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Monday, December 26, 2011

The Limerick Summary: 2011 in Five Lines

Winner: Yani Tseng

Around the wider world of golf: Absolutely NOTHING happened! What a surprise! However, the Christmas card I posted yesterday didn't tweet like it was supposed to. If you missed it, you can see it here.

Yani holds her 5th major trophy

Let's face it... Yani Tseng is THE story of 2011. Not Tiger's struggles, not Luke Donald taking over #1 on the OWGR (although that's pretty cool too), not Lexi's 2 wins, and not the "parity" that exists in the game of golf -- not just on the PGA Tour, but on all of them.

And yet Yani flew mostly under the radar. Let's briefly review her year, shall we?
  • 2 majors -- LPGA Championship, Women's British Open (and she was the first woman to defend the Open since it became a major)
  • 7 wins on the LPGA Tour
  • 14 Top 10 finishes out of 22 starts on the LPGA
  • 12 total worldwide wins
  • Wins on 5 different tours -- LPGA, LPGA of Taiwan, ALPG (Australian Ladies Professional Golf), LET (Ladies European Tour), LAGT (Ladies Asian Golf Tour)
  • Youngest player ever, male or female, to win 4 majors
  • Youngest player ever, male or female, to win 5 majors (yes, they were 2 separate records)
  • LPGA Player of the Year (second year in a row -- locked up with 4 events left to play)
  • LPGA Vare Trophy (low scoring average)
  • 45 weeks at #1 in the Rolex Rankings, currently more than 7 points ahead of #2
  • Led the LPGA money list
  • Voted the United States Sports Academy's 2011 Female Athlete of the Year
  • #1 in LPGA stats for Rounds under par, Birdies, and Driving Distance, as well as #2 in GIR
  • Picked up 11 points toward the 27 point minimum for World Golf Hall of Fame membership (4 points for 2 majors, 5 points for 5 more LPGA wins, 1 point each for POY and Vare Trophy) -- that's nearly half the points in a single year!
And I probably missed something. She did so much in 2011 that it boggles the mind.

For all of this she got very little attention in the press. As impressive as Luke Donald's accomplishments were -- and I was a big Donald cheerleader, you know ;-) -- he still didn't win as often or as big as Yani. It's not that the men played badly... but only Luke Donald's accomplishments even came close to Yani's. And he did get more credit than Yani did.

And what woman ended up getting the most attention in the press? Lexi Thompson. Lexi's 2 wins on the LPGA and LET before she turns 17 certainly were a big story... but bigger than Yani's? I think not.

So forgive me if I elect Yani Tseng as the story of 2011 in a nutshell. She represents the great stories that slipped past most people without them ever really recognizing her accomplishments. Add another record, Yani -- you get the final Limerick Summary of 2011:
She's the youngest to five majors. Who
Thought twelve wins would get no ballyhoo?
As the star of the year
She's a cinch. Ain't that clear?...
I guess other folks played ok too.
The photo came from


  1. Thanks, Phil. Of course, it's hard to say something about Yani that isn't good. ;-)