I made a New Year’s Resolutions at the beginning of the 2013 Professional Golf season that included a promise to write more LPGA(Ladies Professional Golf Association) stories.
I had not spent much time in the past watching or keeping up with Ladies Golf, and I didn’t know what I was missing. By the time the tour reached their first major at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, I was fully on board.
The climax to the season came at the Solheim Cup where I watched some of the best golf of the year on any tour.
The biggest story of the year was of course, Inbee Park. The 25 year-old South Korean dominated the first half of the 2013 season and made a run at the history books when she won the first three LPGA Major Tournaments.
She had the opportunity to make history when she went to St. Andrews by being the only female player to win four majors in one year, and with the Evian Classic being elevated as a major in 2013, had the opportunity to win a Grand Slam.
Park was beaten by a determined Stacy Lewis at St. Andrews, but was able to play well enough down the stretch to retain the Rolex Number One Ranking as the season ended. She was able to add the Rolex Player of the year to her resume as the season ended.
“This year has been my dream come true pretty much because it has been the best season I had so far,” said Park. “There are too many things that I achieved this year, three major wins, a total of six wins this year and Player of the Year award. It’s been just the best season I’ve had so far, especially, you know, the Player of the Year award has been my main goal this year and that has been my main goal for my career. I have finally done that.”
Although Inbee Park owned the first half of the season, the second half belonged to Suzann Pettersen. The 32 year-old from Oslo, Norway owned the second half. Had it not been for a poor finish at the Pure Silk Bahamas, and a missed cut at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, she might well have ended the season as the number one player in Rolex Rankings.
With four wins that included a major at the Evian Classic, she was able to secure the second position when the new season gets underway later this month.
Suzann Pettersen played the Ian Poulter role, at the Solheim Cup. Her fiery style of play helped lead Team Europe to an 18-10 thrashing of our girls in Colorado back in August.
The biggest news of the off-season as we ease into 2014 was the announcement that 16 year-old Lydia Ko would turn pro and play a regular schedule in 2014 on the LPGA Tour. The teenager won the CN Canadian Open two years in a row, and has decided to take her game to the next level.
The 2014 LPGA Season will kick off in January for the first time in 12 years at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic at the end of January. The tour will move off-shore to the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, The Honda LPGA Thailand, The HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore before coming home for the Founders Cup in mid march.
The success that the LPGA enjoyed last year should translate to a great 2014 season. With the emergence of Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko, and the continued great play of Stacy Lewis and the rest of the field, it should be a great season. I’m excited to see it get underway.
I became so involved in Ladies Golf last year that I joined and played Fantasy Golf in a Ladies league featured on the Golf Community at Google plus. This Fantasy site is a great place to pick up news and notes on every tournament, beginning with the 2014 season opener in the Bahamas later this month.
You can follow Les on Twitter @Spin_47 and in the Golf Community at Google+