 
173. Budsabakorn Sukapan 
174. Cindy LaCrosse 
175. Ji Young Oh 
176. Augusta James 
177. Emily Collins 
178. Caroline Inglis 
179. Allyssa Ferrell 
180. Brianna Do 
181. Haeji Kang 
182. Benyapa Niphatsophon 
183. Alejandra Llaneza 
184. Hannah Burke 
185. Celine Boutier 
186. Krista Puisite

    18. Tournament Winners: Members who won an Official Tournament while a Member within the previous twenty (20) calendar years. Priority is based on the number of wins. Ties are broken by the Members’ positions on the Career Money List as of the end of the previous year.

    Players listed below have eight (8) wins or more In the previous twenty (20) years

187. Annika Sorenstam 188. Nancy Lopez 189. Patty Sheehan 190. Betsy King 191. Beth Daniel 192. Pat Bradley 193. Lorena Ochoa 194. Se Ri Pak 195. Laura Davies 196. Meg Mallon 197. Dottie Pepper 198. Rosie Jones 199. Liselotte Neumann 200. Kelly Robbins 201. Sherri Steinhauer 202. Mi Hyun Kim 203. Rachel Hetherington 204. Christa Johnson.

    Players listed below have seven (7) wins or less In the previous twenty (20) years

205. Helen Alfredsson 206. Michelle McGann 207. Hee Won Han 208. Pat Hurst 209. Grace Park 210. Donna Andrews 211. Maria McBride 212. Brandie Burton 213. Deb Richard 214. Barb Mucha 215. Lorie Kane 216. Wendy Ward 217. Meena Lee 218. Seon Hwa Lee 219. Dorothy Delasin 220. Penny Hammel 221. Mary Beth Zimmerman 222. Nancy Scranton 223. Emilee Klein 224. Wendy Doolan 225. Vicki Fergon 226. Laura Diaz** 227. Jeong Jang 228. Michele Redman 229. Karen Stupples 230. Janice Moodie 231. Stacy Prammanasudh 232. Jimin Kang 233. Patricia Meunier-Lebouc 234. Ji Young Oh 235. Gail Graham 236. Heather Daly-Donofrio 237. Terry-Jo Myers 238. Natalie Gulbis 239. Jee Young Lee 240. Leta Lindley 241. Jennifer Rosales 242. Julieta Granada 243. Heather Bowie Young 244. Moira Dunn 245. Kim-Saiki-Maloney 246. Kelli Kuehne 247. Marisa Baena 248. Cindy Figg-Currier 249. Silvia Cavalleri 250. Charlotta Sorenstam 251. Kate Golden 252. Amy Fruhwirth 253. Jackie Gallagher-Smith 254. Birdie Kim 255. Nanci Bowen 256. Laurel Kean 257. Carolyn Hill 258. Louise Friberg 259. Eunjung Yi 260. Tina Fischer.

    
    19. Tournament Winners: Members who won an Official Tournament while a Member more than twenty (20) years prior. Priority is based on the number of wins. Ties are broken by the Members’ positions on the Career Money List as of the end of the previous year. 

