LPGA Rookie of the Year race update: Park v Yin v Korda

Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Louise Suggs loved every player on the Tour, and they all loved her, but the LPGA rookies held a special place in her heart and soul. The top 5 contenders for the 2017 Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year award are a very special and accomplished group of young athletes.

The LPGA Rookie of the Year race is an annual tournament within the Tour’s tournament schedule, if I may be allowed to paraphrase Will Shakespeare. What’s at stake? Bragging rights, to be sure. After all, each year the honoree steps into a set of huge footprints.

To be put in company with one of the Tour’s iconic founders is no mean achievement. Louise Suggs (1923-2015), Georgia State Amateur champion in 1940 at the age of 16, was a phenom before the word existed. Her achievements are the stuff of legend. She twice won the Southern Amateur Championship (1941 and 1947), the Women’s Western Amateur Championship (1946 and 1947), and was three times North and South Women’s Amateur Champion (1942, 1946, 1948).

Suggs turned pro in 1948 and was among that wonderful and amazing group of 13 who founded the LPGA Tour in 1950. During the course of her 15-year pro golf career Suggs recorded an astonishing 61 victories that included 11 major championship titles: The Western Women’s Open (1946, 1947, 1949, 1953), the Titleholders (1946, 1954, 1956, 1959), the Women’s PGA Championship (1957), and the U.S. Women’s Open (1949, 1952).

It’s not at all surprising that the Tour’s annual award that recognizes a player’s outstanding rookie year bears her name. The World Golf Hall of Famer epitomizes athletic excellence, achievement, and sportsmanship.  Bragging rights, indeed!

At the mid-point in the season, with the Tour anticipating the season’s 2nd major, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, let’s pause and take a closer look at the top five contenders for this season’s LPGA Rookie of the Year award.