In this week's Stats and Stuff, Ward Clayton breaks down Yani Tseng's success and previews the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.
Tseng’s season numbers
Yani Tseng has won six times this season in one of the most dominant seasons in LPGA Tour history. Here are some facts:
- In 18 starts, Tseng has won six times on the LPGA Tour, finished in the top five 10 times and the top 10 11 times. There are five tournaments remaining in the 2011 season for Tseng, who has won five of the last 10 LPGA Tour events. The record for single-season wins is 13, set by Mickey Wright in 1963. There have been nine double-digit seasons in LPGA Tour history, the last by Annika Sorenstam (10 wins) in 2005. Tseng would need to win four of the final five events of the season to reach double figures.
- Tseng won two major championships this season (Wegman’s LPGA Championship at Ricoh Women’s British Open0. The record is three majors in a season (1950, Babe Zaharias; 1961, Mickey Wright; and 1986, Pat Bradley).
- Tseng has won $2,396,838. The record for single-season earnings is $4,364,994, set by Lorena Ochoa in 2007.
- Tseng’s scoring average is 69.59. The record for stroke average in a single season is 68.696, set by Annika Sorenstam in 2004.
Yani Tseng has been dominant with six victories in 18 starts so far this season (33 percent). Here’s a comparison to some of greatest seasons in LPGA Tour history.
Mickey Wright, 1963, 13 wins
- Wright won 13 times in 28 starts (.464 winning percentage), recorded seven seconds and had 27 top-10s. Her only finish outside of the top 10 was a T29.
Mickey Wright, 1964, 11 wins
- Wright won 11 times in 27 starts (.407 winning percentage), had five seconds and 24 top-10s. In two years (1963-64), she won 24 times in 55 starts and finished outside of the top 10 only four times.
Annika Sorenstam, 2002, 11 wins
- Sorenstam won 11 times in 23 starts (.479 winning percentage). The season included three seconds and 20 top-10s.
Winding down the season
There are five more events on the 2011 LPGA Tour schedule – this week in Malaysia, next week at the inaugural Sunshine LPGA Taiwan Championship, the Mizuno Classic in Japan in early November, the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico Nov. 10-13 and the season-ending CME Group Titleholders in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 17-20.
Jimin Kang will defend her title at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia this week in Malaysia. The South Korean who played collegiately at Arizona State is coming off of her best finish of the season, a T3 at last week’s LPGA HanaBank Championship. Kang will be paired with last week’s winner, Yani Tseng, and Brittany Lincicome, who also placed T3 last week, in Thursday’s first round.
Kang, 31, has displayed a strong finishing kick in both of her LPGA victories – a 66 in the final round of the 2005 LPGA Corning Classic and a 65 in last year’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia title. She came from behind to win both times, including birdieing three of the final four holes and then watching as Juli Inkster bogeyed the final hole last year for a one-stroke win.
Kuala Lumpur Country Club
Kuala Lumpur Country Club marks its second year hosting the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tournament. The course, which opened in 1991, hosted the inaugural tournament on the East Course last year. The 36-hole facility has also hosted two Malaysian Opens on the Asian and European Tours for the men on the West Course, with Charlie Wi winning in 2006 and Noh Seung-yul in 2010.
Peggy Kirk Bell, a former LPGA member, will turn 90 on Oct. 28. A gala golf event and banquet will be held at Pine Needles, her home course in Southern Pines, N.C., on Nov. 18-19.