261. Kathy Whitworth 262. Mickey Wright 263. Amy Alcott 264. Betsy Rawls 265. JoAnne Carner 266. Sandra Haynie 267. Carol Mann 268. Ayako Okamoto 269. Jane Blalock 270. Judy Rankin 271. Marlene Hagge 272. Donna Caponi 273. Marilynn Smith 274. Sandra Palmer 275. Hollis Stacy 276. Jan Stephenson 277. Sally Little 278. Susie Berning 279. Clifford Ann Creed 280. Shirley Englehorn 281. Tammie Green 282. Mary Mills 283. Alice Miller 284. Val Skinner 285. Sandra Post-McDermid 286. Danielle Ammaccapane 287. Judy Dickinson 288. Jane Geddes 289. Debbie Austin 290. JoAnn Prentice 291. Kathy Cornelius 292. Cindy Rarick 293. Kathy Postlewait 294. Betty Burfeindt 295. Murle Breer 296. Sue Roberts 297. Sherri Turner 298. Elaine Crosby 299. Debbie Massey 300. Martha Nause 301. Maggie Will 302. Laurie Merten 303. Marta Figueras-Dotti 304. Missie McGeorge 305. Missie Berteotti 306. Muffin Spencer-Devlin 307. Shelley Hamlin 308. Donna White 309. Cathy Gerring 310. JoAnne Washam 311. Lisa D’Amore 312. Pam Higgins 313. Betsy Cullen 314. Laurie Rinker 315. Jody Anschutz 316. Anne-Marie Palli 317. Janet Coles 318. Jerilyn Britz 319. Kathy Guadagnino 320. Penny Pulz 321. Bonnie Lauer 322. Cindy Hill 323. Gloria Ehret 324. Jan Ferraris 325. Tina Barrett 326. Kris Tschetter 327. Michelle Estill 328. Jane Crafter 329. Jenny Lidback 330. Becky Iverson 331. Joan Pitcock 332. Cindy Schreyer 333. Dana Dormann 334. Allison Finney. 335. Cathy Johnston-Forbes 336. Kathryn Imrie 337. Julie Piers 338. Barb Whitehead 339. Tracy Kerdyk 340. Cathy Morse 341. Janet Anderson 342. Shirley Furlong 343. Lynn Adams 344. Becky Pearson 345. Dorothy Germain 346. Pat Meyers 347. Jennifer Wyatt 348. Sally Quinlan 349. Susie McAllister-Morton 350. Patty Hayes 351. Tina Tombs 352. Lauren Howe 353. Sharon Barrett 354. Patty Jordan-Smith 355. Kathy Hite-James 356. Barbara Barrow 357. Danah Bordner ** 358. Bonnie Bryant 359. Margie Masters 360. Pam Barnett 361. Jocelyne Bourassa  

    20. Nos. 126-150 Category: Members finishing Nos. 126-150 on the previous year’s season-ending Money List. Priority is based on the order of the list. Ties will be broken by the Members’ positions on the Career Money List as of the end of the previous year.

362. Karlin Beck 
363. Briana Mao 
364. Daniela Iacobelli 
365. Sarah Kemp 
366. Bertine Strauss 
367. Rachel Rohanna 
368. Giulia Sergas 
369. Samantha Richdale 
370. Nannette Hill 
371. Felicity Johnson
372. Stephanie Kono 
373. Marion Ricordeau
374. Christine Song 
375. Anne Catherine Tanguay

    21. Class A/Veteran International Members Category: Class A Members; and International Members who have been active LPGA members in good standing for ten (10) or more consecutive years. Priority will be based on the Members’ positions on the Career Money List as of the end of the previous years.

