Once Again Annikas Trophy Goes Elsewhere

By George WhiteNovember 23, 2004, 5:00 pm
Its one of the indicators that you had the best season on the LPGA Tour, this Vare Trophy thing. Its ostensibly the womens award for lowest scoring average, and this year Annika Sorenstam ' who else? ' finished better than a stroke lower than anyone.
Sorenstam broke her own scoring record by averaging 68.70. Actually, make that 68.6969. She had set the record in 2002 with 68.6973. Second place was Grace Park, who still had a very good year at 69.99. Parks average, incidentally, was only the fourth time an LPGA player other than Sorenstam had shot better than 70 over the course of a season. Annika has done it five times.
Alas, though, the LPGA wont recognize the fact that Sorenstam was having the best season from a scoring standpoint. It recognizes Park. The reason? Seems the LPGA requires 70 rounds to qualify for the Vare Trophy, and Annika had just 66.
Yes, she played the necessary number of tournaments. The ADT Championship, which she won for her eighth victory, was her 18th. That was plenty to make her eight wins another full season ' 10 if you count a couple of overseas wins. But 66 doesnt qualify by LPGA standards for the Vare. She finished four short of the required 70.
This, of course, is blatantly unfair to Sorenstam. And it doesnt seem fair to Park. She is listed as the winner of the Vare Trophy in a year in which she won just one-fourth as often as Annika ' two times. Someday when she is retired from an active playing career, Park will still have her name on the trophy for the year 2004. But Grace will know that in 2004 she did not have the best season.
But it is unfair to Park because she had an outstanding season this year, and the mention of the Vare subject will always be paired with whispers of, 'Yes, but Annika ...' The only thing Grace did wrong was she did not have an out-of-this-world season such as Sorenstam. But, outside of Vijay Singh, who did?
Actually, this is the second year it has happened to Annika. The same thing occurred last year, and the LPGA stoically sat on its hands and did nothing about the slap. Last year Se Ri Pak was given Annikas trophy because Sorenstam did not, by the LPGAs standards, play enough. That was particularly painful, she said ' especially when she didnt realize until September that she wouldnt qualify.
Its something Ive got to deal with, Sorenstam said philosophically. I always considered the Vare Trophy one of the highest awards to win throughout the year.
She, of course, knew this was going to happen - this year she did. Last year she played 17 times. Unfortunately, 17 ' or 18 in the case of 2004 ' dont add up when you are only playing three-round tournaments, which most LPGA events are. But ' I know the rules, said Annika. Got to deal with them.
Will the LPGA review the qualifications? Its doubtful, even though everything about the prestigious trophy screams review.
Definitely needs to be looked because we're going into more three-day events, Sorenstam said last November. Also, we're starting in March where we used to start in January, and you know, you are taking two months of tournament golf off like that. So you have to cram in that many tournaments, adding every other year a tournament like Solheim Cup, etc. ' it is just very tough.
I have always been for quality and not quantity. If it is a question of how much you play, then I am not going to compete in that. I like to focus on quality and win tournaments. It's sad because I think it is a very prestigious award.
Ostensibly, the award is for excellence during a season, playing to such a high standard that you score the best in the LPGA. What it comes down to is really something else ' it comes down to playing a lot of tournaments AND scoring. Somehow, that cheapens the award a little.
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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.

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm