Monday, June 27, 2011

Yani Was the Major Story as She Eased Her Way to Glory

Yani Tseng was just Amazing in winning the LPGA Championship with ease this week. For recaps and stories see The Constructivist, and Hound Dog.

After watching Cristie Kerr demolish the field last year we all figured it would be quite sometime before we see something like that happen again. WRONG. Just one year later Yani Tseng matched Cristie's 19 under par total while winning by ten strokes.

At the age of 22 she is the youngest player (male or female) to win four majors in the modern golf era.

Part of the fun of writing a blog is to get others' feedback on my opinions. A little controversy, whether it comes from the casual reader or one of my fellow bloggers, is always welcome. I don't expect any debate when I say that Yani is clearly the best female golfer in the world, and by a wide margin. Will she be next in line to dominate the way Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa did? Only time will tell, but I think she is well on her way.

How dangerous will Yani Tseng be with the U.S. Open next? Well, she is coming off two consecutive victories and needs this win to complete the career grand slam (winning all four majors at least once). Hard to pick against her.

Stats updates:

Rolex Player of the Year Award (carries Hall of Fame point):

1- Yani Tseng - 169 points
2- Stacy Lewis - 80
T3- Karrie Webb - 72
T3- Cristie Kerr - 72
5- Suzann Petterson 61
6- Morgan Pressel - 52
T7- Paula Creamer - 51
T7- Brittany Lincicome - 51
No other player is making any kind of a mark.

The surprise here is not the players on the list, but the players NOT on the list.

Jiyai Shin, who was in the race for this award until the last event the past two years, is buried in 15th place with only 27 points. Although she has fallen just short of victory twice this year, her finishes of T35, T11, T29, T33, T29, and T34 this week, have kept her out of contention most of the year. The most disappointing so far is Ai Miyazato, who has not been in contention in a stroke play event this year and is in 28th place with just 6 points. Such unheralded players as Katie Futcher (18 points) and Julieta Granada (10 points) are ahead of her.

Vare Trophy Award (carries Hall of Fame point):

1- Yani Tseng 69.31
2- I.K. Kim 70.26
3- Cristie Kerr 70.41
4- Suzann Petterson 70.96
5- Karrie Webb 70.97

Not a lot you can say about this. Yani is so far ahead it is going to be very difficult to take this Hall of Fame point away from her. You have to go back to 2005 to find a lead as big as Yani's.

Rolex Rookie of the Year Award:-

1- Hee Kyung Seo - 233 points
2- Christel Boeljon - 116
3- Jennifer Song - 109
4- Stephanie Sherlock - 66
5- Jenny Suh - 62
6- Tiffany Joh - 60
7- Jenny Shin - 59
8- Jennifer Johnson - 54
9- Jessica Korda - 47
10-Belen Mozo - 41

Not really all that impressed with anyone on the above list. Perhaps the biggest surprise is Boeljon who has accumulated her points in just 4 events.

The Titleholders Championship:

Qualifying this week are Azahara Munoz, Meena Lee and Mika Miyazato. Inbee Park remains the highest-ranked player yet to qualify.

Most top 5 finishes this year:

Yani Tseng - 8
Cristie Kerr - 7
Paula Creamer - 5
Suzanne Pettersen - 5
I.K. Kim - 5

Does it seem that the same players are finishing in the top 5 every week? That has certainly been the case lately. In the last 4 tournaments Cristie Kerr (4), Yani Tseng (3) and Paula Creamer(3) have top-five finishes at least 3 times.

Louise Friberg Watch:

Louise Friberg missed the cut again this week for the 9th consecutive time.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:

Paula Creamer From #11 to #8
Morgan Pressel From #17 to #12

Paula is the only newcomer to the top 10 as her impressive run of top 5 finishes enables her to jump over Ai Miyazato, Karrie Webb and Michelle Wie.

The only newcomer to the top 50 this week is Azahara Munoz who comes in at #47. Falling out of the top 50 is Brittany Lang.

Hard-to-believe stat of the week:

Maybe this one should be called "impossible-to-believe stat." How is it even possible that Song-Hee Kim has now missed 3 consecutive cuts?


sag said...

#12 is hardly Morgan Pressel's best ranking to date. She was #4 after winning the Kraft Nabisco in 2007.

Glen said...

Controversy? You, Tony? LOL. Agreed that Yani is showing the way, by a fair amount. But the USWO is by no means hers to lose. I just can't see the Korean ladies staying in the wilderness for much longer. And I personally have a feeling about a certain Norwegian who is healthier at this time of year than she has been for a few years.