376. Jill McGill 377. Kristy McPherson 378. Mhairi McKay 379. Vicki Goetze-Ackerman 380. Tracy Hanson 381. Amy Benz 382. Katie Futcher 383. Reilley Rankin 384. Diana D’Alessio 385. Amy Hung 386. Dina Ammaccapane 387. Susie Redman 388. Michelle Ellis 389. Karin Sjodin 390. Aree Song 391. Beth Bader 392. A.J. Eathorne 393. Kim Williams 394. Eva Dahllof 395. Yu Ping Lin 396. Marianne Morris 397. Jean Bartholomew 398. Robin Walton 399. Mitzi Edge 400. Jamie Hullett 401. Marcy Hart 402. Suzanne Strudwick 403. Alison Walshe 404. Denise Killeen 405. Kristal Parker-Manzo 406. Nancy Harvey 407. Beth Bauer 408. Pamela Wright 409. Stephanie Louden 410. Irene Coe 411. Na On Min 412. Ashli Bunch 413. Caroline Keggi 414. Laura Baugh 415. Dewi Claire Schreefel 416. Young A Yang 417. Paige Mackenzie 418. Myra Blackwelder 419. Leslie Spalding 420. Mindy Kim 421. Jill Briles-Hinton 422. Amanda Blumenherst 423. Allison Duncan 424. Vickie Odegard 425. Audra Burks 426. Siew-Ai Lim 427. Carri Wood 428. Luciana Bemvenuti 429. Stephanie Farwig 430. Anna Acker-Macosko 431. Candy Hannemann 432. Lori West 433. Lynn Connelly 434. Leigh Ann Mills 435. Kim Shipman 436. Marilyn Lovander 437. Cathy Marino 438. Allison Hanna 439. Sara Sanders 440. Deedee Lasker 441. Laurie Brower 442. Ellie Gibson 443. Kim Hall 444. Amy Read 445. Susan Sanders 446. Jenna Daniels 447. Nina Foust 448. Lee Ann Walker 449. Sue Ertl 450. Angie Ridgeway 451. Marlene Floyd 452. Marci Bozarth 453. Janice Gibson 454. Kathryn Young-Robyn 455. Annette DeLuca 456. Patricia Baxter-Johnson 457. Meredith Duncan 458. Barb Moxness 459. Jennifer Feldott-Hall 460. Heather Drew 461. Anna Grzebien 462. Kathy McMullen 463. Nicole Jeray 464. M.J. Smith 465. Karen Noble 466. Sue Ginter 467. Mindy Moore 468. Pamela Kerrigan 469. Mary Dwyer 470. Beverly Klass 471. Sue Thomas 472. Kay Cockerill 473. Angela Jerman 474. Erika Wicoff 475. Beth Stone 476. Jen Hanna 477. Sarah McGuire 478. Nicky Le Roux 479. Sherrin Smyers 480. Kate Rogerson 481. Kim Bauer 482. Gina Hull 483. Nancy White 484. Dianne Dailey 485. Therese Hession 486. Barbra Mizrahie 487. Carole Charbonnier 488. LeAnn Cassaday 489. Judy Sams 490. Michelle Dobek 491. Mary Murphy 492. Nancy Taylor-Capps 493. Noelle Daghe 494. Cathy Mant 495. Cathy Mockett 496. Cathy Sherk 497. Gerda Boykin 498. Debbie Steinback-Keller 499. Mardell Wilkins 500. Joan Joyce 501. Laura Hurlbut 502. Jeannette Kohlhass 503. Linda Hunt 504. Donna Wilkins 505. Cathy Duggan 506. Loretta Alderete 507. Joan Delk 508. Shirley Spork 509. Marty Dickerson 510. Sue Fogleman 511. Jackie Bertsch 512. Pamela Allen 513. Amelia Rorer 514. Terri Hancock 515. Kelly Leadbetter 516. Sue Daniels 517. Connie Ross 518. Kathy Farrer 519. Adele Peterson 520. Debbie Skinner 521. Renee Powell 522. Sharron Moran 523. Janet Le Pera 524. Brenda Hocott 525. Cindy Ferro 526. Carla Glasgow 527. H.B. Duntz MacArthur 528. Cynthia Anzolut 529. Joyce Benson 530. Susan Johnson 531. Mary Bryan 532. Linda Galloway 533. Becky Larson.

This weeks Trivia Question:    (For those who haven't tried it already)

What LPGA player hit 78.8% of her greens in regulation in 2016, which was the best mark on tour in the past 12 years? 

For the answer to this week's trivia question press here.



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Monday, December 19, 2016

How Well Were My Pre-Season Questions Answered?

Way back in January, before the 2016 LPGA season began, I listed 10 questions that I was looking forward to getting the answers to.

Below I have shown those questions again. Let's see how well they were answered.

10- Was Michelle Wie's 2015 season an aberration mainly caused by her injuries?

Her poor 2015 season may have been, at least in part, caused by a variety of injuries. That does not explain her complete collapse in 2016. Some might say that she is still not 100% healthy. I say such is the case for most players on tour. She finished 155th on tour in driving accuracy (only 158 were rated), 76th in putting, and 105th on the 2016 money list. I think the question was answered quite clearly.

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

Since we know it will be played in 2020, the key part of the question is its success. No thanks to the top 3 rated men at the time (Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, and Rory Mcllroy) who all stayed home, it appears as though it was a huge success. 


Image result for Inbee park wins olympic gold
Inbee Park won Olympic gold in 2016.

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

No. Definetly not. It was a tough year for all the above players who struggled mightily on the LPGA tour in 2016. Though that does not mean that Thailand isn't going to be a major player in the near future. Keep in mind that Ariya Jutanugarn won five times last year and was the player of the year.

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

They did not get it together and did not make the final eight. I for one would like to see a change made here that would give the defending champions an automatic entry that would allow them to defend their title.

