Like 2013, this year I will do a countdown of the top money list leaders from both the WTA and LPGA. Last year I did the top 30, but this year I will do the top 25. Note that as of this post, the retired Li Na has been removed from the WTA website money list rankings, but I will include her here. Thus, some WTA players will be off by one position on my list compared to the WTA website list. Also, Hyo Joo Kim is not on my LPGA list due to not being a member this year. I’m certain she will be on the list in the future. For the WTA, singles, doubles and mixed are combined for this top 25. Number 20 on this money list for each tour are Carla Suarez Navarro (WTA) and Pornanong Phatlum (LPGA).
PORNANONG PHATLUM (Thailand).
2014 Official LPGA Prize Money: $735,031
Best Results: 2nd Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, T7 US Women’s Open, T3 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, 6th Lorena Ochoa Invitational, T7 JTBC Founders Cup, T8 Kingsmill Championship, T8 Reignwood LPGA Classic
The lowest I felt following an LPGA event this year was when Shanshan Feng sprinted away from Pornanong Phatlum and the rest of the field to win the 2014 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. I felt like Waen was so close. After what happened to Ariya Jutanugarn on the 72nd hole at the 2013 Honda LPGA Thailand, this was going to be the time. The Golf Gods owed us one. Waen was going to be the player to win the first official LPGA title for a player representing Thailand. I was so crushed when it didn’t happen that I didn’t post about the LPGA again until Lydia Ko’s big payday at the CME Group Tour Championship. Yes, I know Waen won her 3rd Hitachi Ladies Classic, and 2nd in a row, in January but that’s on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour where she’s won 8 times. Sure, she has a win on the LPGA tour at the 2012 HSBC Brazil Cup, but that is an unofficial LPGA event. So Thailand is still zero for forever in wins (2-time winner Stacy Prammanasudh is an American of Thai heritage on her father’s side, thus she of course represented the USA). I don’t know if Waen will be the first to break through among the players from Thailand but I will say that I continue to believe and have faith that she will eventually win on tour. I said it last year and I’ll repeat myself this year…she doesn’t do any one thing spectacularly. She just finds a way to stay on the leaderboard. In fact, lots of her stats took a hit this year. She gained some yardage off the tee, but not enough to reach the top 50 in driving distance. Her putts per GIR fell from 9th last year to 40th this year. Her overall putting fell from 33rd to 68th. Yet despite that, both her scoring average and money list placement improved over a year ago. Waen finds a way to get the job done. And she will find a way to win an official LPGA event in 2015. There, I said it. What’s more, I believe it. 🙂
CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO (Spain)
2014 Official WTA Prize Money: $1,418,777
Best Results: Singles WINNER Portugal Open, QF Roland Garros, SF Sofia Tournament of Champions, SF Brasil Tennis Cup, SF Katowice Open, QF Rome;Doubles (all with Garbine Muguruza) WINNER Bank of the West Classic, RUNNER-UP Muta Madrid Open, RUNNER-UP Toray Pan Pacific Open
Social Media: Twitter
Like Pornanong Phatlum on the LPGA, the WTA’s Carla Suarez Navarro had been a solid player for a few years now without a win. Coming into 2014, she was 0 for 5 in WTA finals. She finally broke through not only in singles, but also in doubles. She was the runner-up at the Portugal Open in both 2012 (when it was played in Estoril, Portugal and called the Estoril Open) and 2013 (when it moved to Oeiras, Portugal). In 2014, in her third straight final, she defeated 2-time Major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova to win her first WTA tournament. A week later she would reach the doubles final of the Mutua Madrid Open with partner Garbine Muguruza. The duo came up short in their first doubles final as a team. However, they would go on to win the Bank of the West Classic as well as reach the final of the Toray Pan Pacific Open. As an unseeded pair, they reached the semifinals of Roland Garros. Obviously, the Spanish pair should keep their doubles partnership going, as both are still young players who definitely have the ability to earn more titles together. I doubt they will be unseeded again anytime soon.
Check out how Garbine Muguruza pronounces her name…I wasn’t (nor were any commentators I listen to) even close on her first name! LOL
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CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO