With a mid-summer break in the LPGA season, it’s time to take a deep breath and prepare for the stretch run of the season. In essence, most of the LPGA has been on a two-week hiatus since last week’s International Crown was an unofficial, limited-field event (32 players). So here’s a quick look at the first part of the season and also what’s to come:
- The winners thus far in 18 events have included 11 by Americans (Stacy Lewis 3, Jessica Korda 2, Michelle Wie 2, Lexi Thompson, Paula Creamer, Lizette Salas and Mo Martin), two by an Australian (Karrie Webb 2), two by a Swede (Anna Nordqvist 2), two by a New Zealander (Lydia Ko 2) and one by a South Korean (Inbee Park). Add the International Crown’s winner, Spain, and you have six countries represented in the winner’s circle.
- The three major champions (Kraft, Lexi Thompson; U.S. Women’s Open, Michelle Wie; and Ricoh Women’s British, Mo Martin) have all been Americans. Last season, South Korea won the first three majors of the season, but it was all accomplished by one player, Inbee Park. Americans last won the first three majors in 1999 – Dottie Pepper (Kraft Nabisco) and Juli Inkster (U.S. Women’s Open and LPGA Championship).
- Inbee Park has the lowest round of the season, a 10-under 61 that she shot in the final round of her victory at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in early June. Her 23-under-par 261 total is also the lowest 72-hole score so far. She went 66 holes without a bogey in that event, the longest streak during a tournament this season. In the last two years at the Manulife, the winners have been a combined 49-under par (Angela Stanford and Hee Young Park were 26-under in 2013).
- Anna Nordqvist is the only player this year to lead after every round (wire to wire). She accomplished that at the Honda LPGA Thailand in February.
- In consecutive weeks in late March-early April, Anna Nordqvist and Lexi Thompson opened the Kia Classic and Kraft Nabisco Championship with 1-over-par 73s and went on to win. They are the only players this season to start with over-par rounds and go on to win.
- Two of Stacy Lewis’s three wins have come by six strokes. The wins at the North Texas Shootout and ShopRite LPGA Classic are the largest margins of victory this season.
- Stacy Lewis is almost certain to surpass the $2-million mark for earnings this season for the first time in her career. She has a career-best $1,944,344 in earnings this season. Lorena Ochoa holds the single-season earnings mark of $4,364,994 in 2007.
- Michelle Wie has four career LPGA victories. But the first three didn’t come on the mainland of the United States. They were in Mexico (2009 Lorena Ochoa Invitational), Canada (2010 CN Canadian Women’s Open) and her home state, Hawaii (2014 LPGA Lotte Championship). She won the U.S. Women’s Open in June at Pinehurst No. 2.
- Dori Carter has this season’s mark for the most sub-par holes during a round, 11, which came during the second round of the Kia Classic in late March. She made 11 birdies – including five consecutive – and two bogeys in a course-record, 8-under-par 64 that included a bogey-bogey finish. For the week, Carter made 19 birdies and 12 bogeys and finished T10 for her first career top-10 finish.
- There have been 20 holes in one this year and three double eagles. There were 20 total aces and one double eagle in 2013 and 12 aces and one double eagle in 2012.
- Laura Diaz has had an eventful 2014. At the Kia Classic, she made two aces (third hole, third round; sixth hole, final round) and followed them soon after with eagles, all in a five-hole span on the weekend. It was the third time an LPGA player has made two aces in the same tournament and the first time a player followed an ace with an eagle on the next hole. Diaz also opened the Marathon Classic with a course-record, 9-under-par 62.
- There are 14 tournaments remaining on the 2014 LPGA schedule and they display the international diversity of the tour. Five of the tournaments are in the United States, two in China and one apiece in Canada, France, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Mexico.
- This week marks the first of three off weeks on the remaining 2014 schedule. There will be another break the first week of September when the LPGA transitions from Portland, Ore., (Portland Classic) to Evian-les-Bains, France (The Evian Championship) and the final one the last week in September when travel is required from Prattville, Ala. (Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic) to Beijing, China (Reignwood LPGA Classic).
- The two remaining majors will be contested in the next five tournaments – the Wegmans LPGA Championship in Pittsford, N.Y., Aug. 14-17 and The Evian Championship in France Sept. 11-14. Next year, the LPGA Championship transitions into the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, to be held June 8-14, 2015 at Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y.
- The LPGA is in the midst of a streak of four tournaments that are either brand new or are being played on new golf courses. The International Crown started off the new breed last week in Baltimore at Caves Valley. That is followed by the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic in suburban Grand Rapids. Mich., Aug. 7-10; the Wegmans LPGA Championship at a new site, Monroe Golf Club, the following week; and the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open at a new course, London (Ontario) Hunt and Country Club, Aug. 21-24.
Topics: Stats and Stuff