LPGA Stats 2002 Not Just Annika

By Mercer BaggsDecember 20, 2002, 5:00 pm
To write any kind of yearly wrap-up on the 2002 LPGA Tour and not mention Annika Sorenstam is unconscionable. She won 11 times, set or tied 20 tour records, and led the tour in scoring, money, rounds under par, top-10 finishes, greens hit in regulation and rounds in the 60s.
 
But, believe it or not, she wasnt the best at everything this past year.
 
In fact, her sister topped one of the tours statistical categories. Younger sibling Charlotta made three holes in one this season, two more than anyone else, including Annika.
 
The longest hitter of the year was Akiko Fukushima. The 29-year-old Japanese averaged 269.3 yards off the tee. Sorenstam came in fourth at 265.6 yards per pop.
 
Taiwans Yu Ping Lin was the most accurate driver of the year. She hit 82.6 percent of her fairways. Sorenstam was fifth at 80.3 percent.
 
Nancy Lopez , who made her farewell tour the past season, surprisingly led the circuit in putts per round with a 28.63 average. That, however, was due in large part to the fact that she hit only 51.6 percent of her greens in regulation. Annika hit a shade under 80 percent of her greens, and averaged 29.66 putts per round. She tied for 39th on tour in the putting department.
 
That wasnt her worst statistical category, though. The Swede wasnt so good from the sand, getting up and down less than 39 percent of the time. She ranked 56th in that area. Vicki Goetze-Ackerman was the queen of the beach, leading the tour with a 56.8 save percentage.
 
Mi Hyun Kim played the most rounds (98), and tied Grace Park and Catriona Matthew for most events played (28) this year. Sorenstam competed in 23 events covering 76 rounds.
 
Park was the resident scoring machine. She made the most birdies this season (358) and had the greatest number of sub-par holes (366).
 
But it was Se Ri Pak who came the closest ' a very distant second ' in trading statistical jabs with Annika.
 
Sorenstam was No. 1 in scoring average; Pak was No. 2. Sorenstam was No. 1 in money; Pak was No. 2. Sorenstam was No. 1 in wins; Pak was No. 2. Sorenstam was No. 1 in the Rolex Player of the Year standing; Pak was No. 2.
 
You get the picture.
 
Sorenstam also was one spot ahead of Pak in rounds under par, top-10 finishes, greens in regulation and rounds in the 60s ' all of which Annika was No. 1, and Pak was No. 2.
 
The 32-year-old Sorenstam was no slouch in 2001. She was the tours best in scoring average, money, wins, top-10 finishes, rounds in the 60s and greens in regulation.
 
But this past season, she was as good or better, numbers-wise, in each of those areas.
 
RELATED LINKS:
  • More 2002 Year in Review Features
  • PGA Tour Stats 2002
  • EuropeanTour Stats 2002
  • Champions Tour Stats 2002
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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

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