Battle for the Vare Trophy
As the LPGA season comes down to a six-some of tournaments to determine season-ending statistical leaders, one of the most coveted awards may also be determined by how much the leader plays.
South Korea’s Jiyai Shin is the current scoring leader on the LPGA with a 70.14 stroke average, edging American Stacy Lewis (70.33) in the race for the Vare Trophy, named in honor of Glenna Collett-Vare.
However, because Shin missed nearly two months of this season after undergoing wrist surgery, she has some ground to make up in the rounds played area to qualify for the award. According to LPGA guidelines, a player must compete in a minimum of 70 rounds or 70 percent of official LPGA tournament rounds, whichever is less, during the LPGA year.
Shin has played 51 rounds out of a possible 77 rounds to total 66 percent of the official rounds on the season. That is 24 less rounds and seven less tournaments than Lewis. There are 22 rounds remaining this season, with two of the Asian Swing tournaments being played over 54 holes and the other four tournaments at 72 holes. Shin would be just above the minimum in both ways if she played every round remaining. Shin has played in 70-plus tournaments in a season only one time in her career, in 2009 (89).
Here are the Vare Trophy standings currently:
|4||So Yeon Ryu||4,732||67||70.63||19|
|6||Na Yeon Choi||4,527||64||70.73||17|
Here are the previous Vare Trophy winners:
|2010||Na Yeon Choi||69.87|
|2003||Se Ri Pak||70.03|
Kuala Lumpur’s watery test
Kuala Lumpur Country Club, the site of this week’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, is hosting the tournament for the third consecutive year. The course has water in play on 13 holes, including the finishing stretch of four holes that includes the short par-3 15th with an island green, the 521-yard 16th that is reachable in two shots, the par-3 17th with a lake fronting the green and the par-4 18th with a lake down the right side of the fairway and short of the double green.
One of the most impressive features of the facility is a new driving range that includes three levels with 78 hitting bays and four target greens that resemble four holes on the course.
The 36-hole facility, which opened in 1991, has hosted three Malaysian Opens on the Asian and European Tours for the men on the West Course, with Charlie Wi winning in 2006, Noh Seung-yul in 2010 and Luis Oosthuizen earlier this year the week after he lost the Masters Tournament playoff to Bubba Watson.
Malaysia will host PGA Tour event in two weeks
Kuala Lumpur will be the site of another professional tournament in two weeks. Tiger Woods leads the field for the Oct. 25-28 CIMB Classic at the Mimes Resort & Golf Club which is approximately 30 minutes from this week’s LPGA site. The tournament is co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour and Asian Tour.
Recari’s busy season
Last week, Beatriz Recari was in San Francisco for a corporate outing before returning to her U.S. home base in Florida and then quickly departing for the Asian Swing on the LPGA. But the busy schedule is nothing new for the Spanish golfer. She has played in every LPGA event this year, official and unofficial, and hasn’t missed a cut. She leads the LPGA in official rounds played (77), but has participated in 81 rounds if you include the Sybase Match Play Championship, where she was eliminated in the second round, and the unofficial, 36-hole HSBC LPGA Brasil Cup. She plans on playing all six of the remaining events on the 2012 schedule.
Here are her finishes, in order, this season: T10, T57, T42, T66, T43, T26, 72, T31, T10, T33, T40, T45, T40, T28, T35, T9, T9, T44, T60, T25, T26 and T6.
Shin going for three in a row
Jiyai Shin will be going for her third consecutive win on the LPGA this week. The South Korean won the Kingsmill Championship in early September and the Ricoh Women’s British Open the following week in England. She didn’t play in the Navistar LPGA Classic.
Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam hold the LPGA mark for most consecutive wins in tournament starts at five. Here is how they did it:
Nancy Lopez, 1978: Greater Baltimore Classic, May 12-14; Coca-Cola Classic, May 19-21; Golden Lights Championship, May 26-29; did not play Peter Jackson Classic, June 1-4; LPGA Championship, June 8-11; Bankers Trust Classic, June 16-18.
Annika Sorenstam, 2004-2005: 2004 Mizuno Classic, Nov. 5-7; 2004 ADT Championship, Nov. 18-21; 2005 MasterCard Classic honoring Alejo Peralta, March 4-6; 2005 Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola, March 17-20; 2005 Kraft Nabisco Championship, March 24-27.
Topics: Stats and Stuff