A final statistical look at 2013
With the 2013 LPGA season in the books, here’s a look at some of the top statistical accomplishments during the season, which began in February and ended in mid-November:
- Big Three: Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen and Stacy Lewis were the “Big Three.” They won 13 of the 28 tournaments (including all five major championships) and finished 1-2-3 (not in the order listed) in Rolex Player of the Year points, the Rolex World Rankings, earnings, scoring average and rounds in the 60s.
- Vare Trophy: Lewis finished with a 69.48 stroke average, the eighth lowest in LPGA history and the lowest average since Lorena Ochoa totaled 69.2 in 2006, to win the Vare Trophy. But she needed it as Pettersen and Park were just behind at 69.7 and 69.87, respectively. It is believed to be the first time in LPGA history that three players have finished with sub-70 scoring averages. Annika Sorenstam’s 68.70 average in 2002 is the all-time best.
- Rookie Rally: Moriya Jutanugarn began the 2013 season as the LPGA Qualifying Tournament medalist, recorded an early, season-best tie for fourth in Australia and led the Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year standings. But then she was somewhat overshadowed by younger sister Ariya, who nearly won the LPGA event in her home country of Thailand and then captured a Ladies European Tour event before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. Then Germany’s Caroline Masson had a mid-season surge to overtake Jutanugarn. But Moriya rallied down the stretch, edging Masson at the CME Group Titleholders to win the Rookie of the Year honor by one point (480-479). How important was the race? Masson played the final event with a broken right thumb.
- All 28: Brittany Lang and Chella Choi were the only two players to play in all 28 tournaments in 2013. Choi led the LPGA in rounds played with 102, missing only the cuts at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup and Ricoh Women’s British Open.
- Driving Distance: Possibly the most surprising statistical leader was Nicole Smith in the Driving Distance category. The rookie out of the University of Tennessee averaged 274.8 yards, far ahead of second-place Lexi Thompson (271.1).
- Creamer 66: Paula Creamer has made 66 consecutive cuts, the longest current streak on the LPGA. Her last missed cut came at the 2010 season-ending LPGA Tour Championship.
- Going low: There were two 61s shot in 2013, by Anna Nordqvist (11-under) at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic and Hee Young Park (10-under) at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. There were two 28s, by Ilhee Lee (7-under) at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic and Meena Lee (6-under) at the Marathon Classic. Hee Young Park and Angela Stanford shot 258 (26-under) at the Manulife.
- Aces: There were 20 holes in one in 2013, with Suzann Pettersen making one during her victory at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship.
- Winners From: 2013 winners hailed from …
- South Korea (10): Jiyai Shin, Inbee Park (6), Ilhee Lee, Hee Young Park, Amy Yang
- United States (7): Stacy Lewis (3), Cristie Kerr, Jennifer Johnson, Lexi Thompson (2)
- Norway (4): Suzann Pettersen (4)
- Spain (2): Beatriz Recari (2)
- China (2) Shanshan Feng (2)
- Australia (1): Karrie Webb
- New Zealand (1): Lydia Ko
- Taiwan (1): Teresa Lu
- Next season: A new season begins in two months as the 2014 LPGA begins in The Bahamas on Jan. 23. It’s the first January start to a season on the LPGA since 2008. There will be 32 tournaments, 18 in the United States, with $56.3 million in purses (up from 28 tournaments and $48.8 million in 2013).
Topics: Stats and Stuff