Fairways and Forehands 2015 WTA, JLPGA and LPGA Top 15 Year In Review: #9 Venus Williams, Shiho Oyama and Shanshan Feng

Venus Williams (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 #9 players for 2015: Venus Williams (WTA), Shiho Oyama (JLPGA) and Shanshan Feng (LPGA).

VENUS WILLIAMS (WTA)

Prize Money: $2,404,419

Titles: ASB Classic, Wuhan Open, WTA Elite Trophy

Awards: WTA Comeback Player of the Year

2014 showed glimpses of the what Venus Williams could still accomplish in the seeming twilight of her career with a title and 3 runners-up. But 2015 was even better, with the future Hall of Famer winning 3 titles, at the ASB Classic, Wuhan Open and the WTA Elite Trophy. This gives her 48 career singles titles. It would be great to see her reach 50 in 2016. Her quarterfinal appearances at the Australian Open and US Open marked her greatest success in singles Majors since 2010. This all led to Venus being awarded the 2015 WTA Comeback Player of the Year. But don’t call it a comeback. She’s been here for years. Basically, it comes down to her health. When her Sjogren’s Syndrome is under control and her body is willing, she can still be a threat to win any match. Clearly, at 35-years old there will be good days and bad days. Venus says she intends to play on for more seasons. As long as she plays as she did in 2015, she should continue to build her already phenomenal HOF credentials. Oh, and lest I forget. Venus Williams, a leading force behind equal prize money for women in tennis, completed her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration this year from Indiana University East campus.

 

Shiho Oyama (click to enlarge)

SHIHO OYAMA (JLPGA)

2015 Prize Money: $641,162 USD (¥77,101,662)

Titles: Yonex Ladies Golf Tournament

After just finishing my post about Venus Williams, I find that many of the same accolades could be showered upon 38-year old Shiho Oyama. The difference is that Shiho hasn’t really had a significant dip in her play over the years. The 2006 Player of the Year has maintained a strong showing on the JLPGA tour, this year adding the 2015 Yonex Ladies Golf Tournament to her 16 career victories. Top 10 in prize money, scoring average, GIR, birdies…you name it, Shiho continues to be a marvelous player. Not only did she once again shine on the JLPGA tour, but she came overseas to Lancaster, PA to finish T5 at the US Women’s Open. After her second round 4-under 66, I was pulling so hard for her to win the greatest tournament in women’s golf. That didn’t quite happen, but to come over and play so well at the USWO at this stage of her career was quite impressive. I don’t know how much longer she will play on the JLPGA, but clearly her skills are still intact. I hope she keeps going for years to come.

 

 

Shanshan Feng (click to enlarge)

SHANSHAN FENG (LPGA)

2015 Prize Money: $1,083,338

Observe that trophy Shanshan Feng is holding in the photo above. That isn’t actually an LPGA trophy. That’s from the LET’s Omega Dubai Ladies Masters. Shanshan had a wonderful LPGA season, cracking the top 10 on the money list with the fewest tournaments played of any top 10 finisher. It could have been even better had her tournaments played been on par with others on the list. I wish she had played more. But it’s hard to argue when she is off on other tours winning titles. This year, she won twice on the Ladies European Tour, at the aforementioned Omega Dubai Ladies Masters and at the Buick Championship. Neither of those count towards money for this year in review, but I will include pictures and video. After all, I can’t ignore that she finished tops on the LET Order of Merit and had the lowest scoring average. However, focusing back on Feng’s LPGA year, although she did not win this season, it was still a fantastic showing with 12 top 10s, including two in Majors, and a runner-up at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. Again, I’d prefer her to focus on the LPGA. But how can I argue when she goes to another tour and wins their Order of Merit (money list for the LET) and the scoring average crown? I just worry that all the travel associated with tour hopping might catch up with her as it did with Jiyai Shin. I didn’t like losing Jiyai to the JLPGA and I worry about losing Shanshan to the LET.

 

ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

VENUS WILLIAMS

Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Ceremony

Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Ceremony

WTA Finals

WTA Finals

WTA Finals

Wuhan Open w/Garbine Muguruza

Wuhan Open

Wuhan Open

Wuhan Open

Wuhan Open

US Open

Taste of Tennis w/Marc Murphy

Taste of Tennis w/Marc Murphy

Taste of Tennis

Western & Southern Open

Western & Southern Open

Wimbledon w/Anna Wintour

Wimbledon

Wimbledon

Miami Open

Miami Open

Australian Open

Australian Open

Australian Open w/Serena Williams

ASB Classic

ASB Classic

ASB Classic w/Caroline Wozniacki

ASB Classic

 

SHIHO OYAMA

Ricoh Cup

Japan Women’s Open

Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Ladies Open

Munsingwear Ladies Tokai Classic

CAT Ladies

NEC Karuizawa 72 Golf Tournament

NEC Karuizawa 72 Golf Tournament

US Women’s Open

US Women’s Open

US Women’s Open

US Women’s Open

Nichirei Ladies

Yonex Ladies Golf Tournament

Yonex Ladies

Yonex Ladies

Yonex Ladies

Yonex Ladies

Yonex Ladies

 

SHANSHAN FENG

Omega Dubai Ladies Masters

Omega Dubai Ladies Masters

Omega Dubai Ladies Masters

Omega Dubai Ladies Masters

Omega Dubai Ladies Masters w/Charley Hull

Blue Bay LPGA

Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia w/Xiyu Lin

Sime Darby LPGA Malayasia

Meiji Cup

Ricoh Women’s British Open

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

HSBC Women’s Champions

HSBC Women’s Champions

 

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