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

The opportunity was there, but she did not three-peat. Ariya Jutanugarn won the 1 million dollar bonus.

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

Carlotta Ciganda and Ha Na Jang both broke through in a big way. Ha Na Jang won three times, while Carlota Ciganda won twice.

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?

The big three really changed dramatically in 2016 with the emergence of both Ariya Jutanugarn and In Gee Chun. Though Lexi did have a fine season, she is currently ranked number 5 in the world rankings. She did pass Stacy and become the #1 ranked American player in the world.

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

They both rebounded well. The United States took home the trophy, and South Korea was in the runner-up position.

Image result for u.s wins international crown
I was glad I made the trip and saw the United Staes team bring home the trophy.

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?

No. It wasn't even close!

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?

Lydia is still #1, but we now have a serious contender for that title. Ariya Jutanugarn started the year 8.73 points behind Ko for the #1 ranking, and finished just 3.72 points behind. Lydia will not be easy to knock out of her position on top of the Rolex Rankings, but if Ariya could repeat her 2016 success.......

I will be back next week with the top highlights of the 2016 season, and will have 10 new questions for the 2017 season shortly thereafter.

This weeks Trivia Question:

What LPGA player hit 78.8% of her greens in regulation in 2016, which was the best mark on tour in the past 12 years? 

For the answer to this week's trivia question press here.


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Monday, December 12, 2016

Surprises & Disappointments - Final 2016

With the 2016 season in the books, I would like to look back at the players that I thought gave us the most surprising seasons, and those who disappointed. This is based purely on my expectations of these players coming into the 2016 season. You won't see names like Shanshan Feng or Lydia Ko on here, as we certainly expected them to have big years. Some of these players aren't household names, but had unexpected results this season.

Biggest Surprises:

Image result for ariya jutanugarn
No one could have guessed that Ariya Jutanugarn would lead the tour in wins in 2016.

1- Ariya Jutanugarn - How bad was Ariya Jutanugarn in 2015? At one point she missed 10 consecutive cuts. She started to straighten out her game towards the end of that year, but nobody could have possibly seen this coming. Ariya led the tour in victories with five, and after missing the cut in the first event of the season, made all of her next 27. She won the Player of the Year award and topped the 2016 money list.
Image result for haru nomura

2- Haru Nomura - Haru won her first LPGA tournament in 2016 and then won her second shortly after that. When she finished the 2015 season #66 on the year's money list, we had no reason to expect this kind of improvement. She saw the weekend in 27 of her 28 events, had 6 top tens, 16 top twenties, and finished #11 on this year's money list. It will be interesting to see if she can repeat in 2017.

3- Brooke Henderson - Though technically not a rookie, this was her first full season on the LPGA tour. As the best Canadian golfer to come along in many a year, expectations were cautiously high. She did not let her many fans down as she beat all expectations by finishing #3 on the LPGA's season ending money list and 3rd place for Player of the Year. She not only won twice, but one was a major championship. Her 15 top tens were second on the tour (Ariya Jutanugarn had 16). Amazingly, she has only missed one cut in 35 starts since becoming an LPGA member.

4- In Gee Chun - Some will say that she does not belong on this list, as they knew she would have the season she had. I don't agree. You never know for sure how good a player will be in their rookie season. There are so many adjustments to make, even if you were a star on another tour (see Q-Baek, or Sakura Yokomine). We expected her to win the Rookie of the Year award, but certainly no one expected a Vare Trophy win. A major championship win, 8 top fives, and 11 top tens, were even more impressive when you consider that an injury cut her season to just 19 events.

5- Carlotta Ciganda - Thought of by many as being an under-achiever, she really broke out and shut up her critics in 2016. After finishing #42 in 2015, she was #14 on this year's money list. She not only got her maiden win on the LPGA tour, but had seven top tens, and 15 top twenties. She finished the year by winning 2 of the last 5 LPGA events.

6- Brittany Lang - This veteran had her finest LPGA season to date in 2016. Always a pretty solid player (she finished 25th in 2015), she broke into the top ten this year with a 9th place money list finish. Besides winning the U.S. Women's Open, she had 6 top tens and 12 top 20 finishes.

