LPGA.com counts down to the end of 2012 with the LPGA Tour's 12 top stories of the year. Join us as we look back at the year's most memorable milestones. Read about the American resurgence in Story No. 7.
American resurgence – Lang’s win, Korda winning, Americans with most wins of any country
With the state of the LPGA Tour growing quickly on a global stage, the condition of American women’s golf at the beginning of the 2012 season could have been held in question. Overshadowed by the dominating presence of Yani Tseng’s season and only four wins by Americans in 2011, a contingent of hungry U.S.-born players were ready for a resurgence in 2012.
The Americans doubled their wins in 2012 and tied for the most wins by any country (8) with South Korea. It seemed that everywhere you looked there were Americans near the top of the leaderboard with a litany of first-time winners, veterans returning to the winner’s circle and a fearless leader in Stacy Lewis carrying the flag for the rest of the group.
Second-year Tour member Jessica Korda turned heads in Australia to start off the season to become a Rolex First-Time Winner at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australia Open. Korda had a gritty performance in the land down under where she won in a six-way sudden-death playoff against top names including Brittany Lincicome, Stacy Lewis and So Yeon Ryu. She sank a 25-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole for her first victory.
Tour veteran Angela Stanford notched another American win before the Tour made its way back to U.S. soil and clinched her fifth-career victory at the HSBC Women’s Champions 2012 in Singapore. Stanford ended a wait of 14 years and four months for an American victory in a LPGA event in Asia and did so in a four-player playoff.
Another American had a coming out party in 2012 when seven-year Tour member Brittany Lang came out on top at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. The 26-year old birdied all three holes of the three-player sudden-death playoff and did not make a bogey in either the third or final round. It was Lang’s first-career victory and broke the Duke curse on Tour, becoming the first Blue Devil to earn an LPGA win.
One of the most well-known American golfers broke back into the winner’s circle in 2012 when Cristie Kerr overcame a two-shot deficit on Sunday to win the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco. It was Kerr’s 15th career victory and first since 2010.
Kerr wasn’t the only one to make waves for the Americans in Mexico. Stacy Lewis, who captured four victories in 2012, clinched the Rolex Player of the Year award in Guadalajara after she finished tied for fourth. It was the first time an American claimed the honor since Beth Daniel did in 1994. Lewis carried the torch for the Americans throughout the entire season and posted impressive numbers across the board, ranking in the top-five in seven statistical categories this year.
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