In this week's Stats & Stuff, Ward Clayton wraps up Yani Tseng's performance at the RICOH Women's British Open.
Yani Tseng continues to pile up the “youngest to…” records. She became the youngest player, man or woman, to reach five career major titles with the RICOH Women’s British Open title. She was tied with Tom Morris Jr. at four major titles; he was age 21 when he captured his fourth consecutive British Open in 1872. Tseng accomplished the five majors feat at age 22 years, 6 months. Tiger Woods reached five career majors in 2000 at 24 years, 7 months.
Tseng will have nearly four years to become the youngest woman to win six major championships. Mickey Wright, the current record holder for youngest to six majors, won the 1961 U.S. Women’s Open, her sixth of 13 career major championships, at age 26 years, 4 months and 17 days.
The 2011 major championship winners definitely showed that the women’s game has a great future. Taiwan’s Yani Tseng, the winner of the Wegmans LPGA Championship and RICOH Women’s British Open, is 22. South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu, the winner of the U.S. Women’s Open, is even younger at age 21. Stacy Lewis, 26, won the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Tseng’s low scoring, majors records
Yani Tseng’s 16-under 272 total last week was a record score for a British Open competition held at Carnoustie, shattering the 277 mark that Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia totaled at the 2007 British Open. However, Tseng’s total didn’t challenge the record 72-hole score for a LPGA Tour major championship. Those include:
Kraft Nabisco….269 (-19)….Dottie Pepper….1999
Wegmans LPGA Championship….267 (-17)….Betsy King….1992
U.S. Women’s Open….272 (-16)….Juli Inkster….1999
Ricoh Women’s British Open…269 (-19)….Karrie Webb, 1997; Karen Stupples, 2004
Tseng doubles up again
Yani Tseng has won two majors in consecutive seasons on the LPGA Tour. That is the first time that has occurred since Karrie Webb won the 2000 Kraft Nabisco and U.S. Women’s Open and 2001 LPGA Championship and U.S. Women’s Open.
The previous player to defend a major championship was Annika Sorenstam at the 2001-2002 Kraft Nabisco Championship. The only previous players to successfully defend a RICOH Women’s British Open title were Debbie Massey (1980-81) and Sherri Steinhauer (1998-99).
Futcher goes low
American Katie Futcher tied the low round of the week at the RICOH Women’s British Open with an 8-under 64 (along with Se Ri Pak and Inbee Park) during the final round. That included a back-nine, 7-under 29 with an eagle on the 14th and birdies on 10th, 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th. She finished tied for 14th. The nine-hole score tied the low on the LPGA Tour this year.
The low nine-hole score in LPGA history is 27, scored by the following players:
27, Jimin Kang, Seaview Marriott Resort & Spa, Bay Course, Galloway Twp., N.J., 2005 ShopRite LPGA Classic, par 35; she shot 62
27, In-Kyung Kim, Highland Meadows Golf Club, Sylvania, Ohio, 2007 Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger, par 34; she shot 65
27, Paula Creamer, Highland Meadows Golf Club, Sylvania, Ohio, first round, 2008 Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger, par 34; she shot 60
2012 majors schedule
The 2012 major rotation will be spread out a bit differently: Kraft Nabisco Championship (March 29-April 1), 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. Yani 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.
Ai Miyazato has won seven times on the LPGA Tour, including two of the last three Evian Masters titles (2009, 2011). However, Miyazato has never made a hole in one in LPGA competition. But her older brother Yusaku makes up for that. Five years ago, Yusaku became the first golfer to make two holes-in-one in the same round of a PGA Tour tournament when he aced a couple of par 3s on August 25 at the Reno-Tahoe Open. The Reno-Tahoe Open is scheduled this week … Kristy McPherson’s younger brother, Kevin, was named last week as the head men’s coach at Augusta State, the two-time defending NCAA champion. Kevin was the women’s coach for the Jaguars and assisted the men’s team last year. McPherson finished seventh in the RICOH Women’s British Open two years ago at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England and placed T43 at last week’s RICOH British Open at Carnoustie.
Yani Tseng had a sensational week at the RICOH Women’s British Open. One stat that was particularly impressive – in her third-round 66, Tseng averaged 292.5 in the Driving Distance category, more than 20 yards longer than any of her other rounds last week. She now leads the Driving Distance (269.2 average) and the Greens in Regulation (76 percent) categories on the LPGA Tour…The next LPGA Tour event is the Safeway Classic presented by Coca-Cola Aug. 19-21 at Pumpkin Ridge GC in North Plains, Ore.