Thursday, October 27, 2011

More About Yani Tseng

Much has been written these past few months about Yani Tseng. In fact, I was hesitant about writing more about her, myself. Then I thought about the reasons why I do this LPGA blog. I do it to help promote the game that I love, and try to keep these talented ladies in the news. That said, we have been witnessing greatness this year and Yani deserves every headline she gets.

If you have been reading past blogs, you already know that Yani is dominating in just about every LPGA category. I would like to focus on one of those categories now, the one I think is the most important. That would be scoring average. Leading in putting or driving is great, but putting that final score on the board is what counts the most. The player with the lowest scoring average wins the Vare Trophy and a Hall of Fame point. I have gone back to 2004 (unfortunately the LPGA doesn't provide statistics before that) and here are some results.

Lowest Scoring Average:

68.70 - Annika Sorenstam (2004)
69.24 - Lorena Ochoa (2006)
69.33 - Annika Sorenstam (2005)
69.38 - Yani Tseng (2011)
69.69 - Lorena Ochoa (2007)
69.70 - Lorena Ochoa (2008)
69.87 - Na Yeon Choi (2010)
70.16 - Lorena Ochoa (2009)

As telling as the above statistic is, some may argue that you can not compare one year to the next. You can argue that they play different courses from one year to the next. You can argue that weather could have played a bigger factor in any given year.

I won't argue with that. So let us see how dominant the winner was in each of the above years. How big was her margin of victory?

Annika Sorenstam - 69.33
Cristie Kerr 70.86
Differential 2.20%

Annika Sorenstam 68.70
Grace Park 69.99
Differential 1.88%

Yani Tseng 69.38
Cristie Kerr 70.58
Differential 1.73%

Lorena Ochoa 69.69
Paula Creamer 70.50
Differential 1.16%

Lorena Ochoa 69.70
Annika Sorenstam 70.47
Differential 1.10%

Lorena Ochoa - 69.24
Annika Sorenstam 69.82
Differential 0.84

Lorena Ochoa 70.16
Jiyai Shin 70.26
Differential 0.14%

Na Yeon Choi 69.87
Cristie Kerr 69.95
Differential 0.11%

As you can see, Annika Sorenstam, considered by most as the greatest LPGA player ever, is the only player to have a more dominant year than Yani is having this year.

Annika went on to win 6 Vare Trophies and Lorena four. Time will tell us if Yani can follow in their footsteps. One thing is for sure, we are witnessing greatness now.

1 comment:

IceCat said...

Yes, Annika did indeed win six Vare Trophies, but 2004 was not one of those years. Under the rules then in force she had not completed enough rounds to qualify for the award so it was given instead to Grace Park.