Instead of a year in review focusing on overall achievements, I thought this time I’d do a countdown of the top 30 money list leaders from the WTA and LPGA. For the WTA, singles, doubles and mixed are combined for this top 30. Number 19 on the money list from each tour are Cristie Kerr and Peng Shuai.
CRISTIE KERR (United States)
2013 Official LPGA Prizemoney: $710,946
Best Finishes: Kingsmill Championship winner, T3 Kia Classic, T4 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, 4th Safeway Classic, T6 CME Group Titleholders
Official Website: cristiekerrgolf.com (click)
Facebook: Cristie Kerr (click)
Instagram: cristiekerr (click)
Cristie Kerr added to her stellar LPGA career resume in 2013 by winning her third Kingsmill Championship (the first two she won when it was called the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmil). Since its inception as an LPGA event in 2003, Cristie is the only multiple winner. It didn’t come without a fight, as she needed two playoff holes to best Suzann Pettersen. Her 16 career LPGA wins with 2 Majors has Cristie two-thirds of the way (18 points) to what she would need for the Hall of Fame (27 points). 9 points is a long way to go in golf terms. Some very good players have entire careers where they don’t achieve 9 points. I do think that Cristie, even at 36, has a chance. She shows no signs of slowing down, so I think she has a good 5 or 6 years of great golf in her at least. Counting 2002 through 2013, Kerr has won at least one LPGA tournament in 10 of those 12 years, including multiple events in four of those years.
One of the hardest things I’ve had to watch in women’s golf in recent memory was Cristie Kerr being unable to play her singles match at the 2011 Solheim Cup due to an injury. Win or lose, you hate to see a player not able to have a chance to compete. She was fit and ready for Solheim Cup 2013, with her dead on putting skills on full display. Although Team USA would fall to Team Europe, Cristie did help add 1.5 points for the American squad. With the fire that she has in her belly for Solheim play, one can imagine she can’t wait to get another crack at Team Europe in 2015. Until then, I expect Cristie to add at least one tournament win to her resume in 2014, if not more. If she can get to about 22 or 23 points by the end of 2015, look out. There might be a spot for her one day at the World Golf Hall of Fame.
PENG SHUAI (China)
Singles: $409,782 Doubles: $745,703 Mixed: $0
2013 Official WTA Prizemoney: $1,155,485
Best Finishes: (Singles) Brussels Open runner-up; (Doubles) All of the following WON with Hsieh Su-Wei: Wimbledon, WTA Tour Championships, Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Western & Southern Open, Guangzhou International Women’s Open
I said it in the Year In Review post I did that included Peng Shuai’s (family name is Peng) doubles partner Hsieh Su-Wei. The team of Peng and Hsieh have a legitimate case as the WTA Doubles team of the year over Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. Winning Wimbledon and the WTA Championships, along with defeating Errani and Vinci in the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on the Italian team’s home soil is pretty convincing to me. That’s not to disrespect or discredit the great Italian team. They were brilliant in 2013, too. Maybe there could be a split award.
Awards aside, it was a terrific year for Peng Shuai. Not only did she team with Hsieh for 5 doubles titles, including a Major and the year-end championship, but she was also runner-up at the Brussels Open. It marked the second time she has been the runner-up in Brussels. That bring me to the one thing left for the 27 year old from China. She hasn’t won a WTA level singles event. Peng Shuai has been ranked as high as 14 in her career and still hovers in the top 40. With all of the great players at the top of the tour, it’s difficult to win a singles event. I’d sure like to see Peng Shuai at least grab one before her career is over.
SELECTED 2013 PICS OF CRISTIE KERR and PENG SHUAI
ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE