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How Well Were My Pre-Season Questions Answered?

Way back in January, before the 2017 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- Can veteran USA players Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, and Morgan Pressel bounce back from very disappointing 2016 seasons?

We have mixed results here. Michelle Wie made a big comeback in 2017. She finished the year with 6 top five finishes, and moved from #105 on last year's money list to #19 this year. Lincicome also showed some improvement by winning the opening tournament of the year, and moving from #47 to #32 on the money list. Things did not go as well for Creamer or Pressel. Creamer managed just 1 top ten finish, and dropped from #66 to #89 on the year end money list. Pressel did not register a single top ten and fell from #48 to #78.

9- Can Nelly Korda join her sister and become a major player on the LPGA tour?

A big yes to this one! Nelly found herself on the leader board quite often, as she finished the season with 2 top fives, five top tens, and 10 top twenty-five finishes. Her scoring average of 70.61 was excellent and ranked 27th on tour.

Image result for jessica and nelly korda
Nelly Korda (L) joined her sister Jessica as a major player on the LPGA tour in 2017.

8- Will Gerina Piller (who has 31 career top ten finishes), finally break through for her first LPGA victory?

She now has 36 top ten finishes, but is still looking for that first victory.

7- Was Na Yeon Choi's disastrous second half of the 2016 season the beginning of the end for her, or does she still have some good golf left?

Her disastrous second half of the 2016 season carried over to 2017. She was able to make just 9 of 20 cuts, and dropped from #55 to #135 on the year end money list.

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?

No! At least not from what we saw this year. Nasa was able to make just 7 cuts in 19 starts, and finished the year #140 on the money list. The bad news - She lost her playing privileges and had to go back to Qualifying School. The good news - She won Qualifying School and will get her chance again in 2018.

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?

Lydia was not able to hold on to the #1 spot in the Rolex Rankings, but it was not because of Ariya. Lydia did not win a single tournament in 2017, and dropped all the way down to #9.

4- Have we seen the last of Inbee Park? If not, will she resemble the great player we have watched for so many years?

Inbee was victorious in her second start of the season. When she is healthy and playing, she is still as dangerous as anyone on tour. That said, she was able to play in just 15 tournaments, and did not play the last four months of the season. This same question can be asked again for 2018.

3- Can anyone challenge Sung Hyun Park for the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award?

 Angel Yin, Nelly Korda, and Madelene Sagstrom had very strong rookie seasons in 2017, but none were able to challenge for rookie honors. Sung Hyun Park was in a class all by herself.

2- Can the USA retain the Solheim Cup that they won with a record breaking comeback in 2015, and continue to have both the Solheim and International Crown trophies in their possession?

Team USA retained possession of the Solheim cup in 2017. They continue to hold both that trophy and the International Crown Championship as well.

1- Can Ariya Jutanugarn duplicate or better her 2016 season in which she won 5 times, won her first major championship, won the 1 million dollar CME bonus, won the Player of the Year award, and won more money than anyone else on tour?

Although she did win twice in 2017, it was a very shaky season for Ariya. At one point she missed 6 cuts in 7 weeks. She did not challenge for any of the big awards, and fell to #6 in the Rolex Rankings.

I will be asking 10 more questions before the 2018 season gets underway. 


This weeks Trivia Question: 

There were nine multiple winners on the LPGA tour in 2017. How many can you name?



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