ATTENTION, READERS in the 28 EUROPEAN VAT COUNTRIES: Because of the new VAT law, you probably can't order books direct from my site now. But that's okay -- just go to my Smashwords author page.
You can order PDFs (as well as all the other ebook formats) from there.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Limerick Summary: 2010 Wegmans LPGA Championship

Winner: Cristie Kerr

Today there are two Limerick Summaries. I couldn't let this accomplishment go with a mere update in the regular Summary; the women of the LPGA get passed over too much as it is.

Before I wax poetic about Cristie Kerr, let me take a moment to congratulate Azahara Munoz, who didn't have the best of Sundays (she shot +3 to finish T11 at -2) but should take over the lead in the Rookie of the Year race. I think she's the favorite for that award now.

I really think this LPGA major has to go down as a pivotal one. The Rolex Rankings have only been kept for a few years, and most of those were dominated by Annika and Lorena. (You can tell they haven't been around for too long, as Lorena held #1 about 2 1/2 times longer than Annika.) Since they left the game, no one has been able to stay at the top for very long. So why do I consider this a pivotal -- no, a seismic shift in the women's game?

Cristie KerrThe last American to win Player of the Year was Beth Daniel in 1994. She was also the last to win the Vare (scoring) Trophy that year. Betsy King won both of those in 1993, and also became the last American to win the money list that year as well. It is completely fair to say the LPGA hasn't seen a dominant American player since then.

The Constructivist informed me that the only way Cristie Kerr could avoid becoming #1 in the Rolex Rankings was if Ai Miyazato finished solo 2nd. She put up a good run, posting a round of -6 to finish at -5 for the tournament and get a T3... but it wasn't enough. Song-Hee Kim managed to get the solo 2nd at -7. (The photo is from Wikimedia Commons.)

That was a full 12 shots behind Cristie Kerr's -19 total. She matched Miyazato's -6 on Sunday to widen her lead, and she broke Betsy King's previous record in this major of an 11-stroke margin of victory back in 1992. Just think about that for a moment. This is her 2nd win in 3 weeks, and her 2nd major. This takes her to 14 LPGA wins, and she's now 35th on the all-time wins list. She has 16 points toward the LPGA Hall of Fame (she needs 27). She's 2nd on the money list and #1 in stroke average. And if her play this week is any indication, by the end of the year she may grab the POY, Vare, and money title awards all at once. After all, she smashed the field by 12 strokes... and I saw her either lip out or have several putts stop just short of falling in Sunday's round. That can't be good news for the rest of the field, can it?

I've been trumpeting Kerr's 323 weeks in the Rolex Top 10 for a while now, and I've said more than once that I believe she's the best female American player, period. I think this is the start of her proving it. And before you think she's going to rest on her laurels, think about this: Before this win, she remarked that although she had dreamed of being #1 for her whole career, she felt that Annika and Lorena had proven that getting there wasn't enough -- you needed to "hang around" there for a while.

No pressure, right?

We may be witnessing the emergence of the next dominant player. If so, this is going to disappoint a lot of media people who have been making their living by reaming the U.S. women for not stepping up. Yeah, I know she's got to back it up now... but when a player can drive herself to increase her lead when she has such a large one -- and on a stage where she has failed to even hold her ground in the past -- you have to think she just might be able to do it.

So here's a tribute to the new #1 on the LPGA. May you stay there a long time, Cristie!
U.S. critics now have to defer
To the new Number 1, Cristie Kerr.
In the driver’s seat first,
The back 9 she traversed
In a limo—complete with chauffeur!

No comments:

Post a Comment