Monday, December 2, 2013

The LPGA's Top Rivalries: Generation Gaps, December 2013 Edition

With 2013 now officially in the books, it's time to reexamine how the LPGA's last 8 generations stack up. Check out the career money and wins/majors totals for the top players in the generations that span the Sorenstam Era (1994-2008), the overlapping Ochoa Era (2003-2009), and the overlapping Tseng Dynasty (2008-present, but in danger of toppling).

[Note: [square brackets] indicate the player has retired from professional golf; {squiggle brackets} indicate the player is no longer an LPGA member but still playing on another tour; *=includes non-member win; **=includes 3 non-member wins.]

1994-1996: The Sorenstam Generation

[1. Annika Sorenstam (1994) $22.57M (#1), 72/10]
2. Karrie Webb (1996) $18.17M (#2), 39*/7
3. Catriona Matthew (1995) $8.29M (#16), 4/1
4. Pat Hurst (1995) $6.94M (#22), 6/1
5. Lorie Kane (1996) $6.93M (#23), 4/0
6. Wendy Ward (1996) $4.97M (#45), 4/0
{7. Carin Koch (1995) $4.44M (#48), 2/0}

Hurst and Kane are locked in a real fight for the #4 spot.  Webb continues to inch closer to Sorenstam (moreso in winnings than wins, of course).

1997-1999: The Pak Generation

1. Cristie Kerr (1997) $15.08M (#3), 16/2
2. Se Ri Pak (1998) $12.26M (#6), 25/5
[3. Mi Hyun Kim (1999) $8.62M (#13), 8/0]
{4. Sophie Gustafson (1998) $6.17M (#27), 5/0}
5. Maria Hjorth (1998) $6.09M (#29), 5/0
[6. Rachel Hetherington (1997) $5.73M (#36), 8/0]
7. Laura Diaz (1999) $5.19M (#43), 2/0
8. Karen Stupples (1999) $3.98M (#55), 2/1
9. Janice Moodie (1998) $3.68M (#58), 2/0

Even though Kerr's passed Pak and now Ochoa on the career money list, she'll have to join them in the Hall of Fame to have her name on a generation, too. With Kim and Hetherington retired, and Gustafson limiting herself to the LET for the foreseeable future, Hjorth has a great opportunity to move up the list. Stupples is still this close to breaking the $4M barrier.

2000-2002: Angela and the Seoul Sisters

1. Angela Stanford (2001) $8.09M (#17), 5/0
2. Hee-Won Han (2001) $7.00M (#21), 6/0
3. Jeong Jang (2000) $6.61M (#25), 2/1
4. Candie Kung (2002) $5.78M (#33), 4/0
[5. Grace Park (2000) $5.44M (#41), 6/1]
6. Natalie Gulbis (2002) $4.83M (#46), 1/0
{7. Gloria Park (2000) $3.28M (#72), 2/0}
8. Heather Bowie Young (2000) $3.18M (#72), 1/0
9. Jennifer Rosales (2000) $2.77M (#89), 2/0
10. Dorothy Delasin (2000) $2.65M (#92), 4/0
11. Nicole Castrale (2002) $2.53M (#98), 1/0
12. Giulia Sergas (2002) $2.15M (#113), 0/0

Stanford is increasing her lead on Han (now a $7M woman!) as the top player of this generation in terms of winnings, although it's still hard to argue that her overall career tops the now-retired (and much missed) Grace Park's. Meanwhile, the "other" Park's pursuers are slowly catching up on her.

2003-2005: The Ochoa Generation

[1. Lorena Ochoa (2003) $14.86M (#4), 27/2]
2. Suzann Pettersen (2003) $11.66M (#7), 14/2
3. Paula Creamer (2005) $10.43M (#8), 9/1
4. Brittany Lincicome (2005) $5.46M (#40), 5/1
5. Christina Kim (2003) $4.23M (#49), 2/0
6. Meena Lee (2005) $4.20M (#50), 2/0
7. Katherine Hull-Kirk (2004) $3.61M (#64), 2/0
[8. Stacy Prammanasudh (2003) $3.54M (#67), 2/0]
9. Karine Icher (2003) $3.14M (#78), 0/0
{10. Shi Hyun Ahn (2004) $2.65M (#93), 1*/0}
11. Lindsey Wright (2004) $2.60M (#95), 0/0
{12. Young Kim (2003) $2.36M (n.r. [~#105]), 1/0}
13. Jimin Kang (2003) $2.26M (#108), 2/0

