Winning once easier than winning again on LPGA

By Associated PressJune 24, 2009, 4:00 pm
LPGA Tour _newROCHESTER, N.Y. ' Its getting harder for first-time winners on the LPGA to win again.
 
With all the global talent rushing in since the 1990s, one out of two golfers has failed to follow up a breakthrough win with another tournament triumph. Going back to 1950, when the tour was launched, the overall odds of repeating are far better ' just under 60 percent.
 
For Eun-Hee Ji, who opens her defense of the Wegmans LPGA on Thursday, a second win in her third year on tour would serve as a validation. At least for now, however, Ji said she doesnt feel added pressure.
 
I have already delivered the one win, the 23-year-old South Korean said through a translator. Going from one to two? I feel better with this type of pressure than not winning a tournament at all.
 
Already this year, three golfers have savored a second victory. In-Kyung Kim beat Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak by a stroke at the State Farm Classic on June 7. And South Korean compatriot Ji Young Oh, along with Yani Tseng of Taiwan, bagged their second career wins in May.
 
Winning one tournament puts a golfer in rare company ' 269 women have landed on the all-time winner list since the 1950 Tampa Open, the tours first sanctioned event.
 
The list of one-time winners, which currently stands at 110, has been around just as long: Polly Riley beat Louise Suggs by five strokes in Tampa, and never won again on the LPGA circuit.
 
One-timers still pushing for an elusive second title include Jackie Gallagher-Smith, whose sole success came in 1999, and Becky Iverson, who last scaled the heights in 1995. But hankering after further glory can quickly grab hold.
 
I dont necessarily feel pressure, its more that I really want to win one more time, Louise Friberg said before her maiden defense in March at the MasterCard Classic. After your first win, you know how much fun it is and you know how good it tastes.
 
Since 1999, there have been 35 one-time winners and 34 previous winners who won again, so the decade-long odds of repeating are 49 percent. In the tours 59 years, by contrast, 59 percent of winners have triumphed at least twice.
 
Heightened competition from abroad is a chief factor for the tightening odds, along with dominance by the likes of Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb, Se Ri Pak and, more recently, Lorena Ochoa. That quartet has notched 158 tournaments wins since 1995.
 
The $2 million Wegmans LPGA has 18 of the seasons top 20 money winners, including No. 1 Cristie Kerr. The field also features Anna Nordqvist, a 22-year-old rookie from Sweden who won this months major, the LPGA Championship, in only her fifth professional start. Absent is top-ranked Lorena Ochoa, who won here in 2005 and 2007, and the 2008 runner-up, Suzann Pettersen.
 
Last June, with a 5-under 67 in the final round, Ji overcame a three-shot deficit to beat Pettersen by two strokes at Locust Hill, a tricky, tree-lined course with compact greens in the Rochester suburb of Pittsford.
 
Ji sits 26th on the seasons money list with $233,376. The best of her four top-10 finishes was a tie for sixth at this months State Farm Classic.
 
I got a new driver, and I modified my swing a little this spring, said Ji, calling her accuracy off the tee and the fairway the big strength of my game. And my weakness is my putting. Big problem!
 
Winning on the LPGA boosted my confidence in my golf game, Ji said. Now that I have one LPGA win under my belt, I dont really have the same type of anxiety or nervousness that I have to deliver right at that moment. It gives me the faith that because Ive done it once, I can do it again.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' Wegmans LPGA
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

    Getty Images

    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Getty Images

    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.