7- Charley Hull - Another player who broke through for her first victory in 2016, when she won the CME Group Championship. Her 15th place finish on the money list could have been much higher if she had not skipped 11 events. She finished with that win, 3 top fives, 5 top tens, and 12 top twenty finishes, in just 22 starts. She also made 20 cuts. At just 20 years old, she could be a top five player if she played more tournaments on this tour (but don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen).

Honorable Mentions: M.J. Hur, Ryann O'Toole, Candie Kung, Alena Sharp, Jodi Ewart-Shadoff.

Biggest Disappointments:

Image result for Yani Tseng
Yani had this look for most of the 2016 season.

1- Yani Tseng - We have a tie for first place this year. Let's start with Yani Tseng. After finishing #57 in 2014, she made a big comeback in 2015 when she finished #21. Many thought she was on her way back. Many couldn't have been more wrong. She did not have a top ten finish, and finished #109 on the year's money list, leaving her future on the LPGA tour much in doubt.

1- Michelle Wie - She made this list last year, so it was improbable that she would make it again. Expectations had been lowered, but not this low! We thought she may have hit rock bottom last year with her 49th place finish. After all, she was injured a good part of the season. The train wreck that was her 2016 season was hard to imagine. She finished #105 on the year end money list. It wasn't just one phase of her game. If you think her 76th place finish in putting was bad, you don't want to hear she finished 155th (only 158 are rated) in driving accuracy.

3- Julieta Granada - Always a solid player on the LPGA tour, her 2016 season is hard to explain. We saw a drop off in 2015 when she fell from #14 to #51, but who could have predicted a 130th place finish in 2016? She didn't have a single top 10 finish, and missed 14 cuts in her 22 starts.

4- Na Yeon Choi - One of the top players on the LPGA tour for several years, she was without a doubt the worst player on the LPGA tour the second half of the season. In her last 12 tournaments she missed 9 cuts. In the other three there was no cut and she finished on the bottom of the standings. Her scoring average over that period was almost eighty strokes per round (she withdrew after shooting 88 once, which eliminated that score). This is a story worth following in 2017.

5- Ilhee Lee - Always a very consistent player on the LPGA tour. Her dramatic fall in 2016 was quite unexpected. After finishing 24th in 2015, she fell all the way to #86. She also missed an uncharacteristically high 12 cuts.

Other Disappointments: Morgan Pressel, Mika Miyazato, Brittany Lincicome, Sun Young Yoo.

Other Tidbits:
Shanshan Feng continued her red hot play this past week winning the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters (on the L.E.T) for the fourth time. She came from 5 strokes back with a final round 64. She finished 2 strokes better than runner-up Charley Hull.

This week's Trivia Question:

Who are the only 3 active LPGA members on the LPGA tour who are members of the Hall of Fame.

Bonus:

How many points do each of them have (twenty-seven are needed for induction).

For the answer to this week's trivia question press here.





                                                                       

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Friday, December 9, 2016

How accurate were my 2016 top 40 player of the Year Predictions?

Trying to predict the LPGA is a very difficult task. Much harder than the PGA. 

The 2016 season was full of surprises:

  • There were 17 different winners.
  • There were winners from 12 different countries.
  • Five players won for the first time.
  • Unlike the 2015 season when 4 rookies won a total of six tournaments, only one tournament was won by a rookie.
  • The five major championships were won by five different players from five different countries.
It was a year that was almost impossible to predict, but I gave it a try.

Way back in January, before the season began, I made my predictions of who I thought would be the top players of 2016. I put it out there for the whole world to see, knowing in advance that people would focus on my massive misses (but that's what makes this so much fun)  Let's see how I did.

1- Lydia Ko - I certainly played it safe here. No big surprise that she finished 2nd for Player of the Year, and 2nd on the money list.

2- Inbee Park - She was injured early. No recap necessary.

3- Lexi Thompson - She won early in the year, but never got back into the winner's circle again. Her 9 top tens suggests a solid season, but I expected better. She finished 18th on the money list.

4- Stacy Lewis - I kept waiting for her breakthrough win. It never happened. In fact things got worse as the year went on. She finished 16th on the money list. It sure seemed even worse than that.

5- Hyo Joo Kim -  She won the first tournament of the season.....and then fell off dramatically the rest of the season.  She finished  twentieth on the money list. A real disappointment and a big miss on my part. 

