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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    Watch: Tiger's Saturday birdies at Honda

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 24, 2018, 9:20 pm

    Tiger Woods was in almost total control of his game for the majority of his third round Saturday at PGA National. And although he was once again bit by the Bear Trap, the 14-time major winner tapped in for birdie at the par-5 18th to post a round of 1-under 69 and fight his way back to even par for the week.

    Four back to start the day, Woods parred his first seven holes before pouring in his first birdie via this flagged iron from 139 at the par-4 eighth:

    Woods hit three more quality approaches at 9, 10 and 11 but couldn't get a putt to drop.

    The lid finally came off the hole at No. 12 when he holed a key 17-footer for par to keep his scorecard clean.

    One hole later, Woods added a second circle to that card, converting this 14-footer for a birdie-3 that moved him back into red figures at 1 under par for the week.

    Unfortunately, the Bear Trap would ensnare Tiger for the second day in a row. Woods, whose iron play had looked as crisp as it had in years, sailed approaches long and left at both the par-3 15th and par-3 17th, leading to bogeys which erased the two birdies he worked so hard to secure.

    But just like on Friday, Woods rallied back with a late birdie, this one at the home hole, to steal back a shot.

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    O. Fisher, Pepperell share lead at Qatar Masters

    By Associated PressFebruary 24, 2018, 5:13 pm

    DOHA, Qatar - Oliver Fisher birdied his last four holes in the Qatar Masters third round to share the lead at Doha Golf Club on Saturday.

    The 29-year-old Englishman shot a 7-under 65 for an overall 16-under 200. Eddie Pepperell (66) picked up shots on the 16th and 18th to catch his compatriot and the pair enjoy a two-shot lead over American Sean Crocker (67) in third.

    David Horsey (65) was the biggest mover of the day with the Englishman improving 31 places for a share of fourth place at 12 under with, among others, Frenchman Gregory Havret and Italian Andrea Pavan.

    Fisher, winner of the 2011 Czech Open, made some stunning putts on his way in. After an eight-footer on the par-4 15th, he then drove the green on the short par-4 16th for an easy birdie, before making a 12-footer on the 17th and a 15-footer on the 18th.

    Like Pepperell, Fisher also had just one bogey to show on his card, also on the 12th hole.


    Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters


    ''I gave myself some chances coming in and thankfully I made them,'' said Fisher, who has dropped to 369th in the world rankings.

    ''You can quite easily make a few bogeys without doing that much wrong here, so it's important to be patient and keep giving yourself chances.''

    Pepperell, ranked 154th in the world after a strong finish to his 2017 season, has been a picture of consistency in the tournament. He was once again rock-solid throughout the day, except one bad hole - the par-4 12th. His approach shot came up short and landed in the rocks, the third ricocheted back off the rocks, and he duffed his fourth shot to stay in the waste area.

    But just when a double bogey or worse looked imminent, Pepperell holed his fifth shot for what was a remarkable bogey. And he celebrated that escape with a 40-feet birdie putt on the 13th.

    ''I maybe lost a little feeling through the turn, but I bounced back nicely and I didn't let it bother me,'' said the 27-year-old Pepperell, who hit his third shot to within four feet on the par-5 18th to join Fisher on top.

    The long-hitting Crocker is playing on invites on the European Tour. He made a third eagle in three days - on the par-4 16th for the second successive round.

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    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 24, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


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    Uihlein fires back at Jack in ongoing distance debate

    By Randall MellFebruary 24, 2018, 4:32 pm

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Wally Uihlein challenged Jack Nicklaus’ assault this week on the golf ball.

    Uihlein, an industry force as president and CEO of Titleist and FootJoy parent company Acushnet for almost 20 years, retired at year’s start but remains an adviser.

    In an interview with ScoreGolf on Friday, Uihlein reacted to Nicklaus’ assertions that the ball is responsible for contributing to a lot of the troubles the game faces today, from slow play and sagging participation to the soaring cost to play.

    Uihlein also took the USGA and The R&A to task.

    The ball became a topic when Nicklaus met with reporters Tuesday at the Honda Classic and was asked about slow play. Nicklaus said the ball was “the biggest culprit” of that.

    “It appears from the press conference that Mr. Nicklaus was blaming slow play on technology and the golf ball in particular,” Uihlein said. “I don’t think anyone in the world believes that the golf ball has contributed to the game’s pace of play issues.”

    Nicklaus told reporters that USGA executive director Mike Davis pledged over dinner with him to address the distance the golf ball is flying and the problems Nicklaus believes the distance explosion is creating in the game.

    “Mike Davis has not told us that he is close, and he has not asked us for help if and when he gets there,” Uihlein said.

    ScoreGolf pointed out that the Vancouver Protocol of 2011 was created after a closed-door meeting among the USGA, The R&A and equipment manufacturers, with the intent to make any proposed changes to equipment rules or testing procedures more transparent and to allow participation in the process.

    “There are no golf courses being closed due to the advent of evolving technology,” Uihlein said. “There is no talk from the PGA Tour and its players about technology making their commercial product less attractive. Quite the opposite, the PGA Tour revenues are at record levels. The PGA of America is not asking for a roll back of technology. The game’s everyday player is not advocating a roll back of technology.”

    ScoreGolf said Uihlein questioned why the USGA and The R&A choose courses that “supposedly” can no longer challenge the game’s best players as preferred venues for the U.S. Open, The Open and other high-profile events.

    “It seems to me at some point in time that the media should be asking about the conflict of interest between the ruling bodies while at the same time conducting major championships on venues that maybe both the athletes and the technology have outgrown,” he said. “Because it is the potential obsolescence of some of these championship venues which is really at the core of this discussion.”