Skip to main content

Surprises and Disappointments - Final 2017

With the 2017 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 2017 season. You won't see names like Shanshan Feng or So Yeon Ryu 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:

Related image
In-Kyung Kim (seen here after winning Ricoh Women's British Open) was the year's biggest surprise

1- In-Kyung Kim - At the start of the 2017 season, many questioned I.K.'s motivation. Her pattern throughout most of the 2016 campaign was to play a couple of weeks and then take off a couple. She played in just 17 of 33 official tournaments. She was still playing quality golf, but her better days seemed to be behind her. This season she still only played in 17 events, but the results have been quite spectacular. Who would have thought that only two players would win 3 times on the LPGA tour, and she would be one of them? Nobody! To top it off, her third victory was at the Ricoh Women's British Open. That win was her first major championship and we could finally forget that missed 16 inch putt that cost her the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2012. She rose this year all the way to #12 on the year's money list despite taking half the season off.

2- Cristie KerrCristie had a mediocre year in 2016. She has reduced her schedule this year (sitting out 10 events), and that has certainly worked in her favor. She not only has won twice this year, but her 8 top five finishes are just one behind the league leaders. She finished #39 on the money list in 2016, and all the way up to #7 this year. She now has 22 of the 27 points needed for induction in the LPGA Hall of Fame.

3- Moriya JutanugarnWhile all the attention was being paid to her younger sister (Ariya), she had one heck of a year. I know she is still chasing that first LPGA win, but we all know it is coming soon. Moriya had 6 top five finishes, 11 top tens, and led the tour with 22 top twenty-fives. She only missed one cut the entire season. She moved up from #40 (last year) to #9 on the money list.

4- Danielle KangA two time amateur champion, superstar was written all over her from day one. She teased us from time to time with some stellar play, but she came into this year as an underachiever. This year has changed all that. She made her first win a major championship by winning the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. She had four top five finishes, and has improved her money list standing from #36 in 2016 to #17 this year.

5- Michelle WieLast year was a disaster for Michelle, as she finished #105 on the year's money list. She has turned it all around this year. Michelle posted 6 top five finishes and eight top tens. Last year she finished #105 on the money list, this year she jumps way up to #19.

6- Marina AlexA marginal player the first few years of her career, Marina has become one of the most improved players on tour. She finished the season with 2 top five finishes, 6 top tens, and a healthy 15 top twenty-fives. She moved all the way up from last year's #66 finish on the money list, to #27 this year.

7- Sung Hyun ParkI put her this far down my list only because many people in the know will say this is not a surprise. Yes I know she won 7 times on the KLPGA tour last year. Success on other tours doesn't always translate into success on the LPGA. I guess we can all say she was successful beyond our wildest expectations, as she shared the Player of the Year honors with So Yeon Ryu. Oh yes, she also won the 2017 official money title.

Honorable Mentions: Brittany Altomare, Sarah Jane Smith, Jeong Eun Lee, Angel Yin, Nelly Korda, and Madelene Sagstrom.

Biggest Disappointments:


Related image
Lydia Ko was the year's biggest disappointment.

1- Lydia Ko It is very unusual that the year's biggest disappointment would have 11 top ten finishes, but our expectations for Lydia are so much higher than that. Lydia had 4 victories in 2016, but failed to win a single tournament in 2017. Last year she was #2 on the year end money list, this year she finished #13. She started the year at #1 in the Rolex Rankings and has fallen all the way down to #9.

2- Brittany Lang - Last year's U.S. Women's Open champion just never got on track in 2017. In 25 starts she has managed just 1 top ten finish. Last year she finished #9 on the money list, this year she fell to #69.

3- Hee-Young Park - Not much you can say about her year except that it was a complete disaster! In 22 starts this year she managed only a single top 10 finish. The only reason she is retaining her full time playing privileges for the 2018 season, was that she finished 3rd in her next to last tournament of the season. That was a third place finish at the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women's Open. The field rating for that tournament (just 22%), was the weakest in the 8 year history that I have been rating playing fields. That said, this very popular player will get another chance to show she has something left in the tank in the upcoming 2018 season. She dropped this year from #34 to #91 on the year end money list.

4- Candie KungAlways a consistent performer in the past, that was not the case this year. In 28 starts this year she only had 1 top ten finish. Last year she finished #25 on the year end money list, this year she fell to #55.

5- Na Yeon ChoiSome will say that this is not a major surprise as we saw this coming the second half of last year. What is a surprise is that she had just 2 top twenty-five finishes in 20 starts. She also missed the cut 11 times. Her down year in 2016 still produced a year #55 on the money list. This year she finished #135!

6- Haru Nomura - Although she did have an early season win, she managed just 1 other top ten finish all year. In fact, in her last 13 starts she failed to produce a single top 20 finish. She fell from #11 last year to #35 on this year's money list.

7- Alison Lee - It was a big step backwards for "Ali" in 2017. In fact, in 22 starts she didn't have a single top 15 finish. In 2016 she finished #38 on the money list, this year she fell all the way down to #86.

Other disappointments: Azahara Munoz, Gerina Piller, Hyo-Joo Kim, Mo Martin, Lee-Anne Pace, and Morgan Pressel

This weeks Trivia Question:

What player had 7 top twenty-five finishes in 2017, but did not have a single top ten?






