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Stats and Stuff: Last-minute changes key for Korda, Nordqvist

Anna Nordqvist
Photo Credit: Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images

Last-minute changes key for Korda, Nordqvist

Jessica Korda and Anna Nordqvist are proof that last-second changes don’t prevent success on the LPGA. Two of the three winners in 2014 have tinkered with their swings at the last minute and won tournaments.

In the season opener, the United States’ Korda revealed that she tweaked her swing with new instructor Grant Price and didn’t start hitting woods until the week before her victory at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. She led after three of the rounds. Last week, Sweden’s Nordqvist won the Honda LPGA Thailand after changing clubs in the offseason and working with a new coach, Jorge Parada, on the full swing just three weeks before her win. She led after every round.

“It’s been quite a fun couple weeks with new clubs and new golf ball,” Nordqvist said. “It’s been fun playing around with that. My short game coach, I started working with two, three weeks ago (on the full swing), so it's been fun. Bit of a change, but definitely getting some of the inspiration and motivation back. I felt like at one point last year I was about ready to quit golf.”

Both of Nordqvist’s previous wins came in 2009, her rookie season, when she won the McDonald’s LPGA Championship and LPGA Tour Championship. Her victory was the first on the LPGA by a Swedish player since Maria Hjorth in 2011.

Lewis closing on Webb

With a final-round 66 last week, Stacy Lewis finished tied for fifth and extended her streak of top-10 finishes to 13, dating back to last summer’s U.S. Women’s Open (T42 finish). She has placed no worse than a tie for eighth during the stretch. Lewis is the only player to finish in the top 10 in the first three events this season and will be defending her title at the HSBC Women’s Champions this week in Malaysia.

The all-time LPGA record for consecutive top-10 finishes is 16, held by World Golf Hall of Famer Karrie Webb during the 1998 and 1999 seasons (three in a row to end 1998 and 13 to start 1999).

The all-time mark for top-10 finishes was established by Byron Nelson, who recorded 65 consecutive top-10 finishes from 1942-46 on the PGA Tour.

Here’s a look at their hot streaks:

Tournament  Scores
Karrie Webb 16 (1998-1999)
Oct. 11, 1998
AFLAC Tournament of Champions 72-73-73-70—288 (E)
Oct. 25, 1998
Samsung World Champ. Of Women’s Golf 71-73-73-70—287 (-1)
Nov. 22, 1998
Pagenet Tour Championship 70-69-74-68—281 (-7)
Jan. 17, 1999
HealthSouth Inaugural  68-68-70—206 (-10)
Jan. 24, 1999
Subaru Memorial of Naples 63-69-72-73—277 (-11)
Jan. 30, 1999 
The Office Depot 67-72-70—278 (-7)
Feb. 28, 1999
Australian Ladies Masters 63-67-64-68—262 (-26)
March 14, 1999
Welch’s/Circle K Championship 74-69-66-68—277 (-11)
March 21, 1999
Standard Register Ping 68-68-69-69—274 (-14)
March 28, 1999
Nabisco Dinah Shore 73-71-70-66—280 (-8)
April 25, 1999
Chic-fil-a Charity Championship 70-67-68—205 (-11)
May 2, 1999
City of Hope Myrtle Beach Classic 69-69—138 (-6)
May 9, 1999
Mercury Titleholders 69-66-70-66—271 (-17)
May 16, 1999
Sara Lee Classic 72-66-65—203 (-13)
June 6, 1999
U.S. Women’s Open 70-70-68-74—282 (-6)
June 13, 1999
Wegmans Rochester Int’l 75-67-68-70—280 (-8)
Stacy Lewis   13 (2013-current)
July 14, 2013
Manulife Financial LPGA Classic 68-67-67-64—266 (-18)
July 21, 2013 
Marathon Classic 70-72-69-64—275 (-9)
Aug. 4, 2013
Ricoh Women’s British Open 67-72-69-72—280 (-8)
Sept. 1, 2013
Safeway Classic 67-70-65-68—270 (-18)
Sept. 15, 2013
The Evian Championship  69-67-73—209 (-4)
Oct. 6, 2013
Reignwood LPGA Classic 68-66-65-68—267 (-25)
Oct. 13, 2013
Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 69-68-70-69—276 (-8)
Nov. 10, 2013
Mizuno Classic 71-68-70—209 (-7)
Nov. 17, 2013
Lorena Ochoa Invitational 72-66-67-68—273 (-15)
Nov. 24, 2013
CME Group Titleholders  71-73-63-71—278 (-10)
Jan. 26, 2014
Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic 69-71-68-66—274 (-18)
Feb. 16, 2014
ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open 71-69-70-69—279 (-9)
Feb. 23, 2014
Honda LPGA Thailand 71-69-73-66—279 (-9)

Note: Lewis’s streak includes a withdrawal after a first-round 74 at the Aug. 22-25, 2013 CN Canadian Women’s Open.            

Return visit to Serapong for HSBC Women’s Champions
After playing at Tanah Merah Country Club in Singapore for the first five years of the HSBC Women’s Champions, the tournament moved to the Serapong course at Sentosa Golf Club last year when Stacy Lewis won the title. The 36-hole complex is located at the southeastern tip of Singapore’s island resort, Sentosa. The Serapong course opened in 1982, designed by Ronald Fream, and was the site of the Barclays Singapore Open on the Asian Tour through 2012. Among the winners at the Serapong course were Adam Scott three times, Ian Poutler and Matteo Manassero.

The Serapong was named the "Best Golf Course in Singapore" at the 2012 Asian Golf Monthly Awards along with the runners-up spot for "Best Championship Course in Asia Pacific."
The 6,600-yard, par-72 course has water in play on 10 holes and ends with a 498-yard par 5 that has water down the left side. It marks the fourth consecutive tournament on the LPGA this season that ends with a par 5.

Lexi Thompson has had two Thompsons on her bag as caddies since late 2013. Brother Curtis, who plays collegiately at LSU, stepped in for the 2013 season-ending CME Group Titleholders. That came one week after Benji, no relation, made his debut as the caddie in Lexi’s win at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Benji is her full-time caddie now. … The top three players in the world and the first three winners of the 2014 season are in the field this week at the HSBC Women’s Champions. … The Golf Channel will show all four rounds this week live, beginning at 10:30 p.m. EST Wednesday through Saturday. Sentosa Island, Singapore, is 13 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. … Na Yeon Choi has four top-10 finishes in six starts at the HSBC Women’s Champions, including runner-up finishes the last two years.

Topics: Stats and Stuff, HSBC Women's Champions

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