Ten tournaments into the 2016 LPGA season and there have already been three multiple winners.
Even though none of the multiple winners are teeing it up at the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout this week, they have made an impact on the LPGA season. Lydia Ko is the No. 1-ranked player in the world, Haru Namura is the first Japanese player to win on the LPGA in four years and Ha Na Jang has drawn attention because of her exciting celebrations. All have South Korean roots and none of them are older than 23.
Take a look at the multiple winners as the LPGA tours the South, Midwest and Northeast before the second major championship of the season, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship June 9-12 at Sahalee in Sammamish, Wash.
- Ko turned 19 on Sunday and finished T6 at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, somewhat of a disappointment since Ko had won the event three years running (once before it became an LPGA event and the previous two years on the LPGA). Ko won consecutive events at the Kia Classic on March 27 and ANA Inspiration on April 3. Ko has won consecutive majors entering the second major of the season.
- Still, she leads the LPGA in earnings, the Race to the CME Globe and Scoring (69.2 average) and is third in Putting Average (28.4). Her scoring average is the lowest in golf, better than Adam Scott’s actual scoring average (69.5), which leads the PGA Tour. In eight starts this season, Ko has six finishes of T6 or better.
- Ko’s South Korean connection goes back to being born there and moving to New Zealand at an early age. She is also studying Psychology at Korea University.
Ha Na Jang
- Jang turns 24 next Monday (May 2), making her the oldest of the young winners thus far this season. She won the Coates Golf Championship on Feb. 6 and the HSBC Women’s Champions on March 6.
- Jang leads the LPGA in Greens in Regulation at 82.1 percent, also the best percentage in golf – Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter lead the European Tour at 80.6 percent and Bubba Watson’s 72.63 leads the PGA Tour. In eight starts this season, Jang has two wins and two other finishes in the top eight.
- Jang made the first hole in one on a par 4 in LPGA history when she holed a 318-yard 3-wood at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic on Jan. 30. Minjee Lee joined in two months later at the Kia Classic when she holed a 234-yard 5-wood for another ace on a par 4.
- Jang grew up in South Korea and has drawn attention because of her dance skills in both of her wins.
- Namura’s father is Japanese and her mother South Korean. She moved from Japan to South Korea at age 5 and stayed there through high school even though she has chosen to represent Japan.
- Namura shot a 65 at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open on Feb. 21 to hold off Lydia Ko and become the first Japanese woman to win on the LPGA since Mika Miyazato won the Safeway Classic in August 2012. She captured the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic last Sunday in windy conditions for her second victory. Ai Miyazato was the last Japanese player win twice in a season, also in 2012.
- Nomura ranks first in Birdies on the LPGA, registering 173 so far, 21 more than any other player (Brooke Henderson at 152). She also ranks seventh in Putting (28.78 average).