With Lorena looking less and less likely to ever come back to the LPGA full-time, the only real questions are how close Pettersen and Creamer can come to matching her career, whether Lincicome will ever challenge them, and who among the rest will finish at #5. Creamer, Lincicome, and Lee (the top '05ers) are the 1st from this generation that I've started tracking more closely with a wider variety of stats and have included in my career ranking that focuses mainly on the younger generations.

2006-2008: The Tseng Dynasty

1. Ya Ni Tseng (2008) $9.38M (#9), 15/5
2. Na Yeon Choi (2008) $8.58M (#14), 7/1
3. Inbee Park (2007) $7.72M (#18), 9/4
4. Ai Miyazato (2006) $7.58M (#20), 9/0
5. In-Kyung Kim (2007) $6.25M (#26), 3/0
6. Morgan Pressel (2006) $5.17M (#44), 2/1
7. Seon Hwa Lee (2006) $4.06M (#52), 4/0
8. Shanshan Feng (2008) $4.06M (#53), 3/1
9. Brittany Lang (2006) $4.05M (#54), 1/0
10. Sun Young Yoo (2006) $3.96M (#56), 2/1
11. Song-Hee Kim (2007) $3.67M (#59), 0/0
12. Amy Yang (2008) $3.61M (#63), 1/0
13. Hee Young Park (2008) $3.60M (#65), 2/0
14. Jee Young Lee (2006) $3.55M (#66), 1*/0
15. Eun-Hee Ji (2007) $3.17M (#76), 2/1
16. Julieta Granada (2006) $3.07M (#79), 1/0
17. Sandra Gal (2008) $2.20M (#110), 1/0
18. Angela Park (2007) $2.12M (#114), 0/0
19. Kristy McPherson (2007) $2.08M (#116), 0/0
20. Momoko Ueda (2008) $1.70M (#132), 2*/0
21. Ji Young Oh (2007) $1.62M (#134), 2/0
22. Kyeong Bae (2006) $1.44M (#148), 0/0
23. Jane Park (2007) $1.33M (#154), 0/0
24. Katie Futcher (2006) $1.33M (#155), 0/0
25. Meaghan Francella (2006) $1.19M (#174), 1/0
26. Teresa Lu (2006) $1.13M (#180), 1*/0

The Tseng Dynasty is still strong, but fellow '08er NYC is hanging tough and Inbee continues buzzing up the list. This generation is the deepest in LPGA history, despite the fact that so many golfers in it have already suffered huge slumps in their short careers. Few LPGA generations have more than 4 players with 5 or more wins, but I'll bet this turns out to be one of them!  It's starting to look like it'll be Feng who's the next to 5 career LPGA victories....

