Skip to main content

My Top 40 Player of the Year Predictions for 2018

We are just about a week away from the beginning of the 2018 season.

With 34 tournaments on the schedule (including the UL International Crown), 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 2018 money list.

Here are my top 40 picks for the 2018 season: (last year's actual money list finish is in parenthesis)

1- Lexi Thompson (3) - After last year's controversial ending to the ANA Inspiration, I am going to assume she will be much more careful in placing her ball. I am also thinking she will drop a few more key putts this year. She was oh so close to sweeping all the major awards last year. Look for her to be the 2018 Player of the Year, and finish the year in the #1 spot on the Rolex World Rankings.

Image result for Lexi Thompson
Look for less controversy and more putts to fall for Lexi Thompson this year.

2- Sung Hyun Park (1) - Look for another terrific year from this young lady. I expect multiple wins, but a #2 finish.

3- So Yeon Ryu (2) - She will win at least once in 2018, but will have a very hard time keeping up with the numbers 1 and 2 above.

Image result for so yeon ryu
Look for another solid season from So Yeon Ryu.

4- Brooke Henderson (6) - Many thought Brooke was a bit off last year, but she still managed a victory and a 6th place finish on the year end money list. Look for her to continue to win and threaten a top 3 finish.

5- Ariya Jutanugarn (5) - Ariya might be the toughest player on the LPGA to predict. She's capable of missing ten straight cuts and then winning again. Which half of her will turn up more frequently in 2018 is impossible to predict. So I will just place her where she finished last year.

6- Shanshan Feng (4) - Shanshan will start the year as the #1 player in the world. She will not finish there in spite of another solid season.

7- Lydia Ko (13) - I just refuse to believe that she can go another season without a victory. If she does, that will be a story all of its own.

8- Anna Nordqvist (8) - Just plug her in here in this spot every year and you can never go wrong.

9- In-Gee Chun (11) - Look for her to turn one of those many top five finishes into a victory this year.

10- Michelle Wie (19) - It was a big comeback year for Michelle in 2017. If she is healthy this coming season, look for a return to the top ten.

Image result for michelle wie
If healthy, look for a return to the top ten for Michelle Wie in 2018.

11- Cristie Kerr (7) - Cristie had one of the finest years of her career in 2017. A year that included two victories. She is just 5 points short of gaining Hall of Fame membership. That should keep the fires burning.

12- Inbee Park (25) - Where she will finish this year is going to depend on how many tournaments she will play. If she gets 20 starts, she could finish higher than this.

13- Stacy Lewis (15) - I believe Stacy will still play well enough to sneak in another win this year. I believe she will also keep the money this time.

14- Minjee Lee (16) - I can't help but feel that she still hasn't shown us her best. When she out!

15- Jin Young Ko (rookie) - The favorite to win this year's Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year Award. I don't see her having quite the rookie year that Sung Hyun Park had last year, but a solid season is a sure thing.

16- Angel Yin (44) - She won on the LET late last year. Look for her to win on the LPGA this year.

17- Sei Young Kim (10) - A very solid player, but I see her falling back some this season.

18- Jessica Korda (26) - If healthy this season, look for a bounce back year.

19- Nelly Korda - (47) - Closing the gap on older sister Jessica.

Image result for Nelly korda
Can Nelly Korda finish higher than sister Jessica on the 2018 money list?

20- Mirim Lee (20) - Look for her to finish right about where she finished last season.

21- Amy Yang (18) - I always seem to pick her too high. So I will drop her a bit this season.

22- Moriya Jutanugarn (9) - She is still looking for that elusive first victory. She led the tour in top twenty-five finishes in 2017. I don't expect her to do that again this year.

23- Danielle Kang (17) - She made a good chunk of her money when she won the KMPG Women's PGA Championship in 2017. She will have to win again in 2018 to finish that high on the money list again.

24- In-Kyung Kim (12) - She won three times in 2017, and still only managed to finish #12 on the year's money list. It is hard to pick her higher on this list when she sits out 50% of the tournaments.

25- Mi Hyang Lee (22) - Expect a slight drop off in 2018. But another solid season.

26- Marina Alex (27) - She gets better every year. No reason to believe she will not continue to improve.

27- Chella Choi (28) - Chella finishes about here every year. This year will be no different.

28- Georgia Hall (rookie) - I believe she will be one of the best players to come from the LET in years. She will have a solid season. Only question is whether or not she can challenge Jin Young Ko for rookie honors.

Image result for Georgia Hall
Can Georgia Hall challenge for the Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year honors?

29- Mi Jung Hur (14) - M.J. had a career year in 2017. I look for her to drop back some in 2018.

30- Carlota Ciganda (24) - She fell back 10 spots in 2017. I look for her to drop 6 more this year.

31- Brittany Altomare (30) - Surprised us all in 2017 with a very solid season. Look for more of the same this year as she tries to continue to pile up some Solheim Cup points.

32- Brittany Lincicome (32) - Still capable of winning, but doesn't contend enough anymore for me to put her higher.

33- Charley Hull (46) - After finishing #15 in 2016, she fell back sharply last season. I believe she will rebound a bit this year.

