Fairways and Forehands 2015 WTA, JLPGA and LPGA Top 15 Year In Review: #11 Carla Suarez Navarro, Miki Sakai and Morgan Pressel

Carla Suarez Navarro (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 #11 players for 2015: Carla Suarez Navarro (WTA), Miki Sakai (JLPGA) and Morgan Pressel (LPGA).

CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO (WTA)

2015 Prize Money: $2,001,705

Titles: (DOUBLES) Aegon Classic, Toray Pan Pacific Open

It was a tale of two seasons for Carla Suarez Navarro, both within her singles play and in comparing singles to doubles. Within just her singles, she made runs to the final of the Diamond Games (where she couldn’t play the championship match, resulting in tournament director Kim Clijsters playing a short set against finalist Andrea Petkovic…and winning it), the Miami Open and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. Although she finished runner-up each time, that’s still a pretty good year especially when one considers that she cracked the Top 10 for the first time in her career. The blemish in singles was getting bounced out of Majors in the first round three times. For a player of her caliber, that’s far below her capabilities. Anybody can suffer an upset loss, but three in the first round of Majors in one year is a bit much. However, turning to doubles, she and playing partner Garbine Muguruza were a strong pair, winning in Birmingham and Tokyo. They also finished runners-up at the year-ending WTA Finals. I wondered it this year for Muguruza and the same holds true for Carla; maybe the physicality and grind of singles play in this era makes it a little tough to juggle both and be as succcessful as one can be in singles.

 

Miki Sakai (click to enlarge)

MIKI SAKAI (JLPGA)

Prize Money: $509,578 USD (¥61,278,327)

Before her breakthrough 2104 season, in which she won twice and finished 6th on the JLPGA money list, Miki Sakai had never finished inside 30th in prize money. So it was a question coming into 2015 as to whether she would maintain her level of play or slip. Well, she did slip, but not terribly. 11th on the money list in 2015, with 2 runner-up finishes including the JLPGA Championship Konica Minolta Cup (MAJOR), is still a shining season.  While I am concerned about her overall scoring average, which slipped over half a stroke from last year, Miki did manage 9 top 10s. 2 of those top 10s were at Majors, the aforementioned Konica Minolta Cup and the JLPGA Championship Ricoh Cup. Making the best of the biggest tournaments is a great trait for any pro.

 

Morgan Pressel (click to enlarge)

MORGAN PRESSEL (LPGA)

2015 Prize Money: $962,794

While I enjoy blogging about many LPGA players, Morgan Pressel is one of my favorites of favorites. I just have so much respect and admiration for what she does off the course. How committed and active she is with her foundation and its fight against cancer, especially breast cancer, is inspiring. Morgan was presented the Charlie Bartlett Award at the Golf Writers Association of America Awards Dinner for her charitable efforts. And she was fairly inspiring on the course in 2015. Look, I am aware that her last tournament victory was in 2008. However, objectively speaking Morgan had a fantastic 2015, armed with a new swing, even without a win. She came darn close at Swinging Skirts, falling to Lydia Ko on the second hole of a playoff. She was 1 shot off the lead after the 2nd round of the Evian Championship. Add in 3 top 5s and a T11 in Majors this year, including a solo 3rd at ANA Inspiration where she led after the first round, and that’s a great year. She had a course record 8-under 64 in the second round of Kia. Morgan also led Shoprite after round 2.  Once again, Pressel was a key member of the winning USA Solheim Cup team. If she has a 2016 season that matches 2015, that would be wonderful. But of course, as a fan I’d love to see her top it all off win a win next year.

 

ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO

WTA Finals w/Garbine Muguruza

WTA Finals

WTA Finals

WTA Finals

China Open

China Open

Toray Pan Pacific Open

Toray Pan Pacific Open

Roland Garros

Roland Garros

Internazionali BNL d’Italia w/Maria Sharapova

Internazionali BNL d’Italia

Mutua Madrid Open (runners-up)

Mutua Madrid Open

Mutua Madrid Open

Miami Open w/Serena Williams

Mutua Madrid Open

Mutua Madrid Open

 

MIKI SAKAI

Hisako Higuchi Ponta Ladies

Konica Minolta Cup

Konica Minolta Cup

Konica Minolta Cup

NEC Karuizawa 72 Golf Tournament

Suntory Ladies Open

 

MORGAN PRESSEL

LPGA Player Awards w/Sandra Gal

Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship

LPGA KEB HanaBank

Solheim Cup

Solheim Cup w/Lexi Thompson, Paula Creamer and Brittany Lang

Solheim Cup

Solheim Cup

Solheim Cup w/Paula Creamer

Solheim Cup

Solheim Cup

Evian Championship

Evian Championship

Evian Championship

Evian Championship

Cambia Portland Classic

Meijer Classic

Meijer Classic

Meijer Classic

Meijer Classic

Meijer Classic

Meijer Classic

US Women’s Open

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

ShopRite LPGA Classic

ShopRite LPGA Classic

North Texas Shootout

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

LPGA Lotte Championship

LPGA Lotte Championship

LPGA Lotte Championship w/Paula Creamer

GWAA Awards Dinner w/Stacy Lewis

GWAA Awards Dinner

GWAA Awards Dinner w/husband Andy Bush

ANA Inspiration

ANA Inspiration

ANA Inspiration

ANA Inspiration

ANA Inspiration w/Brittany Lincicome and Lexi Thompson

HSBC Women’s Champions

Morgan & Friends Golf Outing

Morgan & Friends Golf Outing w/Gerina Piller, Jessica Korda, Brittany Lincicome, Paula Creamer, Annika Sorenstam, Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson

 

2 thoughts on “Fairways and Forehands 2015 WTA, JLPGA and LPGA Top 15 Year In Review: #11 Carla Suarez Navarro, Miki Sakai and Morgan Pressel

  1. — LPGA standout Morgan Pressel will receive the Bing Crosby Tournament Sponsor Award from the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association at the 64th National Awards Dinner on Tuesday, June 9 at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, New York.

    • Geez, how could I forget to include that? The Westchester Marriot in Tarrytown, where the event takes place, is 5 minutes away from where I live!! LOL!🙂

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