2009-2011: New Blood

1. Ji-Yai Shin (2009) $6.15M (#28), 11**/2*
2. Stacy Lewis (2009) $6.03M (#30), 8/2
3. Anna Nordqvist (2009) $3.27M (#73), 2/1
4. Mika Miyazato (2009) $3.00M (#82), 1/0
5. Michelle Wie (2009) $2.95M (#85), 2/0
6. Azahara Munoz (2010) $2.61M (#94), 1/0
7. Hee Kyung Seo (2011) $2.17M (#112), 1*/0
8. Beatriz Recari (2010) $1.96M (#120), 3/0
9. Chella Choi (2009) $1.90M (#125), 0/0
10. Vicky Hurst (2009) $1.45M (#145), 0/0
11. Haeji Kang (2009) $1.25M (#165), 0/0
12. Mi Jung Hur (2009) $1.24M (#168), 1/0
13. Caroline Hedwall (2011) $1.11M (#182), 0/0
14. Ilhee Lee (2010), $1.07M (#185), 1/0
15. Jessica Korda (2011) $.98M (#202), 1/0
16. Pornanong Phatlum (2009) $.98M (#203), 0/0
17. Jenny Shin (2011) $.94M (#213), 0/0
18. Gerina Piller (2010) $.93M (#214), 0/0
19. Mina Harigae (2010) $.87M (#224), 0/0
20. Jennifer Johnson (2011) $.85M (#227), 1/0
21. Jodi Ewart Shadoff (2011) $.71M (#249), 0/0
{22. Gwladys Nocera (2010) $.61M (#260), 0/0}
23. Mariajo Uribe (2010) $.59M (#264), 0/0
24. Mindy Kim (2009) $.59M (#265), 0/0
25. Alison Walshe (2010) $.57M (#268), 0/0
[26. Amanda Blumenherst (2010) $.53M (#274), 0/0]
27. Cindy LaCrosse (2010) $.49M (#292), 0/0
28. Dewi Claire Schreefel (2010) $.45M (#300), 0/0
29. Pernilla Lindberg (2010) $.43M (#306), 0/0
30. Christel Boeljon (2011) $.42M (#307), 0/0
31. Belen Mozo (2011) $.36M (#324), 0/0
32. Ryann O'Toole (2011) $.35M (#331), 0/0
33. Tiffany Joh (2011) $.31M (#344), 0/0

Obviously with this generation, it's really too soon to tell who's going to have a great LPGA career, besides Shin and Lewis (and Blumenherst, who has retired). For now, I'm erring on the side of inclusiveness by putting everyone over $300K in career winnings in this generation on this list. As we get further into their careers, I'll slowly start raising the bar, until by the end of 2015 they'll need to have broken the $1M barrier to stay on the list. I'd be very impressed if as many of them did it as in the previous generation in the same amount of time. The problem for everyone who hasn't already done it is they are all competing against each other and are sandwiched between 2 historic generations. Still, this is about the time in a player's career that she starts to make quantum leaps, if she's going to at all. And we're starting to see more fine play from those in the middle of this pack....

2012-2014: Generation Prodigy

1. So Yeon Ryu (2012) $2.56M (#97), 2*/1*
2. Lexi Thompson (2012) $1.82M (#128), 3*/0
3. Lizette Salas (2012) $1.00M (#196), 0/0
4. Mo Martin (2012) $.49M (#290), 0/0
5. Danielle Kang (2012) $.46M (#299), 0/0
6. Carlota Ciganda (2012) $.44M (#305), 0/0
7. Sydnee Michaels (2012) $.30M (#349), 0/0
8. Moriya Jutanugarn (2013) $.29M (#352), 0/0
9. Caroline Masson (2013) $.29M (#354), 0/0
10. Chie Arimura (2013) $.25M (#369), 0/0
11. Ayako Uehara (2013) $.23M (#379), 0/0
12. Jacqui Concolino (2012) $.21M (#392), 0/0
13. Austin Ernst (2013) $.14M (#424), 0/0
14. Thidapa Suwannapura (2012) $.14M (#426), 0/0
15. Rebecca Lee-Bentham (2012) $.13M (#433), 0/0
16. Veronica Felibert (2012) $.13M (#437), 0/0
17. Lisa McCloskey (2013) $.12M (#443), 0/0

OK, why am I so high on this generation if there's such a big gap between its leaders and its pack?  It's true that very few from the Class of 2012 have made over $400K in their short careers and only 6 '13ers have broken the $100K barrier thus far this season.  But I'm still optimistic, partly because I don't think many of them have really begun to fight, and partly because Lydia Ko will be joining them next year.  If so, game on!  But with 108 active players already on this list, you can see how tough it's going to be for most in the Class of 2014 just to keep their cards....

[Update 1 (12/4/13, 9:47 am):  I appreciate the linkage and kind words about this post and this blog from Bill Rand!  You ain't seen wonky yet, though--just wait till I'm done with grading....]

3 comments:

kristina Maria said...

very useful and informative list.thanks for share with us.keep posting.DVR KIT

thejamierbelyea said...

Ooh, we can add an asterisk win for Teresa Lu,

The Constructivist said...

Oops, thanks!