Skip to main content

Surprises & Disappointments 2018 - Part 1

Although the LPGA has completed  only about 20% (7 of 33 tournaments) of its 2018 schedule, I don't think it is too early to take a look at some of the ladies that have been the biggest surprises and biggest disappointments of the year so far.

As I do every year, I will do this again at the halfway point of the season and again at season's end.

To further explain how I come up with my list, a player that is very highly ranked and having a great season would not make this list, as I had high expectations for that person and it wouldn't be a surprise. On the other hand, a player that had a bad season last year and is having another one now, would not make this list because expectations would have been lowered. 

With that in mind here are my early season choices:

Biggest Surprises:
Image result for pernilla lindberg
Pernilla Lindberg has been the year's biggest surprise so far.

1- Pernilla Lindberg - I had to rewrite this one this week. I don't care what her results were coming into this week (she did have a couple of top 25 finishes), winning the ANA Inspiration makes her the year's biggest surprise to date. Lindberg currently finds herself #1 on the Player of the Year standings, and #2 on the year's official money list.

2- Jin Young Ko - We expected her to run away with the Rolex Rookie of the Year award. We even expected her to be a top player in her rookie season. What we (or I) didn't expect is for her to be in the top three in just about every major statistical category at this point of the season. Her game appears to have no noticeable weaknesses. 

3- Hannah Green - As I said above, you didn't have to be a rocket scientist to predict that Jin Young Ko would run away with the Rookie of the Year award. The only question was who would finish second. Most people thought it would be Georgia Hall, but she has not played all that well yet this year. Hannah turned some heads with her 3rd place finish in Australia, and has 2 other top 16 finishes. She is only player even challenging Ko for top honors.

4- Bronte Law - Law had a mediocre rookie season in 2017, finishing #91 on the money list. This year has been a much different story. She has teed it up just 5 times so far this year, failing to finish in the top 25 just once. A 6th place finish in the Bahamas has been the highlight of her season so far. She currently resides at #31 on this year's money list.

5- The Korda Sisters - Still recovery from major face surgery, Jessica is playing the best golf of her LPGA career. She has teed it up just 4 times this year, but has not had a finish worse than 26th. She has already won this year in Singapore, and had a 4th place finish this past weekend at the ANA Inspiration. She finished #26 on the money list last year, and is currently #3. Nelly has been just behind her most of this season. She finished 2nd in Thailand, and had a 6th place finish in the Bahamas. Nelly had a fine rookie season last year, finishing #47 on the year end money list. This year she is #14.

Honorable Mentions: Marina Alex, Caroline Masson, Wei-Ling Hsu.

Biggest Disappointments:
Image result for lydia ko
Lydia Ko seems to be searching for some answers.

1- Lydia Ko - It's not like Lydia is having a terrible season, she is just having a terrible season for Lydia Ko. She seemed to start declining last year when she fell down to #20 on the season end money list, and things have gotten much worse this year. In six starts she has managed just one top ten finish, and that was a 10th place finish in Singapore. She has now gone 41 tournaments without a single victory. She is currently #41 on the year's money list.

2- Haru Nomura -  Someone should fill out a missing person's report, because the real Haru Nomura has not shown up yet this year. In six starts Nomura has not finished better than 40th, and has failed to make it to the weekend 3 times. She currently finds herself #105 on the money list.

3- Mi Hyang Lee - Another player that has not played even close to her previous form this season. In five starts, she has only made the cut twice. Her best finish this year was a tie for 22nd. She finished #22 on the 2017 money list, and is #86 this year.

4- Mi Jung Hur - M.J. had a career year in 2017, finishing #14 on the money list. A drop this year was widely expected, but certainly not this steep. She doesn't have a top 20 finish this year, and is currently #72 on the money list.

5- Mirim Lee - Mirim is a player that I don't expect to be on this list when I do my next update. In six starts she doesn't have a top 25 finish yet this year. She finished #20 on the money list last year, she is currently #55.

Other Disappointments: Hyo-Joo Kim, Georgia Hall, Candie Kung, Sandra Gal.

Other Tidbits:
Amy Yang had her cut streak stopped at the ANA this past weekend at 22 straight. Megan Khang had hers stopped at 21.

Charley Hull's 6th place finish this past weekend at the ANA Inspiration was her 5th top 25 finish of the season. She is tied with Ariya Jutanugarn and Austin Ernst for the LPGA lead.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Inbee Park makes the most important move this week, jumping up from #9 to #3.
Pernilla Lindberg surges up from #95-34, while Jennifer Song leaps up from #69 to #40.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Inbee Park takes over the lead with 968 points. She is followed by Jin Young Ko with 799 and Jessica Korda with 789. Michelle Wie (779) and Ariya Jutanugarn (773), fill out the top 5.

Who's Hot:
With her 4th place finish this past weekend, Ariya Jutanugarn becomes the first LPGA player to have three top five finishes this year.

Who's Not:

Mi Hyang Lee has missed 3 consecutive cuts.

This Week's Trivia Question: 
What player recorded the biggest come-from-behind victory in 2017?

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

Be sure to check back here daily for any LPGA news or updates.  They will be posted here at the bottom of this blog. Tournament results will be posted here at the end of each round. Links to all Women's Tour scoreboards can be found on the right side of this page (or on pull down menu on mobile website).


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:


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

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.


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…

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…

118th U.S. Women's Amateur Championship Preview

The LPGA is taking a one week break this week before resuming their schedule in Indianapolis.

I would like to take this time to preview a very important USGA event that is taking place this week.

The 118th U.S. Women's Amateur Championship

Many of my readers may remember last year's championship when University of Texas senior Sophia Schubert, 21, of Oak Ridge, Tenn., became the first player over the age of 19 to win the championship in nine years with her 6-and-5 victory over Stanford sophomore Albane Valenzuela, of Switzerland, at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, Calif.

Here are the Key Details:
Championship Venue:  Golf Club of Tennessee
Location:  Kingston Springs, Tenn.
Architect:  Tom Fazio
Par:  71
Yardage: 6,275

Dates of Championship:  August 6-12
Field:  156 players
Eligibility: Any female amateur whose handicap index does not exceed 5.4
Defending Champion: Sophia Schubert
Winning Margin: 6 and 5 over runner-up Albane Valenzuela

Championship Field
A starting field o…

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…