6- Sei Young Kim - After finishing 4th on the 2015 money list, I predicted she would fall back a couple of spots. She finished 6th on the money list. Exactly where I placed her.

7- Shanshan Feng - After a very slow first half, she finished the season as the LPGA's hottest player. She finished 5th on the money list and 7th for player of the year.

8- Minjee Lee - After finishing 16th on the ML in 2015, I predicted she would be even better this year. She finishied 12th on the ML and 11th for POY.

Image result for brooke henderson
  Brooke Henderson finished 3rd on money list, and for Player of the Year honors, in her first full season on LPGA tour.

9- Brooke Henderson - I got blasted by many when I picked her to finish this high in her first full season. She finished third on ML and POY.

10- Amy Yang - I am certainly on a roll now. Although she failed to win in 2016, she was consistent enough to finish #12 on the Year's money list.

11- Suzann Pettersen - Struggled with a back problems for a good portion of the year, but that is no excuse as I knew that going in. She finished 22nd on the money list.

12- Anna Nordqvist - I did okay here. She finished 7th and 8th on the two lists.

13- Mirim Lee - She still hasn't found that magic that she displayed during her rookie season. After falling to #19 in 2015, I predicted she would improve to this spot. She did improve some, finishing 17th on the money list.

14- Ha Na Jang - With so many solid players coming out of South Korea, it is very difficult to rank them. Somebody has to be left out of the top ten. I left the wrong one out. After finishing 15th last season, I knew she would have another solid year. Just didn't expect a 5th place finish.

15- So Yeon Ryu - If she could only finish. Always consistent as attested by her 11 top ten finishes, but can't seem to do it on Sunday. After finishing 8th last year I figured a slight drop off with so many young stars out there now. She did drop, but just to #10.

16- Jessica Korda - After a poor 2015 where she finished #27, this year had to better. It was, but not by much, as attested by her 24th place finish on ML.

17- Alison Lee -  She had a horrible start to the season, and at one point missed 5 consecutive cuts. She was back to the old Ali in the second half of the season but could only make it to 38th on the ML.

18- Cristie Kerr - She finished 7th on the ML last year, and I predicted a big drop off this year. It was even bigger than I though. She finished 39th.

19- Morgan Pressel - After finishing 11th in 2015, I predicted she would fall back some this year also. She nearly fell off the planet, finishing 48th.

20- Charley Hull - After finishing 48th last year, I predicted a huge jump this year. She made me look good with her 15th place finish. I often wonder how good a player she would be if she ever took golf seriously. 

21- Brittany Lincicome - She finished 12th last year and once again I predicted a drop off here. She certainly did that and more, finishing #47.

Image result for In Gee Chun
In Gee Chun won the Vare Trophy in her rookie season.

22- In Gee Chun - My friends over at Seoulsisters.freeforums.net have not let me live this one down all year. I wish a had a dollar for every "I told you so" I have received. In my defense some of those same people told me that Q-Baek was going to be a huge star the year before. I thought predicting her here in the middle of the pack was a fair placement. As it turned out she won the Vare trophy, and finished #4 on the ML and POY. The strange part is she threw away quite a few chances to win. How good will she be when she learns how to finish? I now have to decide how high I want to rank Sung Hyun Park in 2017.

23- Na Yeon Choi - A complete train wreck! Fortunately for her she had a good first 1/3 of the season. She would go on to miss the cut in 9 of her last 12 starts. In the other 3 there was no cut, and she finished on the bottom of the standings with embarrassing scores. She better get herself straightened out fast or there will be no 2018.

24- Chella Choi - With so many new great players, I predicted she would fall back some from her #20 finish last year. She finished up at #34.

25- Jenny Shin - Her 27th place finish makes me look good here.

26- Azahara Munoz - She seemed almost invisible in 2016. We are still waiting for her to break through and record her first stroke-play victory. Her 43rd place finish was not up to her standards.

27- Yani Tseng - She had somewhat of a comeback season in 2015 with her 21st place finish. I didn't buy it and expected her to retreat some. A 109th place finish was certainly unexpected. Number one in the world just a few short years ago, her future on the LPGA is now on shaky ground.

