Monday, September 14, 2009

Moromizatos and Tigers and Shins--Oh My!

What a weekend of golf we just had! For those who missed what was going on in the world of women's golf amid all the excitement of and over Tiger's win, just wanted to update my little cheat sheet from June.

Let's begin with the lion of the JLPGA: Shinobu Moromizato. With her win at the Konica Minolta Cup, she's 2 for 2 in majors, has won her last two events in a row, and garnered a grand total of 6 wins on tour this season. With 11 events left to play (including the last 2 majors), it's still within the realm of possibility for her to win the Grand Slam and win more money than anyone in tour history. Whether she accomplishes those feats or not, she still has 9 career wins (7 coming in the last year or so) and 3 major victories on the JLPGA. Not bad for someone who dropped out of the LPGA at the end of the 2006 season, eh?

Speaking of winning in bunches, Ji-Yai Shin has done it in spades in her short KLPGA career, where she earned the moniker "Final Round Queen" and broke every victories and winnings record on the books. Well, as Hound Dog points out, Shin now has 6 LPGA wins from last year's Women's British Open to this year's NW Arkansas Championship, whether or not you put the adjectives "official" or "non-member" ahead of them, thanks to yesterday's bear of a final round (a bogey-free 64). Only Angela Stanford--whom Shin beat in a playoff, along with Sun Young Yoo--can come close to claiming as many wins in that span on tour. Cristie Kerr, who's been bumped to second in the money list and Player of the Year races but still leads the Vare Trophy race for lowest season-long scoring average, may have been more consistent than anyone since Lorena Ochoa cooled off fast mid-way through last season, but nobody's hotter lately than Ai Miyazato, who snuck in yet another top 10 (she leads the tour in achieving that feat over 61% of the time) on Sunday with her 28th sub-70 round of the season (she's 3rd on tour in that stat, behind Shin and Ya Ni Tseng). If Shin is able to win Rookie of the Year, Player of the Year, the money list title, and the Vare Trophy this season against this level of competition, she may well have put together the best season in LPGA history.

So as the PGA season winds down this week--hopefully with a bang and not a whimper--it's worth recalling that the action is heating up on the LPGA and JLPGA. Stay tuned!

[Update 1 (10:50 am): Guess who's #1 in Hound Dog's new ranking? The same person who's #2 in the Rolex Rankings and #5 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.]

[Update 2 (11:30 pm): Nice of Jason Sobel to mention Shin in his Weekly 18, but, dude, it's old news that Shin has ROY locked up. The real question is not even whether she will win POY, too, it's whether she can win the money title and the scoring title on top of both "OYs".]

[Update 3 (11:42 pm): Glad to see Stina Sternberg hit the ROY/POY angle hard, but I wouldn't call Shin's POY race lead "commanding." Still, at least the link to her post works. Neither Golf World nor Golf Digest could get the right link for Ron Sirak's article on Shin. That's still a step up on, whose SI guys have given up any pretense of paying attention to the LPGA and which didn't even bother to put an LPGA link on their front page.]

[Update 4 (11:55 pm): Count on Bill Jempty to put Shin's win in perspective--his sarcastic version of the American media's perspective, that is.]

[Update 5 (9/15/09, 12:04 am): Nice to see struggling Senior Standout Linda Wessberg's European vacation paying off, particularly with her mom on the bag for her, but sad to see that she beat Laura Davies in the playoff and to hear that she doesn't plan to play the LPGA in 2010.]

[Update 6 (9/16/09, 4:33 am): Ah, the link to that Sirak piece on Shin is finally working. For more on Shin's bid to match Nancy Lopez's 1978 season, follow the discussion thread at Seoul]

[Update 7 (10:52 pm): Looks like Hee Kyung Seo is trying to start some Grand Slam talk of her own this week in the KLPGA's 2nd major!]

[Update 8 (11:04 pm): Nice to see Steve DiMeglio taking note of the Shin Express!]

[Update 9 (9/17/09, 9:56 pm): Hey! How come none of you reminded me the PGA takes this week off?!]

[Update 10 (10:46 pm): Nice Shin Central page at]

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