   (Currently 1,580 followers)
                                     




http://www.hitwebcounter.com/htmltutorial.php


WebPage Visits

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

LPGA Player Profile - Natalie Gulbis

With the LPGA taking a one week break before resuming its schedule in the state of Texas, I want to take this opportunity to do my fifth player profile.

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 (34 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:

318 career starts237 cuts made (74.5%)37 top tens (11.6%)Has $4,892,233 in career earnings through the 2016 season (57…

LPGA Reshuffles 2018 Priority List

The LPGA had its first reshuffle of its Priority List this week. While most of the players moved up or down a few insignificant spots, there were some very significant moves also.

The Priority List is what is used to fill the required amount of spots for any given tournament. Without me getting into the categories, which is potentially confusing, here is a brief explanation. Most full field events have a field of 144 players. Usually 140 of the players come from the Priority List ranking. Two players are Monday qualifiers, and 2 more are sponsor exemptions. So to keep it simple, if your Priority Rating is #150, you have to hope that 10 players decide not to play, or you are probably not getting into the field.


The following players made some of the biggest jumps in this week's reshuffle (and by getting into the top 100 become part of my weekly field rating):
Bronte Law - 108 to 86
Amy Olson - 112 to 88
Nasa Hataoka - 116 to 92
Caroline Inglis - 126 to 93
Hee Young Park - 106 to 94
Mariajo…

Most Popular Photos of the Year - 2017

1/9/18 - Bonus pics added at bottom of this page!


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 50 events, including two in Scotland (St. Andrews being our favorite), and the last 8 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 photos of 2017. 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.

#18
#17
#16
#15
#14
#13
#12
#11
#10
#9

What in the World Has Happened to Yani Tseng?

The 2013 LPGA season has brought us lots of surprises. We have had first time winners. We have had winners from 7 different countries. Five Major Championships were played for the first time, with one player (Inbee Park) winning 3 of them. We have even had 4 players win multiple championships this year. However the biggest surprise to date has to be the tumble taken by Yani Tseng.



Yani started the 2013 season ranked as the #1 player in the world. In fact, at one point during the 2011 season, the #2 ranked player in the world (Na Yeon Choi), was closer to the 180th Rolex ranked player than she was to Yani at #1. It seemed Yani would be number one forever.

Let us look at some of her accomplishments:

In 2008, at the age of 19, Yani won the LPGA Championship.
In 2009, Yani became the fastest player in LPGA history to reach $2 million in career earnings. She did it in only 32 events.
In 2010 Yani won 3 times, including 2 more championships.
In 2011 Yani won 7 times, including 2 more major…

U.S. Women's Open Preview, Pairings, and More

Before I get started on this week's tournament, let me give a big congratulations to Minjee Lee for winning the LPGA Volvik Championship. Minjee's final round -4 under par 68, was good enough to win by one stroke over runner-up In Kyung Kim.


This week the LPGA travels to the state of Alabama for the playing of the U.S. Women's Open Conducted by the USGA. This is the second Major Championship of the 2018 season.

Sung Hyun Park will be trying to successfully defend the title she won last year at Trump National Golf Club by two strokes over Hye Jin Choi.



This will be tournament #14 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule. It is also the 2nd of five Major Championships to be held this year.

Course:  Shoal Creek
Location:  Shoal Creek, Alabama
Defending Champion:  Sung Hyun Park
Winning Score:  73-70-67-67 = 277 (-11)

Final Field:  156 players
Cut: Top 60 and ties
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,732
Purse:  $5,000,000



My strength of field rating is a mighty 87% (down from 91% last year). The re…

Breaking News: Lexi Thompson Withdraws From Ricoh Women's British Open

Lexi Thompson announced today via Instagram that she has withdrawn from the Ricoh Women's British Open. She released the following statement:

Hi everyone, I wanted to let you know that I am officially withdrawing from the 2018 Ricoh Women's British Open.  It is extremely difficult for me not to play in this prestigious Major, but I realized recently that I need to take some time to work on myself. The events of the past year and a half (on and off the golf course) have taken a tremendous toll on me both mentally and emotionally. I have not truly felt like myself for quite some time. I am therefore taking this time to recharge my mental batteries, and to focus on myself away from the game of professional golf.  Thank all so much for your continued support. I hope to see everyone soon as I plan to defend my title at the 2018 Indy Women in Tech Championship. Lexi
It has been a tough past couple of years for Lexi. She lost the 2017 ANA Inspiration in a playoff when she was given a 4 s…

LPGA Player Profile: Azahara Munoz

It has been a while since I did my last LPGA player profile.

The player I have chosen this week is the very popular:


Azahara Munoz



Born:  11/19/87 (30 years old)
Hometown:  San Pedro del Alcantara, Spain
Resides:  Jupiter, Fla.
Rookie Year: 2010
2017 Earnings:  $286,417 (63rd)

She has won once on the LPGA tour:

2012 Sybase Match Play Championship
Best finishes in Major Championships: ANA Inspiration - Finished 7th in 2014KPMG Women's PGA Championship - Finished 4th in 2014U.S. Women's Open - Finished 19th in 2010Ricoh Women's British Open - Finished 12th in 2014The Evian Championship - Finished 19th in 2013


Career Stats: 202 career starts175 cuts made (86.6%)38 top tens (18.8%)Has $4,894,331 in career earnings. (61st on the all time LPGA career money list)


Other career highlights: Posted a career high 10 top ten finishes in 2014First Spaniard to win the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award in 2010Turned professional in 2009 and qualified for the LPGA tour in her first atte…