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 3 on the money list from each tour are Li Na (WTA) and Stacy Lewis (LPGA).
LI NA (China)
2013 Official WTA Prizemoney: $3,982,485
Best Results: WINNER Shenzhen Open, RUNNER-UP Australian Open, RUNNER-UP WTA Tour Championships, RUNNER-UP Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, SF US Open, QF Wimbledon, SF Apia Sydney International, SF Rogers Cup, SF Western & Southern Open, QF Sony Open, QF AEGON International, QF China Open
Facebook: lina (click)
Li Na has been the first Chinese or Asian born player to accomplish many milestones in WTA and tennis history. In 2013 she set yet another mark, becoming the highest ranked Asian player, male or female, in singles when she ascended to world #3. It was a fitting end to perhaps her most consistently strong year.Yes, she won a Major (Roland Garros) in 2011. But the rest of that year didn’t quite hold up. In 2013, Li Na started strongly, winning in Shenzhen and finishing runner-up at the Australian Open, and then kept the great play going all the way through a runner-up finish in the year-end WTA Tour Championships. Along the way she earned a semifinal berth at the US Open and quarterfinal berth at Wimbledon.
Li Na set a goal to finish the year world #3 and accomplished her goal. Hopefully, the goal going into 2014 is to go even higher or win another Major. Those are lofty heights, but when she’s on she is tough for anybody to defeat. She might have had Victoria Azarenka on the ropes in the Australian Open had Li Na not bumped her head on the hardcourt and turned her ankle when she took a bit of a tumble. Although she turns 32 in February, Li Na looks as strong a player as she’s ever been. Maybe she will set yet another milestone in 2014.
STACY LEWIS (United States)
2013 Official LPGA Prizemoney: $1,938,868
Awards: 2013 Vare Trophy (lowest scoring average)
Best Results: WINNER Ricoh Women’s British Open, WINNER RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, WINNER HSBC Women’s Champions, T6 The Evian Championship, 2nd Safeway Classic presented by Coca-Cola, 2nd Reignwood LPGA Classic, 2nd Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by Banamex, T3 Honda LPGA Thailand, T4 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G, T5 Kingsmill Championship, T6 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, T6 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, T6 CME Group Titleholders, T7 Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning O-I, T7 North Texas LPGA Shootout, T8 Mizuno Classic, 9th Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, T9 LPGA Lotte Championship presented by J Golf, T9 Kia Classic
Facebook: Stacy Lewis (click)
Website: stacysback (click)
Twitter: Stacy_Lewis (click)
Every LPGA player is special. From all the women that play golf in the world, LPGA players comprise the greatest tour in the world. But there were 3 players whose exceptional play separated them from the rest of the field; Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen and the woman coming in at #3 on the money list, Stacy Lewis. If you are a stat lover, Stacy racked them up in 2013. First in sub-par holes. First in rounds under par. First in birdies. Second in rounds in the 60s. Second in putts per GIR. Third in GIR. Fourth in Eagles. She led all players with an astounding 19 top 10s in 26 starts, leading in both overall top 10s (19) and top 10 percentage (73%). All of this culminated at the end of the year with Stacy winning her first Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average. She is the first American to win the Vare Trophy since Beth Daniel in 1994.
All of those shining stats translated into 3 more LPGA victories including her second Major, the Ricoh Women’s British Open. Stacy also had 3 runner-up finishes. In one of those, the Reignwood LPGA Classic, it took a shot of the year type effort on the 18th hole from Shanshan Feng to deny Stacy another victory. But even with that one setback, she had a year that most LPGA players could never dream of having. In doing so, she now has 12 points towards a possible Hall of Fame career. I know it’s a long way from 12 points to 27, but if you consider that 10 of her 12 points were earned in the last two seasons, and she’s only 28 years old…well, I’d keep an eye on the greatest University of Arkansas LadyBack golfer of all time. Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie! Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie! Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie! Razorbacks!
SELECTED 2013 PICS OF LI NA and STACY LEWIS
ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE