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Showing posts from 2018

LPGA Player Profile: In Gee Chun

It has been quite a while since I did my last player profile. With the LPGA 2019 season not set to begin for a couple of weeks, I thought now would be a good time.

The player I chose today is not only one of my personal favorites, but a big fan favorite all over the world. The player I have chosen is:

In Gee Chun
Born:  8/10/94 (24 years old)
Hometown:  Seoul, Republic of Korea
Resides:  Orlando, Fla.
Rookie Year: 2016
2018 Earnings:  $741,691 (26th)

In Gee has won 3 times on the LPGA tour, Including 2 Major Championships:
2015 - U.S. Women's Open2016 - The Evian Championship2018 - LPGA KEB Hana Bank ChampionshipBest Finishes in Major Championships:
ANA Inspiration - 2nd in 2016KPMG Women's PGA Championship - 30th in 2016U.S. Women's Open - 1st in 2015Ricoh Women's British Open - 8th in 2016The Evian Championship - 1st in 2016Career Stats:
73 career starts67 cuts made (91.8%)27 top tens (37.0)Has $3,493,052 in career earnings (95th on the LPGA all-time money listOther Career Hig…

How Accurate Were My 2018 Top 40 player of the Year Predictions?

Trying to predict the LPGA has become a very difficult task. With more and more great players joining the tour every year, we are seeing much more parity. Yet, I keep on trying. I keep putting myself out there at the beginning of every season.

The 2018 season was full of surprises:
There were 26 different winnersThere were just 4 multiple winnersThere were winners from 10 different countriesThere were 9 players who won their first LPGA tournamentThere were 5 different major championship winnersThere were 2 rookie winners Once again it was a year that was very, very difficult 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 40 players of 2018. 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- Lexi Thompson - This was a bold prediction as Lexi had never won the player of t…

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Year 2018 - Final

As we wait for the 2019 season to begin, it gives me time to look back at the players that made the biggest moves in the Rolex Rankings in 2018.

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 2018 with a minimum rating of 0.50 (or else this chart would be filled with unknown names).
The Year's Biggest Gainers:
1- Nasa Hataoka - 2.…

How Well Were My Pre-Season Questions Answered?

Way back in January, before the 2018 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 the LPGA make it through a full season without a single tournament being canceled?
Unfortunately, as seems to be the case every season, one tournament was canceled after the 2018 schedule was announced. The tournament in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia was never played.

9- Can Lydia Ko bounce back from a 2017 season where she did not win a single tournament, and dropped from #1 to #9 in the world rankings?
The answer to this isn't clear cut. On the positive side, Lydia did win one tournament in 2018. On the negative side, she wasn't anywhere near as dominant as she had been prior to 2017. She also dropped to #14 in the world rankings.

8Can Cristie Kerr, who won twice in 2017, and now has 22 Hall of Fame points, get closer to the 27 points needed for induction?
This …

Surprises & Disappointments - Final 2018

With the 2018 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 2018 season. You won't see names like Brooke Henderson or Ariya Jutanugarn 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:

1- Nasa Hataoka - Winner of the 2016 Japan's Women's Open Championship as a 16 year old, she came came onto the 2017 LPGA Tour with very high expectations. She did not live up to those expectations as she made just 7 cuts in 19 starts (finishing #140 on the year money list) and lost her playing privileges. She then went back to Q-school where she not only earned back her card, but was the medalist. Our expectations were much lower for the 2018 season. Who could have possibly predicted that she would win twice, re…

Memorable Moments of the 2018 LPGA Season

As we wait for the start of the 2019 season, I would like to look back at what I consider the most memorable moments of 2018.

I have narrowed it down to 8, 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:

8- Redemption For Lexi Thompson - Wins CME Group Tour Championship
Lexi, who missed a putt inside two feet to blow this championship in 2017, was winless in 2018 coming into this event. This year she made it look easy. She had a three stroke lead entering the final round and never looked back, winning by four strokes over Nelly Korda. Thompson has now won at least one tournament in each of the past six years. No one else on the LPGA has a streak longer than four years.

7- New Tournament Announcements for 2019
 The LPGA recently announced its 2019 schedule. What catches our eyes is the inclusion of three new tournaments tha…

LPGA Announces its 2019 Schedule!

The LPGA officially announced its 2019 schedule today, and it well worth the wait!

Here are the highlights:
1- The schedule features 34 events (33 official + The Solheim Cup). There were 33 last year (32 + UL International Crown).

2- The season will start one week earlier than last year, and kick off with two new tournaments.

3- There are a total of four tournaments:
     a) Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions (Jan 17-20)
     b) Vic Open (Feb 7-10)
     c) Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (July 17-20)
     d) BMW Ladies Championship (October 24-27)

     Tournaments that are no longer on the LPGA schedule:
     a) Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic (Pure Silk will be sponsoring the Virginia Event)
     b) LPGA Volvic Championship
     c) LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship
     d) Blue Bay LPGA

     There will be another tournament announced at a later date, that will take place Nov 14-17.

4- Will feature a record setting $70.55 million in prize money (up from 65.35 last year).

5- There w…

Stats & Facts - Final 2018

We have come to the end of another exciting LPGA season. In many ways it was one of the most exciting seasons ever. Each week we were treated to exciting and competitive tournaments. It certainly seemed that almost every week the tournament wasn't decided until the last hole. In fact, there were seven tournaments that needed a playoff to determine the final outcome. There were seven tournaments that were decided by one stroke, and eight more that were decided by two. We had winners from ten different countries. We also saw the Republic of Korea win The UL International crown in a very impressive fashion.

On that note I would like to take a look at some of the most important stats of the 2018 season.

1- Ariya Jutanugarn - 3
1- Sung Hyun Park - 3
3- Brooke Henderson - 2
3- Nasa Hataoka -2

Most Top Five Finishes:
1- Ariya Jutanugarn - 13
2- Minjee Lee - 10
3- Danielle Kang - 7
3- Sei Young Kim - 7
5- Marina Alex - 6
5- Carlota Ciganda - 6

Most Top Ten Finishes:
1- Ariya Jutanugar…

As the LPGA World Turns

The 2018 LPGA season ended a couple of weeks ago, but that hasn't stopped that tour from being in the headlines.

There have been several major announcements in the past few days. Here is a recap:

American International Group (AIG) Has Signed on to Sponsor the Women's British Open for the Next Five Years. AGI will take over from Ricoh who ended its sponsorship this year after a twelve year run. The championship will now be known as the "AIG Women's British Open."

Lancaster Country Club Has Been Selected by the USGA to Host the 2024 U.S. Women's Open Championship. The tournament will be held May 27 - June 2. The tournament was held there in 2015 when In Gee Chun edged out Amy Yang by one stroke. “The 2015 U.S. Women’s Open was one of the most successful in the championship’s history,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “The golf course is one of the best in the United States, and the community’s support for golf is record-setting. We can’t wait to return to crown…

Rating the 2018 Rookies - Final Analysis

Let me start off by saying that 2018 was not a very strong year for LPGA rookies when compared to other rookie seasons this past decade. When looking over the rookie roster last January (before the 2018 season started), this much was obvious.
Jin Young Ko was the obvious favorite to win rookie honors. She had already won as a non member on the LPGA Tour, and was a ten time winner on the KLPGA.Georgia Hall was the only player who might give Ko a bit of competition for top rookie.Nanna Koertz Madsen and Hannah Green both tore up the Symetra Tour in 2017, winning three times each.Emma Talley, Yu Liu, and Rebecca Artis, appeared to be the "best of the rest", but were certainly not a sure thing. As it turned out there weren't many big surprises and even players listed above failed to produce.

There were thirty rookies on the LPGA Tour in 2018, and only seven of those players managed to retain their 2019 LPGA playing privileges based on their 2018 tournament results. A finish i…