28- Michelle Wie - Like Yani, Michelle's game is in shambles. Her 105th place finish puts her in the same boat as Yani. Can either one of them make a comeback?

29- Gerina Piller - Maybe the best player on tour not to record a victory. She came close many times in 2016 as attested by her solid 19th place finish.

30 - Mi Hyang Lee - With so many great players on tour who are much more consistent, I predicted she would fall some from her 2015 finish at #22. She did just that, falling all the way to #42.

31- Jaye Marie Green - Jaye played through an injury for most of the season, and when she was finally feeling better was in a car accident. That resulted in her going back to Q-School, where she finished in first place for the second time. A very good ball striker, Jaye is still just 22 and just might be back on my list next year. 

Image result for ariya jutanugarn
Ariya Jutanugarn shocked us all by winning 5 times, and capturing player of the year honors.

32- Ariya Jutanugarn - I picked her here, saying at the time "she has the game to become one of the best players in the world. She is also capable of missing 9 consecutive cuts" (which she did in 2015). She finished 35th on the money list in 2015. I talk to many people during the course of a season, and I don't think anyone saw this coming. At least not this fast. She finished #1 on the money list and won the Player of the year award. 

33- Angela Stanford - Angela finished 37th, just about where I expected.

34- Kim Kaufman - Kim finished 45th on the ML in 2015, and I expected some more improvement similar to her improvement her first two years on tour. She took a small step backward finishing at #53. 

35- Karrie Webb - Is father time catching up to her? She has slipped significantly the last couple of years. Placed at #8 in 2014, she could do no better than 53rd in 2016.

36- Xi Yu Lin - I knew I was taking a big risk putting her this high, but I expected a solid season. It didn't happen as she dropped 22 spots to #61.

37- Mika Miyazato - It was a big comeback year for her in 2015 and I expected her to drop some this year. She certainly did that, finishing #68.

38- Ilhee Lee - If anyone spots the real Ilhee, please let me know. That certainly looked like an imposter playing on the LPGA tour this season. After finishing #24 last season, I expected a decent size drop. Nobody could have predicted her finishing outside the top eighty. She finished #86.

39- Austin Ernst - She wasn't as consistent last year as she had been the year before, resulting in her falling back to #51.

40- Paula Creamer - Her finish this year of #66 on the money list suggests she is now at a crossroads in her career. One of the most popular players on tour for over a decade, she will be starting the 2017 season with a new caddie.

There you have it. How did I do? I will let my readers decide. 

I will be back in a couple of weeks with my top 40 predictions for 2017.

This week's Trivia Question:  (If you haven't already tried it).

What was the average age of the winners on the LPGA tour in 2016?

Bonus:

Who was the oldest winner?


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Monday, December 5, 2016

For 20 New LPGA Members it is A Dream Come True

They played 90 holes over a grueling 5 day period, but it all ended Sunday with 20 players earning their category 12 playing cards. When it was all over, Jaye Marie Green's 68-68-67-70-74 = 347 (-13) was one shot better than runner up Olafia Kristinsdottir of Iceland.

Related image
Jaye Marie Green (R) (Pictured with Lexi Thompson) won final stage of Q-School for the second time.

Green, who also won Final Stage of LPGA Qualifying Tournament in 2013 with a record score of 29-under, is the first player since the event moved to Daytona Beach in 1991 to win Final Stage twice. 

“I feel really good about it and the weeks leading up I wasn’t really that nervous which is weird,” said Green. “I was really laid back this week and I felt like I was picking up where I left off from three years ago.”

Green and Kristinsdottir were tied heading to the 18th hole and Green made a bet with her brother and caddy, Matt, in the fairway. The stakes were simple. If they made birdie and won, Jaye would pay Matt $1,000. 

“I definitely wanted to win, I think that was a good goal for me,” said Green. “I did not play well so to have a putt to win was great. I felt like a kid on the putting green thinking about a putt to win and I got that oh my gosh feeling. When I saw it going dead center I was like ‘oh my gosh’ I did it and I had to fist pump when I never do. I think he is more excited about the $1,000 than the fact that I am going to the LPGA.”

Green, who finished 112th on the LPGA money list this year, said that this result will give her renewed confidence into 2017. 


