Sometimes perception and reality don’t exactly mesh well. At the end of the 2010 LPGA season, Korean sensation Na Yeon Choi walked away with both the money title and the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average. She was coming off seasons in 2009 and 2010 where she won 2 tournaments apiece. I, and many others, thought 2011 would be a season where NYC would take the next step into possibly winning 3 or 4 events. So far, that hasn’t happened. In fact, she hasn’t won 1 event as of 10.15.2011. The perception is almost that this is been a down year for Na Yeon. But looking at her accomplishments, the reality is that she has had the kind of year that keeps her among the elite players in the game. No, the victories are not there, so that is a downer. But she also has 12 top 20 finishes, 8 top 10s, 5 top 5s and 2 runners-up…and the year isn’t over. She was 7th on the LPGA money list and 5th in scoring average going into Sime Darby. OK, maybe it’s not up to her 2010 level, but NYC has nothing to be ashamed of in 2011. She has continued to be impressive.
Of course, winning is everything some say. Well, Na Yeon will have another chance after a third round 5 birdie, 1 bogey 4-under 67 left her at 12-under overall and sitting atop the leaderboard going into the final round of the 2011 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. I must admit to being a little torn here. I am an NYC fan. She has finished runner-up in 2 of her last 5 events, including last week at Hana Bank. I want to see her cash in on a victory. But…my heart is also with Se Ri Pak, who had a blistering 7 birdie, 1 bogey 6-under 65 in round three to leave her at 8-under overall. Se Ri, who leapfrogged from 32nd to 16th from round one to round two, vaulted from 16th to 4th following round three. 32nd to 16th…16th to 4th…4th to…1st? She’s 4 shots behind, but it could happen.
SE RI PAK
NA YEON CHOI
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL