Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Parity was not the theme of the 2013
LPGA Tour season, as three players clearly distinguished themselves from the
pack over the course of the campaign.
Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen and Stacy Lewis collectively dominated the tour
in 2013, beginning with Park and her incredible run of three straight major
Together Park, Pettersen and Lewis won 13 of the 28 tournaments (including
all five major championships), while finishing 1-2-3 (not in the order listed)
in Rolex Player of the Year points, Rolex World Rankings, earnings, scoring
average and rounds in the 60s.
Still, despite the disparity at the top, plenty of players managed to steal a
glimpse of the spotlight this season.
Let's take a look at who did what in 2013:
PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Inbee Park runs down history
Pettersen and Lewis may have worked their way into the conversation, but
Park's season was the true talk of the tour in 2013.
Park tallied a tour-high six victories and won the season's first three
majors, starting at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, where she won by four
shots over So Yeon Ryu and claimed the No. 1 spot in the world rankings, a
position she has held for 32 straight weeks.
Adding subsequent wins at the LPGA Championship and U.S. Women's Open, Park
joined Babe Zaharias as the only women in LPGA history to win the first three
majors of the season. She also became just the fourth person on tour to win
three majors in a calendar year, joining Zaharias (1950), Mickey Wright (1961)
and Pat Bradley (1986).
For her efforts, Park finished atop the money list earning more than $2.4
million, while becoming the first South Korean in history to claim Rolex
Player of the Year honors.
TOURNAMENT OF THE YEAR - Feng's fortuitous bounce
Lewis won three times in 2013, and it very well could have been four if it
weren't for a particularly wild finish at the inaugural Reignwood LPGA Classic
Holding a 1-shot lead entering the final hole, Lewis failed to secure the
title, as her playing partner and China native Shanshan Feng eagled the par-5
last in unpredictable fashion.
Feng's second shot at the 18th was well short, but her ball caromed off a
rock near the water, rolled onto the green and struck the flagstick before
settling three feet from the cup.
Lewis then missed an 18-footer for birdie, allowing Feng to delight the
hometown crowd with her 3-footer for eagle and the unlikely win.
SHOT OF THE YEAR - Nordqvist notches historic ace
There were 20 holes in one during the 2013 season, but perhaps the most
thrilling ace came in a team competition, where Europe edged the United States
at the Solheim Cup with a little help from Anna Nordqvist.
In Saturday's foursome matches, Nordqvist and her European teammate Caroline
Hedwall held a 1-up lead over Americans Morgan Pressel and Jessica Korda
entering the 180-yard, par-3 17th at Colorado Golf Club.
There, Nordqvist made a statement, as her tee shot hit the green, took three
bounces and dropped into the cup for the first hole-in-one in Solheim Cup
Nordqvist and Hedwall won the match on that shot, and although Europe lost
Saturday's session, 2 1/2 - 1 1/2, they eventually retained the Solheim Cup,
ROOKIE OF YEAR - Moriya makes a statement
Moriya Jutanugarn earned her 2013 LPGA Tour card as the LPGA Qualifying
Tournament medalist and she wasted little time proving she belonged.
The rookie came out of the gate firing, producing her best finish of the
season, a tie for fourth, at the season-opening ISPS Handa Women's Australian
It was a sign of things to come for Jutanugarn, who posted six top-20 finishes
during her stout rookie campaign and became the first-ever Thai player to
secure Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year honors.
- Stacy Lewis recorded three victories, including a major win at the Women's
British Open, and an additional 15 top-10 finishes. She finished third on the
money list with over $1.9 million earned and became the first American since
Beth Daniel in 1994 to win the Vare Trophy.
- Suzann Pettersen recorded four victories, including a major title at the
Evian Championship, and 15 top 10s. She moved to No. 2 in the world rankings
and finished second on the money list with nearly $2.3 million earned.
- Lydia Ko, 16, successfully defended her CN Canadian Women's Open title and
posted six top 10s as an amateur before turning professional prior to the
season-ending CME Group Titleholders. She was subsequently granted LPGA Tour
membership for the start of the 2014 season.
- Shanshan Feng won twice in 2013, including at the inaugural Reignwood LPGA
Classic in her native China. She posted 10 top 10s and placed fourth on the
money list with over $1.7 million earned.
- Yani Tseng has racked up 15 LPGA Tour victories since her rookie campaign in
2008, but none of those titles came in 2013. She posted just four top 10s,
finished 38th on the money list at $405,068 and ranked 140th in driving
accuracy for the season. Tseng lost her No. 1 world ranking in March and has
since slid to No. 32.
- Katherine Hull-Kirk is a two-time LPGA Tour winner (2008 CN Canadian Women's
Open and 2010 Navistar LPGA Classic), but she posted just one top-10 finish in
2013 and placed 56th on the money list at $223,138. Once the 12th-ranked
player in the world, Hull-Kirk has slipped to 102nd.
The Sports Network