LPGA Will Announce One Nominee Per Month,
Fans To Vote on Winner Before CME Group Titleholders
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA, May 7, 2013 – Yani Tseng’s final round surge in Thailand, Stacy Lewis’ ascension to Rolex Rankings No. 1 and Inbee Park’s subsequent takeover of the top spot mark the first two Kia Most Compelling Performance Award nominees of 2013.
Yani Tseng is the February nominee thanks to her final-round surge at the 2013 Honda LPGA Thailand. The two-time defending champion tied the tournament record with a 9-under 63 on Sunday to finish in a tie for third at 10-under par. Tseng fell just two strokes short of her goal of a three-peat at the Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course, but did her part to hold off Stacy Lewis’ charge toward the No. 1 spot on the Rolex Rankings.
“It’s a great honor to be nominated for the Kia Most Compelling Performance in February,” Tseng said. “It was one of the best rounds this year and I have great memories in Thailand. It was great to shoot a 63 in the final round and get on top of the leaderboard again.”
Stacy Lewis is the March nominee after winning consecutive tournaments at the HSBC Women’s Champions (March 3) and RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup (March 17) to take over the No. 1 spot on the Rolex Rankings for the first time. Lewis defeated Na Yeon Choi in Singapore, closing with a par on the final hole to win by one shot for her first victory of the season.
In Phoenix, Lewis overcame a two-shot penalty in the third round with a final-round 64 to win by three shots over defending champion Ai Miyazato. The Founders Cup win vaulted Lewis into the top spot on the Rolex Rankings, becoming just the second American (Cristie Kerr – 2010) to join the elite club.
“It’s nice to be recognized for my performance in March, but I am working hard to make sure it’s not the last time I get nominated,” Lewis said. “Everyone on Tour appreciates Kia’s support and we want to win that Cadenza at the end of the season.”
Inbee Park dominated the month of April on the LPGA Tour, claiming her second LPGA major championship win at the Kraft Nabisco (April 7), taking over the No. 1 spot on the Rolex Rankings (April 15) and winning the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout (April 28).
In the meantime, she took the lead on the Rolex Player of the Year race, the LPGA Official Money List and the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average race. She also leads the LPGA in Putts per GIR (1.707), Rounds Under Par (23) and Rounds in the 60’s (15).
“I won the Kia Most Compelling Performance Award last year which was a great experience,” Park said. “I’m very happy to get that much attention from fans and have them rooting for me. It would be really nice to defend that title this year.”
The 2013 Kia Most Compelling Performance Award winner will be announced at the season-ending 2013 CME Group Titleholders following an online fan vote (fan voting period is October 1-21, 2013). Performances may include a single tournament, multiple tournaments, single-round accomplishments or record-breaking performances. Winners of all the 2013 Kia Performance Awards will receive an all-new 2014 Kia Cadenza, premium sedan.
The 2013 Kia Performance Awards are:
- Kia Power Drive – Won in 2012 by Brittany Lincicome; awarded to the player with the longest average driving distance
- Kia Drive to the Top – Won in 2012 by Stacy Lewis; awarded to the player with the most top-10 finishes
- Kia Most Compelling Performance – Won in 2012 by Inbee Park; recognizing a player with exceptional performances throughout the year; this award will be chosen by fans through an online vote
- Kia Community Assist – Won in 2012 by Angela Stanford; recognizing a player who makes exceptional contributions to charity organizations or community programs