Park, Lewis continue dominating 2013 seasons
Since spring, Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis have been ranked first and second in the world, and they have been showing their dominance with quite a battle during the season. Here are some numbers on each player:
- Lewis was ranked first through April 8 as Park moved to second after winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship that previous week. Park took over No. 1 on April 15 and Lewis fell to second.
- Park won the Kraft Nabisco Championship earlier this year when she was ranked fourth in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings (Lewis was No. 1). Park was No. 1 for her Wegmans LPGA Championship and U.S. Women’s Open victories and Lewis was No. 2 in last week’s win at St. Andrews. Lewis had finishes of T32, T28 and T42 in the previous 2013 majors.
- Park leads the money list and Rolex Player of the Year standings while Lewis is first in Scoring Average and Top-10 finishes.
- In Lewis’ two major championship victories, she has rallied from a third-round deficit to win. At the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship, she was two behind entering the final round. Last Sunday, she trailed Morgan Pressel by one after the third round of the 36-hole final day.
- Lewis loves the 17th hole. In her first LPGA major championship victory at the 2011 Kraft Nabisco, Lewis sank a 20-foot putt for par on the 17th to hold off Yani Tseng. Last Sunday, she hit a 5-iron to 3 feet and birdied the famous Road Hole at St. Andrews and then birdied the 18th to complete a rally for the Ricoh Women’s British Open title.
- Lewis has won three times this season and Park has won six times. That gives the twosome 50 percent of the victories on the LPGA this season (nine wins in 18 tournaments). In the last two seasons, Park has won eight times and Lewis seven.
- With Lewis’ victory and Phil Mickelson’s in the British Open at Muirfield three weeks ago, their sponsor, KPMG, has won the double. “Right after Phil won, they said, ‘All right, you have to do it now.’ To actually do it is kind of crazy. They are definitely very excited.”
Park’s putter fails as streak ends
Inbee Park can point to a usual strong suit as being her downfall in the pursuit of four consecutive major championships. Park’s putting was a key to gaining six victories, including three consecutive major titles, thus far this season.
But last week on The Old Course at St. Andrews during a T42 finish at the Ricoh Women’s British Open, she struggled mightily with the putter. She totaled 143 putts, including 40 in the final round which began with a four-putt on the first green. The most putts that Park had taken in a previous LPGA event this season was 122 in a T37 at the HSBC Women’s Champions in March.
“I left a lot of shots on the greens, but the greens were just really tough to judge the speed,” Park said. “They were great one minute, and one minute they were slow. It was a tough tournament, tough greens to read, tough greens to judge.”
In her major championship wins, Park had the following putting totals: Kraft Nabisco (114), Wegmans LPGA (109) and U.S. Women’s Open (114).
Still, Park leads the LPGA in Putts per Green in Regulation but has fallen to seventh in Putting Average (29.02)
Future majors sites
With one major championship remaining on the 2013 schedule, the Evian Championship, here’s a look at future sites of the majors. (Note: Kraft Nabisco and Evian remain at the same site):
Wegmans LPGA: The 2014 site is still in Pittsford, N.Y., but moves from Locust Hill Country Club to Monroe Golf Club. The dates also move from June to August.
U.S. Women’s Open: 2014, Pinehurst (N.C.), June 19-22, the week after the men play the same course; 2015, Lancaster (Pa.) CC, July 9-12; 2016, CordeValle, San Martin, Calif., July 7-10; 2017, Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster, N.J., July 13-16.
Ricoh Women’s British Open: 2014, Royal Birkdale, July 10-13; 2015, Turnberry.
There are three more LPGA events in the U.S. on the 2013 schedule – the Solheim Cup next week in Colorado; the Safeway Classic in Portland, Ore., Aug. 29-Sept. 1 and the season-ending CME Group Titleholders in Naples, Fla., Nov. 21-24. … Natalie Gulbis’ T9 at the Ricoh Women’s British Open was her best finish since a T4 at last summer’s Evian Masters. Two of her last four top-10s have come in majors (2012 Kraft Nabisco and last week). After going double bogey-bogey-bogey on The Road Hole last week, she birdied the tough par 4 in the final round to jump into the top 10. … Morgan Pressel finished T3 in the Wegmans LPGA Championship and T4 in last week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open. Both majors finished with 36-hole final days.