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Showing posts from January, 2017

How Good are the 2017 LPGA Rookies?

The 2017 season is sure off to an amazing start. As has been the case for the past number of years, it seems that every tournament goes down to the very last hole, or results in a playoff.

Congratulations go out to Brittany Lincicome who won the Pure Silk LPGA Bahamas Classic, the first tournament of the year, in (of course) a playoff!

It was a very fast start for some of the 2017 LPGA rookies:
Nelly Korda shot -21 under par in her first tournament as an LPGA member (5th place).Laura Gonzalez Escallon shot a score of -18 (9th place).Mel Reid -15 (13th place).
That brings us to today's subject. Just how good is this year's crop of LPGA rookies?
Last year was a very difficult one for LPGA rookies. Only 6 of 29 rookies finished in the top 100 on the year money list. Three more retained their playing privileges by way of their stellar Symetra tour play. This was a dramatic decrease from 2015 when we had a spectacular rookie crop, but also down substantially from 2014.
2016 -  9 of 2…

Brittany Lincicome Wins, Nelly Korda Shines!

The year 2016 was a very poor year (and that's putting it mildly) for American Golfers on the LPGA tour. They were able to win just twice in 34 official LPGA events. With the season starting this week in the Bahamas, veteran players such as: Brittany Lincicome, Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller, and Lexi Thompson, needed to step up their game dramatically in 2017.

This week they all came through with flying colors. In a rarity, the American players finished 1 through 5, in the year's first tournament. In fact, at the turn on Sunday's final round, the four players that I mentioned above, were all tied for the lead with no other player within 6 strokes.

The lead went back and forth, with each player enjoying the lead at some point on the back nine. When Stacy Lewis triple bogeyed the 14th hole, it all but ended her chances. When Brittany Lincicome (playing ahead of the other three players) birdied the 18th hole, she tied Lexi Thompson for the lead. A birdie on the par 5 18th would …

Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic Preview, Pairings and More.

Well.... Here We Go!

It is time to start the 2017 LPGA season. With 35 tournaments on the schedule (including the Solheim Cup), more prize money, and more television coverage, the 2017 season promises to be the biggest and best ever.

The season will open in the Bahamas once again this year with the playing of the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.

Last year's event brought us a very exciting finish when Hyo Joo Kim shot a final round 66, to win by 2 strokes over Stacy Lewis, Sei Young Kim, and Anna Nordqvist.

This will be tournament #1 of 34 official tournaments on this year's schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Ocean Club Golf Course Location:  Paradise Island, Bahamas Defending Champion:  Hyo Joo Kim *Winning Score: 70 - 70 - 68 - 66 = 274 (-18)
Final Field: 108 Players Par: 36/37 = 73 Yardage:  6,625 Purse:  $1,400,000

*Jessica Korda holds the tournament record with a 69 - 66 - 72 - 66 = 273 (-19) that she set when she won in 2014.

My strength of field rating is 44% (down from…

LPGA Player Profile: So Yeon Ryu

With the LPGA taking a break this week, I would like to take this time to do an LPGA player profile.

I have chosen one of my favorite players. She is one of the most consistent players on the LPGA tour, and is also one of the most approachable. She is always happy to sign anything put in front of her, or take a picture with you. There is no "diva" in this lady and she is always wearing a smile. My choice is:

So Yeon Ryu

Pronounced So-Yun-You.
Birthday: 6/29/1990 (28 years old)
Hometown: Seoul South Korea
Makes her residence in: Dallas, Texas
So Yeon was a rookie in 2012. She had already won the U.S. Women's Open in 2011, as a non LPGA member.
Her 2018 earnings were $1,438,850, which placed her #6 on the money list.
She has won 6 times on the LPGA tour (including 2 Major Championships): 2011 U.S. Women's Open2012 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic 2014 Canadian Pacific Women's Open.2017 ANA Inspiration2017 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship2018 Meijer LPGA Classic
So Yeon has …

My Top 40 Player of the Year Predictions for 2017

We are just about a week away from the beginning of the 2017 season.

With 35 tournaments on the schedule (including the Solheim Cup), this year promises to to be one of the most exciting ever.

With the LPGA getting more and more talented each and every year, it is very difficult to narrow this down to just 40 players.

I  am going strictly by where I think they will finish on the 2017 money list.

Here are my top 40 picks for the 2017 season: (last year's actual money list finish is in parenthesis)

1- Ariya Jutanugarn (1) - Some people I have spoken to think that 2016 was a fluke. I don't. Her earlier struggles were mostly the result of a very erratic driver, which she hardly even takes out of the bag anymore. She outdrives almost everyone on tour using her 3-wood or a 2-iron. How is that for a big advantage over her competition? Her new swing coach, Gary Gilchrist, seems to have made all the difference in the world, and has brought her a newly found confidence. I don't only …

Ten Question for the 2017 Season

As we approach the beginning of the 2017 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- Can veteran USA players Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, and Morgan Pressel bounce back from very disappointing 2016 seasons?

9- Can Nelly Korda join her sister and become a major player on the LPGA tour?
8- Will Gerina Piller (who has 31 career top ten finishes), finally break through for her first LPGA victory?

7- Was Na Yeon Choi's disastrous second half of the season the beginning of the end for her, or does she still have some good golf left?

6- Is Nasa Hatoaka, the 17 year old  sensation from Japan (she will be 18 in 2 days) who was the first amateur to win a major championship on the JLPGA tour, the next Lydia Ko?

5- Now that Lydia Ko is hearing footsteps from Ariya Jutanugarn, will she be able to maintain her #1 spot in the Rolex Rankings throughout the year?

4- Have we seen the last o…

Most Popular Photos of the Year - 2016

As many of my readers know, my wife and I go to quite a few LPGA tournaments each year. Since 2010 we have gone to over 45 events, including two in Scotland (St. Andrews being our favorite), and the last 7 Canadian Opens.

I do all the writing on here (my wife who is a teacher, is my proofreader), while my wife Cindy does most of the picture taking. 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 pictures of 2016. 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.