In this week Stats and Stuff, Ward Clayton breaks down the Lorena Ochoa Invitational and previews the CME Group Titleholders.
Tseng’s 100th start
Yani Tseng made the 100th start of her LPGA Tour career last week at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Tseng made her debut at the 2004 Asahi Ryokuken International Championship in North Augusta, S.C., shooting 71-69-72-74 as a 15-year old amateur and finishing T33. She became a LPGA Tour member in 2008 and has made 96 starts as a member.
Despite not contending at last week’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational (T20), Tseng continued a remarkable streak of par or better scoring in tournaments. Since playing in her first LPGA Tour event in 2004, Tseng has shot a round of par or better in each start except for four occasions – the 2005, 2006 and 2009 U.S. Women’s Opens and the 2010 CN Canadian Open.
Some numbers among those 100 starts:
148: Career LPGA rounds in the 60s in 344 rounds (43 percent).
94: The number of cuts made in 100 starts.
81: Highest round in a T33 finish at the 2008 Bell Micro LPGA Classic.
62: Lowest round in a win at the 2009 LPGA Corning Classic.
47: The number of top-10 finishes.
12: Career wins.
4: Consecutive years with a victory, including 2011.
Mixing experience with youth
Catriona Matthew’s victory at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational made her the oldest winner on the LPGA Tour this season. Matthew, 42, became the first 40-year-old to win this year. She is also the first player in the 40s to win a title since Helen Alfredsson won twice at age 43 during the 2008 season.
Through 23 of 24 events this season, the average winner’s age has been 26 years. This includes the oldest winner (Matthew) and the youngest (Alexis Thompson, Navistar, age 16). Only three winners have been in their 30s (Karrie Webb, age 36, a two-time winner; Suzann Pettersen, 30, a two-time winner; and Maria Hjorth, 37, at Avnet). The rest have been in their 20s or teens. Yani Tseng, 22, has the most wins, seven, including two major championships. The other two major championship winners were age 26 (Stacy Lewis, Kraft Nabisco) and age 21 (So Yeon Ryu, U.S. Women’s Open).
Matthew’s big victory margin
Catriona Matthew has won twice this year by large margins. The Scotland native captured the Lorena Ochoa Invitational by four strokes last week after leading by eight at one time on the final nine holes. She won her home country Aberdeen Ladies Scottish Open on the Ladies European Tour by 10 strokes in July.
Matthew’s four-stroke win is the third-largest victory margin on the LPGA Tour in 2011. Here are the leaders:
|Yani Tseng||Wegmans LPGA Championship||10|
|Yani Tseng||Honda LPGA Thailand||5|
|Lexi Thompson||Navistar LPGA Classic||5|
|Yani Tseng||Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship||5|
|Yani Tseng||Ricoh Women’s British Open||4|
|Catriona Matthew||Lorena Ochoa Invitational||4|
Catriona Matthew started the Lorena Ochoa Invitational with 52 consecutive holes without a bogey last week. Her first bogey came on the par-3 17th hole in the third round and she had only four bogeys all week. Matthew tied Christina Kim, who went 52 holes without a bogey at the CN Canadian Women’s Open, for the second-longest streak on Tour this season. Jiyai Shin is first with 54 holes without a bogey at the Mizuno Classic in Japan two weeks ago.
Kerr’s winning streak
Cristie Kerr has won in each of the last seven years on the LPGA Tour, with multiple victories in four of those seasons. However, the 34-year-old will have to win this week to add to her career total of 14 victories. Kerr has three runner-up finishes and three third-place finishes this season.
Kerr has won more than $1 million this year, an eighth consecutive year winning in seven figures.
A look at her win streak since 2004:
Wie looking for first 2011 victory
Michelle Wie has won in each of her first two seasons as a LPGA Tour member in 2009 and 2010. However, Wie has failed to win thus far this year, with two runner-up finishes and a T9 last week at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Wie also hasn’t won in the United States yet – with wins at the 2009 Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico and the 2010 CN Canadian Women’s Open.
CME Group Titleholders’ long history
This week’s season finale, the CME Group Titleholders, has a long history, dating back to its debut in 1937 at Augusta Country Club, which sits adjacent to Amen Corner at Augusta National Golf Club, site of the annual Masters Tournament. The Titleholders was held in Augusta, Ga., from 1937-66 and an additional year, 1972, in Southern Pines, N.C., before being revived in 1996. Patty Berg won the first Titleholders as an amateur in 1937.
Grand Cypress host course again
Grand Cypress will be the site of this week’s season finale for the second consecutive season. Last year, the LPGA Tour Championship was held at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course and Maria Hjorth got up and down on the 72nd hole for par from a greenside bunker with an 8-foot par putt to beat Amy Yang by one stroke. Hjorth finished at 5-under par and was one of only six players who finished under par for the week. It was the second-highest winning total of the 2010 season, behind the U.S. Women’s Open (3-under, Paula Creamer).
Grand Cypress also was the site of the 1997-99 LPGA Tournament of Champions and the 2000-3 LPGA HealthSouth Inaugural. The CME Group Titleholders will move toTwinEagles Golf and Country Club in Naples, Fla., next year.
Yani Tseng leads the majority of the statistical categories on the LPGA Tour this year, but she will have to sustain that lead in a trio of categories this week:
|Category||Leader (Avg.)||Second (Avg.)|
|Greens in Regulation||Yani Tseng (.751)|| Suzann Pettersen,
Paula Creamer (.750)
|Driving Distance||Yani Tseng (269.2)||Maria Hjorth (267.7)|
|Top-10 Finishes||Yani Tseng (13)||Stacy Lewis (12)|