In Response: Top Golfer In the World This Year? Check The LPGA by Larry Bohannan of the Desert Sun

Was Yani the clear #1 even on her own tour?

...or did others have a legitimate claim as well?

I liked this article by Larry Bohannan of the Desert Sun (actually, I tend to like every article by Mr. Bohannan, whether I agree with every point or not):

…an excerpt…

Tseng won three times on the LPGA Tour this year. That’s not as many wins as the five Ai Miyazato compiled this year, but there was a big difference. Tseng managed to win two majors.

Well, that’s just it. How much does a Major count against a regular win? Yani built up more points with her two wins, but I never felt like she was in a place where she seemed unstoppable, where her presence on the leaderboard was intimidating. Conversely, when Ai was on her game, she was like a force of nature. Early in the season it looked like she might win everything in sight.

None of that was enough for her to even grab the No. 1 spot in the world rankings or win the tour’s money title.

But sometimes in this era of computer rankings and statistical analysis, the stats that gets underplayed are winning and winning majors. Heck, Westwood is the No. 1 player in the world and has never won a major.

But the point system can be imperfect, too. You can have somebody win a Major, but not be playing consistently strong, get a boost up the POY list. Even if one thinks Yani was clearly the best on the LPGA, I am surprised that Cristie Kerr finished second in voting. A Major win in dominant fashion for Kerr, but two wins overall against Miyazato’s five wins. Miyazato hurt herself by a few low finishes in events she didn’t win, but more than doubling another player’s win total has to count for something. For the record, I also would have voted for Yani Tseng as Player of the Year were I a member of the august GWAA. I am simply playing devil’s advocate to say there are those out there who believe Ai Miyazato or another has a claim. Even Jiyai Shin, who won twice on the LPGA, won twice outside of the LPGA and had the best top 10 percentage on tour. Yani was 9th in top 10 percentage, over 35 percentage points behind Jiyai. So I would not dismiss the Rolex Rankings, as flawed as they might be, placing Shin on top.

My point is this, I do believe Tseng was the best on the LPGA. However, I acknowledge that it is debatable. And because I feel it is debatable, I would hesitate to proclaim her the top golfer in the world simply because despite what I think, she might not have been the indisputably best golfer on her own tour.

One thought on “In Response: Top Golfer In the World This Year? Check The LPGA by Larry Bohannan of the Desert Sun

  1. Pingback: Mostly Harmless: Recommended Reading: Hound Dog, Larry Bohannan, Jason Sobel, bangkokbobby, and Gerard Gallagher on the Best of the LPGA

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