Fairways and Forehands 2015 WTA, JLPGA and LPGA Top 15 Year In Review: #14 Angelique Kerber, Ai Suzuki and Suzann Pettersen

Angelique Kerber (click to enlarge)

For the past two years I have counted down the top 30 (2013) and top 25 (2014) players on the WTA and LPGA money lists as my year-end wrap-up. This year I am reducing the list to the top 15. However, I am adding the LPGA of Japan (JLPGA) to the countdown. For the WTA, singles, doubles and mixed doubles are added to the total money earnings. For the JLPGA, I will approximate the US Dollar totals based on the day I look up the exchange rate. Here are the #14 players for 2015: Angelique Kerber (WTA), Ai Suzuki (JLPGA) and Suzann Pettersen (LPGA).

ANGELIQUE KERBER (WTA)

2015 Prize Money: $1,898,047

Titles: (SINGLES) Family Circle Cup, Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Aegon Classic, Bank of the West Classic

Right off the bat I have to make a confession. While I am very fond of Angelique Kerber, she handed me the most soul crushing defeat as a fan when she came back to take the title from 1-4 down in the 3rd set of the Family Circle Cup final against my favorite currently active player, Madison Keys. But that aside, it was a delight to see Angie have a season where she took 4 events (Charleston, Stuttgart, Birmingham and Stanford) and finished runner-up in another (Hong Kong). Last year, she played bridesmaid 4 times, so it was nice to see her turn 2nd place in 1st place this year. The one area of improvement for 2016 is Major performances. After she won Charleston and Stuttgart, I thought she’d be a threat at Roland Garros. That didn’t happen as she bowed out in the 3rd round. In the past 3 years she has progressed past the 4th round only once at the Majors. Hopefully, next season she will make a deep run in one of the 4 biggest events…or maybe even at the Summer Olympics.

 

Ai Suzuki (click to enlarge)

AI SUZUKI (JLPGA)

2015 Prize Money: $458,483 USD (¥56,448,371)

Rising talent Ai Suzuki turned in another successful year on the JLPGA. She didn’t get a win, but she did have two runner-ups. Coming off 2014, where she was Rookie of the Year and won a Major (JLPGA Championship Konica Minolta Cup), it might seem that 2015 was a step back. But really, Ai-sama was right in the mix for most of the year. Counting her two runners-up and another event where she finished 3rd, Suzuki had 11 top 10 results. She also had an 11th and 12th place result. To me, those are results that augur a long and prosperous career for this young star of the JLPGA.

 

Suzann Pettersen (click to enlarge)

2015 Prize Money: $912,603

Titles: Manulife LPGA Classic

2015 was the first season since 2006 that Suzann Pettersen wasn’t in the top 10 of at least the money or scoring lists. I think that’s a little misleading. Her 70.64 scoring average was better than 4 of those past seasons. Also, Suzann did win the Manulife LPGA Classic. Partially, I think veteran players around her plus some precocious rookies and recent years’ newcomers have simply become better. The bar for what it takes to finish top 10 every year has risen. Suzann remains among the best players in the world. The only real negative for her season might be the incident with Alison Lee at Solheim Cup. Look, I don’t want to fully rehash the details except to say that technically Suzann wasn’t incorrect. However, the way things were handled and communicated certainly could have been better. That was a dark moment in an otherwise positive and thrilling Solheim Cup.

 

ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

ANGELIQUE KERBER

WTA Finals

WTA Finals

WTA Finals

China Open

China Open

China Open

China Open

Wuhan Open

Wuhan Open w/Caroline Wozniacki

US Open

US Open

Bank of the West Classic

Bank of the West Classic

Bank of the West Classic

Bank of the West Classic

Bank of the West Classic

Wimbledon

Wimbledon

Aegon Classic

Aegon Classic

Aegon Classic

Aegon Classic

Aegon Classic

Aegon Classic

Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

Family Circle Cup

Family Circle Cup

Family Circle Cup

Family Circle Cup

 

AI SUZUKI

Daio Paper Elleair Ladies Open

Daio Paper Elleair Ladies Open

Toto Japan Classic

Toto Japan Classic

Stanley Ladies Golf Tournament

Stanley Ladies Golf Tournament

NEC Karuizawa 72 Golf Tournament

NEC Karuizawa 72 Golf Tournament

Meiji Cup

Meiji Cup

Meiji Cup

Century 21 Ladies Golf Tournament

Century 21 Ladies Golf Tournament

Chukyo Television Bridgestone Ladies

Chukyo Television Bridgestone Ladies

Chukyo Television Bridgestone Ladies

 

SUZANN PETTERSEN

CME Group Tour Championship

Lorena Ochoa Invitational

Blue Bell LPGA

Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship

Solheim Cup

Solheim Cup

Solheim Cup

Solheim Cup

Solheim Cup

Solheim Cup w/Charley Hull

Solheim Cup

Solheim Cup w/Anna Nordqvist

Solheim Cup

Canadian Pacific Women’s Open

Cambia Portland Classic

Ricoh Women’s British Open

Ricoh Women’s British Open

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Manulife LPGA Classic

Manulife LPGA Classic

Manulife LPGA Classic

Manulife LPGA Classic

LPGA Lotte Championship

LPGA Lotte Championship

HSBC Women’s Champions

HSBC Women’s Champions

HSBC Women’s Champions

SiriusXM Promo Appearance

SiriumXM Appearance w/Taylor Zarzour and Bob Ford

 

2 thoughts on “Fairways and Forehands 2015 WTA, JLPGA and LPGA Top 15 Year In Review: #14 Angelique Kerber, Ai Suzuki and Suzann Pettersen

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