Sei Young Kim tapped in a historic par putt on the 18th green at Thornberry Creek in Oneida, Wisconsin. It was the 19th official event of the LPGA Tour’s 2018 schedule.
That week, Kim made 31 birdies and an eagle on the par 5, third hole at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic en route to setting the all-time 72-hole scoring record at 31-under par.
With 60 percent of the season over, Kim and the other winners this year, have already separated themselves on the course and played their way into the LPGA record books.
There are still several months remaining in the year, so there’s still time for stats to change, but some players have jumped out front and are on pace for record-breaking seasons.
We looked at the following statistical categories – birdies, eagles, top 10s, and sub-par rounds – to see who just might be on top at the end of season. These projections are based on a player’s current average (minimum 10 events played) and estimating they play in 28 events. There’s no telling whether players will play this number of events or remain consistent with their game, but it’s fun to look and see.
Charley Hull is on pace to make 478 birdies, which would be the most birdies in a single season. She’s currently averaging 17.07 birdies per event played. Hull has hit 82 percent of greens in regulation from the fairway. And, these numbers have helped her record nine top-25 finishes so far in 2018.
Ariya Jutanugarn holds the record for most birdies in a season with 469 in 2016.
Projected birdies based on current average:
Charley Hull 478
Ariya Jutanugarn 455
Sei Young Kim 436
Jessica Korda 427
Jin Young Ko 425
Lexi Thompson is on pace to make 23 eagles, averaging 0.83 eagles per event. Thompson currently leads this stat category with 10 eagles made in 12 events played. Ariya Jutanugarn is tied at the top with 10 eagles in 18 events, but not nearly the efficiency, averaging only 0.55 eagles per event. Thompson ranks third in average driving distance, hitting 274.46 yards per drive off the tee. From the fairway, Thompson hits the green 82 percent of the time, and ranks second on tour overall in greens hit no matter if she misses.
Laura Davies holds the record for most eagles in a season with 19 in 2004.
Projected eagles based on current average:
Lexi Thompson 23
Jessica Korda 21
Emily Pedersen 16
Mi Jung Hur 15
Ariya Jutanugarn 15
Ariya Jutanugarn is on pace to record 15 top-10 finishes. Jutanugarn is averaging a top-10 finish in more than half her starts at 56 percent. From the end of April to June 2018, Jutanugarn compiled a stretch of five straight top 10s that included two wins in playoffs at the Kingsmill Championship presented by GEICO and U.S. Women’s Open. Her career best in a single season is 16 top 10s in 2016, her second year on the LPGA Tour.
Since 1963, no player has passed Mickey Wright’s record of 27 top 10s during that season.
Projected top 10-finishes based on current average:
Ariya Jutanugarn 15
Jin Young Jo 14
Minjee Lee 12
Jessica Korda 11
Lexi Thompson 11
Charley Hull is on pace for 87 rounds under par, which would be the most in a single season. Hull has played 54 official rounds of golf, recording 42 of those under par for a 78 percent conversion rate. Hull has recorded 13 rounds of 68 or better, which is already one more than she posted in all of last season.
Stacy Lewis holds the records for most sub-par rounds in season with 85 in 2014. And, Brooke Henderson is the only player to record consecutive seasons with at least 80 rounds under par (2016 – 83 rounds, 2017 – 80 rounds).
Projected Sub-Par Rounds based on current average:
Charley Hull 87
Minjee Lee 81
Carlota Ciganda 80