The 2012 LPGA season continues to be very competitive, with three playoffs and two one-stroke victories in the first six tournaments.
The season began in February with two large playoffs in the first three events. Jessica Korda won a record-tying, six-player playoff in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open to begin the season and Angela Stanford took a four-player playoff in Singapore at the HSBC Women’s Champions in the third event. Last week at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Sun Young Kim won a one-hole playoff with I.K. Kim.
Yani Tseng won two of her three titles with one-stroke victories and has the only runaway victory, a six-stroke win at the Kia Classic two weeks ago.
The 2002 season began with two playoffs and then had four consecutive tournaments won by one-stroke margins.
2012’s next three majors
The remaining three 2012 majors are spread a little farther apart: Wegmans LPGA Championship (June 7-10), U.S. Women’s Open (July 5-8) and RICOH Women’s British Open (Sept. 13-16).
The U.S. Women’s Open is scheduled for Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisc., the site of Se Ri Pak’s playoff victory over Jenny Chuasiriporn in 1998. Yani Tseng will be attempting to win her first U.S. Women’s Open and complete the career Grand Slam.
The date of the RICOH Women’s British Open was pushed back from its usual late July date to September because of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. Tseng will be aiming to three-peat there, a feat that has never been accomplished in that tournament. The tournament is scheduled for Royal Liverpool at Hoylake, England, where Bobby Jones captured the second leg of his Grand Slam in 1930 and where Tiger Woods won the 2006 British Open for his third title.
With the Kraft Nabisco Championship completed, here’s a look at the all-time major championships wins list leaders. Take note that this will be the last year for four majors during a season on the LPGA as the Evian Masters becomes the fifth major in 2013.
Most majors: career
Se Re Pak…………5
Most majors: one season
3, Babe Zaharias, 1950 (U.S. Women’s Open, Titleholders, Western Open)*
*Only three majors were held in 1950.
3, Mickey Wright, 1961 (LPGA Championship, U.S. Women’s Open, Titleholders)
3, Pat Bradley, 1986 (Nabisco Dinah Shore, LPGA Championship, du Maurier Ltd. Classic)
Berg’s major titles in Augusta
Patty Berg leads the career major championships list, nearly half of which was accomplished in Augusta, Ga. Berg won the first three Titleholders as an amateur in 1937-39 and her final Titleholders in 1957. In all, Berg won seven Titleholders and seven green jackets, which were awarded to the champion. All of her wins came at Augusta Country Club, the course which is adjacent to Amen Corner at the Augusta National Club, site of this week’s Masters Tournament. Berg’s seven green jackets surpass Jack Nicklaus’ six as the most frequent winner of the Masters.
Most official tournament wins in one season
It has been 49 years since Mickey Wright established the LPGA’s single-season victory mark with 13 wins in 1963. Wright followed that stellar season with an 11-win campaign in 1964 for an unheard-of 23 wins in two seasons. Annika Sorenstam threatened the mark 10 years ago when she won 11 times.
Here’s a look at the pursuit of this record by Yani Tseng:
Year Player Wins Started No. of Events
1963 Mickey Wright 13 Won 2 of 6, 6 of 10 33
1964 Mickey Wright 11 Won 2 of 6, 4 of 10 32
2002 Annika Sorenstam 11 Won 2 of 6, 3 of 10 31
2012 Yani Tseng 3 Won 3 of 6 28*
*-Season in progress.
Next tournament in Hawaii
The LPGA will take off two weeks before resuming play in Hawaii April 18-21 at the inaugural LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf. The site will be familiar however, as the Ko Olino Golf Club on Oahu was the previous site of the LPGA’s Hawaiian Ladies Open (1990-95) and the LPGA Fields Open (2006-2008). The LPGA had an event in Hawaii nearly every year from 1982 through 2009, including four seasons where three events were played in the 50th state.
Winners in Hawaii at Ko Olino have included Beth Daniel, Patty Sheehan, Lisa Walters twice, Marta Figueras-Dotti, Barb Thomas, Meena Lee, Stacy Prammansaudh and Paula Creamer.
This year’s event will be played Wednesday-Saturday.
Two LPGA members will be honored at the Golf Writers Association of America dinner on Wednesday in Augusta, Ga. Yani Tseng will be honored as the LPGA Player of the Year and Sophie Gustafson, who battles a severe stuttering problem, with the Ben Hogan Award for remaining active in golf despite a physical handicap or serious illness…Hollis Stacy will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on May 6 in St. Augustine, Fla. Stacy’s presenter will be younger sister Martha Leach, the 2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion.
Topics: Stats and Stuff