Congratulations to the top 5 on the 2010 Futures Tour money list, and especially Cindy LaCrosse and Jennifer Song, who finished 1-2 for the season and in the Price Chopper Tour Championship after the Player of the Year beat the Rookie of the Year in a playoff. Check out Lisa Mickey's final-round report to find out how it happened, as well as her run-down of the new and returning LPGA members. Oh, and news flash to Tim Finchem: don't be fooled by the names, 9 of the 10 players who earned 2011 LPGA cards this season are American. In fact, you have to go down to #25 on the money list until you will find as many international players as Californians on it--and the 7 California girls are all in the top 13.
So now we know who the 1st members of the LPGA Class of 2011 are: Jennifer Song, Jenny Shin, Ryann O'Toole, and Tiffany Joh. The latter pair still need to do well in LPGA Q-School to secure a priority status for next season that means much of anything, but this means that all in this year's FT top 10 except Hannah Jun (an '08er) are members of the LPGA's New Blood generation. All of them have pretty impressive stats, some of them really impressive....
J. Song: 69.15 scoring average, .815 sub-par rounds rate
Shin: 70.76 scoring average, .488 sub-par rounds rate
O'Toole: 71.05 scoring average, .488 sub-par rounds rate, 258.1 yards average driving distance, .717 GIR, 3.49 birdies per round rate; led tour with 8 eagles
Joh: 71.07 scoring average, .543 sub-par rounds rate, 3.24 birdies per round rate
And that's only the stats where they ended up in the top 15 on tour! I have a feeling the Class of 2011 is going to stack up well against those in its generation and the one preceding it!
By way of comparison, here are '10er LaCrosse's stats: 69.51 scoring average, .791 sub-par rounds rate, .757 greens in regulation rate, 4.02 birdies per round rate; earned more than Mina Harigae and Vicky Hurst in their money-list leading (and, for Hurst, record-breaking) seasons in '09 and '08, respectively. And here are '09er Oh's: 71.31 scoring average, .813 fairways rate, .786 GIR, 3.13 birdies per round rate.
[Update 1 (12:24 am): Forgot to congratulate LaCrosse for being about.commed and Golf Babed on the same day!]
[Update 2 (11:40 am): Nice catch by Hound Dog on the fact that LaCrosse's win (her 3rd of the season) earns her a battlefield promotion for the remaining full-field events on the LPGA schedule this season.]