Kristinsdottir, who had the largest galleries all week of Icelanders, carded a 1-over, 73 to earn a spot on the LPGA.

“It is a relief being done with the round and I’m so happy and really happy to be Icelandic,” said Kristinsdottir. “There are so many people out here and this is so awesome, I can’t even describe it.”

Kristinsdottir played college golf at Wake Forest and was a rookie on the Ladies European Tour in 2016. 

Image result for Olafia Kristinsdottir
Olafia Kristinsdottir of Iceland finished in the runner-up position.
There were 157 players who teed it up on Wednesday and the field was cut to 70 and ties after 72 holes. All players that completed 72 holes did receive Symetra Tour membership in Category D.

For the top 20 players it was a dream come true as many of them were receiving their cards for the very first time. It was a particularly good showing by the U.S. who had eight players finish in the top 20. The other 12 spots were filled with players from 12 different countries. While three of the top four finishers are from the USA, a total of 13 different countries (USA, Iceland, Korea, Taiwan, Denmark, Canada, England, Spain, Israel, Sweden, Philippines, Japan and Thailand) are represented amongst the players that finished in the top 20 to earn category 12 status on the LPGA Tour for 2017.

Angel Yin (Arcadia, Calif.) and Sadena Parks (Scottsdale, Ariz.) finished in a tie for third at 11-under, 349. JeongEun Lee (Seoul, South Korea) finished fifth at 10-under, 350. 

There were 34 other players that earned partial status Category 17 playing cards for finishing 21st - 45th. Don't expect to see much of them on the LPGA tour next season, as many of them will be playing primarily on the Symetra tour. 

All in all, 23 players from the United States, followed by 4 from South Korea and Thailand, would go on to receive LPGA membership.

This was a dream come true for twenty players. Here is a list of the 20 players who received category 12 playing cards for 2017:

1-   Jaye Marie Green - United States
2-   Olafia Kristinsdottir - Iceland
3-   Angel Yin - United States
3-   Sadena Parks - United States
5-   JeongEun Lee - South Korea
6-   Ssu Chia Cheng - Taiwan
6-   Beth Allen - United States
8-   Therese O'Hara - United States
8-   Jennifer Ha - Canada
8-   Mel Reid - England
11- Maria Parra - Spain
12- Amy Anderson - United States
12- Laetitia Beck - Isreal
14- Dani Holmqvist - Sweden
14- Katherine Perry - United States
14- Regan De Guzman (a) - Philippines
14- Dori Carter - United States
14- Nasa Hataoka - Japan
19- Pavarisa Yoktuan - Thailand
19- Karen Chung (a) - United States

 Further, four teenagers finished in the top 20 (Nasa Hataoka, Maria Parra, Angel Yin and Ssu Chia Cheng). 

Of the 54 players receiving 2017 playing status on the LPGA, 31 are rookies: Aditi Ashok, Brittany Benvenuto, Celine Boutier, Nicole Broch Larsen, Hannah Burke, Karen Chung, Jenny Coleman, Emily Collins, Daniela Darquea, Regan De Guzman, Justine Dreher, Allyssa Ferrell, Jennifer Ha, Nasa Hataoka, Caroline Inglis, Augusta James, Lauren Kim, Min-G Kim, Olafia Kristinsdottir, Bronte Law, Maria Parra, Emily Pedersen, Katherine Perry, Krista Puisite, Mel Reid, Madeleine Sheils, Mariah Stackhouse, Jessy Tang, Emily Tubert, Britney Yada and Angel Yin.
They will be joined by Sung Hyun Park, who didn't have to go to Q-School because of her steller play in LPGA events in 2016, and Madelene Sagstrom, Dana Fickelstein, Nelly Korda, Peiyun Chien, and Laura Gonzalez Escallon, as 2017 rookies. All in all there will be 37 rookies in 2017.

PAIR OF AMATEURS TURN PRO AND EARN LPGA STATUS: 
Karen Chung (Livingston, N.J.) and Regan De Guzman (Quezon City, Philippines) were the two amateurs to earn Category 12 status through their play at Q-School. Both chose to turn professional following their rounds.

Today's Trivia Question:

What was the average age of the winners on the LPGA tour in 2016?

Bonus:

Who was the oldest winner?





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