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Monday, September 12, 2011

The Limerick Summary: 2011 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

Winner: Yani Tseng

Around the wider world of golf: It wasn't a good week to be the favorite. The U.S. Walker Cup "Dream Team" got waxed by the GB&I Team 14-12; Simon Dyson took out both Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood to claim his 3rd KLM Open, a feat previously accomplished only by Seve and Bernhard Langer; and Yuko Mitsuka beat Shanshan Feng at the Konica Minolta Cup, the 2nd JLPGA major of the year (the Constructivist has the details). Less of an upset but still quite impressive were Jade Schaeffer's win at the Raiffeisenbank Prague Golf Masters on the LET and Sydnee Michaels's win at the Price Chopper Tour Championship on the LPGA Futures Tour. This was the last tournament of the year for the Futures Tour, and the Top 10 on the money list -- which now includes Michaels -- get LPGA Tour cards next year.

And in case you're wondering: Taylor Leon finished T22 at -4. She picked up $20,541, which jumps her up to 96 on the money list -- about $20,000 behind that magic number 80. I'm guessing she'll need a Top 10 next week at Navistar to be sure she makes it. (Last year the 11th place player made $24,471, and since 80 apparently moved up about $4,000 this week... well, you do the math.) We'll have to keep a watch on her and see if she can pull it off. You go, Taylor!

Yani Tseng after another great shot

Well, at least one favorite didn't disappoint this week.

Since the men took the week off, I had to decide which of the other tours to feature in this week's Limerick Summary. How could I not focus on the only player on any tour with 5 victories on her home tour and 8 worldwide wins?

Like most of the other favorites who didn't come through this week, Yani spent most of the day chasing the leader. Unlike them, Yani was tied for the lead when the day started (she seems to enjoy doing that.) but Amy Yang jumped out to a lead on the second hole. Then the other chasers made their runs -- Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Belen Mozo, and Ai Miyazato -- but each came up just a bit short.

Yani finally caught Amy at the 16th hole, and pars on the 17th and 18th sent the pair to a playoff. While Yang is no inexperienced rookie -- she has 3 LET wins and finished Top 20 in all 4 majors this year -- this was her first playoff and it may have shown in her 2nd shot on the first playoff hole, the par-5 18th. To be blunt, she left herself dead with no way to get the ball close.

Of course, Yani birdied the first playoff hole. Did I really need to tell you?

Whatever your opinion may be of the women's game compared to the men's game, you can't question that Yani is the best of the women right now. She leads the stats in:
  • Driving Distance
  • GIR
  • Number of birdies
  • Rounds under par
  • Rounds in the 60s
  • Top 10 finishes (tied with Kerr)
  • Scoring average (about 3/4 of a stroke ahead)
  • Number of victories
She also leads the money list. Not surprisingly, the weakest part of her game is putting (she's only 3rd in Putts per GIR). But when you play this well with the regularity she does, does it really matter?

So the men rightfully step aside this week to allow this lady to shine. The Limerick Summary simply reminds the other women that their chances to dethrone the Empress of the Tseng Dynasty this year are running out:
So Yani got win number eight
This year, and her fans think it's great.
But to all those behind her
It's just a reminder—
If they don't win soon, it's too late!
The photo came from this post at fresnobee.com.

2 comments:

  1. Mike,

    Amy's 2nd shot that left her dead was in regular play. Yani's tee shot was in the rough, but Amy's was in the middle of the fairway. She hit a screaming 3 wood straight left behind the grandstands. She was given line-of-sight relief but it was behind a mound and the green ran away from her. She tried to hit a lob, but that ran 40 feet past the hole. She still made a par.

    In the playoffs, she hit a hybrid and hit a good putt. Her birdie putt missed the hole. Yani's didn't.

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  2. You're right, Patrick. I got my final holes confused. That's what I get for writing posts so late at night! ;-)

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