34- Lizette Salas (21) - Had a very solid second half of the season in 2017. Putting together two good halves has always been her problem.

35- Megan Khang (43) - Played up to our expectations the second half of last season. Look for more improvement this season.

36- Suzann Pettersen (37) - If she is healthy, she can finish much higher than this.

37- Jenny Shin (36) - Fell back quite a few places in 2017. I expect her to play about the same this year.

38- Madelene Sagstrom (49) - Madelene had a very solid rookie season that got stronger as the year went by. Look for continued improvement this year.

39- Austin Ernst (33) - Austin is a solid player, but I don't see a big upside here. Look for her to play well enough to solidify a 2019 Solheim Cup position.

40- Jodi Ewart Shadoff (31) - Makes a high percentage of cuts, but doesn't contend enough for me to put her higher than this on my list.

Player most likely to make me look foolish for leaving her off this list: Nasa Hataoka.

Player I left off because she is expecting a child in 2018 and will probably not play enough: Gerina Piller.

This Week's Trivia Question:

Only two players did not miss a cut or withdraw from a tournament in 2017. Can you name them?

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

   (Currently 1,612 followers)


Popular posts from this blog

LPGA Player Profile - Natalie Gulbis

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:

Born: 1/7/83 (36 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:   (Updated through the 2018 season)

329 career starts238 cuts made (72.3%)37 top tens (11.2%)Has $4,898,508 in career earnings through the 2018 season (67th on the all time LPGA career money list).

Other Career Highlights: A three time U.S. Solheim Cup Team member (2005, 2…

Most Popular Photos of the Year - 2018

1/24/19 Bonus photos added at bottom of page.

As many of my readers know, my wife and I go to quite a few LPGA tournaments each year. Since 2009 we have gone to almost 60 events, including two in Scotland (St. Andrews being our favorite), and 8 Canadian Opens.

I do all the writing on here, and my wife (who is a schoolteacher) is my proofreader and takes many of the photos. 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 2018. 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.


My Top Ten LPGA Blogs of All-Time

Let me start out today by saying that I am looking forward to next week when the LPGA resumes it's schedule for real this time. They will play four consecutive weeks before the next break that will take them back to the USA. 
Needless to say with all the off time, I have been running out of things to write about. 
This week is the 9th anniversary of my blogging about the LPGA!

Those of you that have been with me from the beginning will remember that the first 3 years I blogged for Mostly Harmless. I created Tony's LPGA Report in 2013.

Over that period of time I have published over 750 blogs. Most have turned out to be quite successful, some have fallen flat. But one thing that you can be sure of is that I have always tried my best to be the "go to" resource for up-to-date and accurate news about the LPGA.

I recently went back through all of my blogs and made a list of the ten most popular. The results were quite surprising. It seems like the pieces that I spend the most t…

LPGA Qualifying Tournament 2018 Final Stage - The Q-Series

The final stage of the LPGA qualifying tournament, the Q-Series, will begin this week.
A field of 102 players will be teeing it up.

At the 2017 CME Group Tour Championship, the LPGA first announced that Q-Series will replace LPGA Qualifying School Final Stage, which was previously held annually in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Instead of 90 holes like the old Final Stage, the new Q-Series will be 144 holes. Players will compete in two, four-day tournaments with cumulative scores over the eight rounds for a $150,000 purse, which will be distributed at the end of the eight rounds.

The LPGA will debut the new Q-Series at the historic Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina, which has hosted several prestigious tournaments including the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open. 
The first week of the LPGA Q-Series presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will be played on the George and Tom Fazio-designed Pinehurst Course No. 6 from Oct. 24-27, while the Q-Series will conclude on the Rees Jon…

Michelle Wie Gets Engaged!

Michelle Wie announced on Instagram last night that she is engaged to marry Jonnie West, the Golden State Warriors' director of basketball operations.

Jonnie is the son of NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West.

Wie, 29, a Punahou School and Stanford graduate, is a five-time winner on the LPGA Tour. West, 30, played basketball at West Virginia, his father’s alma mater. Wie, who has been recovering from hand surgery in October, is expected to play in the Lotte Championship, April 17-20, at Ko Olina.

This Week's Trivia Question:
Who was the only LPGA player to play in 30 events in 2018?

For the answer tothis week's trivia question press here.

KPMG Women's PGA Championship Preview

Congratulations go out to Anna Nordqvist for successfully defending her ShopRite Classic title. She came from behind, shooting a final round 64, which turned out to be one stroke better than runner-up Haru Nomura.

This week the LPGA travels to the state of Washington for the the playing of the KMPG Women's PGA Championship. This is the second Major Championship of the season. It is also the start of an extremely important part of the 2016 LPGA schedule that will include 3 Major Championships and the UL International Crown in the next 8 weeks.

This tournament was won last year in run-away fashion, when Inbee Park smoked the field by 5 strokes. She has won this championship 3 years in a row, and will be trying for a very rare four-peat. However, a recent injury to her thumb, will make that highly unlikely.

This will be tournament #16 of 33 on the 2016 LPGA schedule.
This will also be Major Championship #2 of 5 to be played in 2016.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Sahalee Country Club

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…