The Ladies Professional Golf year in the United States ended the Sunday before Thanksgiving. We'll celebrate the best, oddest, or just plain out of nowhere things that happened in 2007.
Player of the Year- Lorena Ochoa. Eight wins and a British Open title make her the hands down selection.
Rookie of the Year- Angela Park. At the Fields Open in February, Angela finished third and never let up the rest of the year. A tie for second and two more third place finishes left Angela with almost double the points of her next closest pursuer for Rookie of the Year.
Comeback of the Year- This is one of the toughest choices I have when it comes to 2007 awards. The four top candidates as I see it are Suzann Pettersen, Maria Hjorth, Birdie Kim, and Beth Bader.
Suzann's and Maria's stake to Comeback player of the year too closely resembles Karrie Webb in 2006, and I didn't think Karrie was right choice last year either. Going from 46th on the money list to 2nd isn't a comeback to me.
Birdie, the surprise 2005 US Open Champ, has had a much better year than her dismal 2006. Still she misses lots of cuts and her strokes per round average(73.40 to 73.86) is barely different than last year.
Beth Bader went from 83rd to 46th on the money list. Easily Beth's best year.
Based on her poor 2005, I'll give comeback player of the year to Suzann Pettersen.
'Where did they come from?' Award- Meaghan Francella. Honorable mention to Na On Min.
Best finish of the year- We have a tie. Between The Sherri Steinhauer/Christina Kim State Farm Classic final round battle and the Laura Davies and Suzann Pettersen duel at the Honda LPGA Thailand.
Collapse of the year- Another tie. Suzann Pettersen and Se Ri Pak. Both looked to have the Kraft Nabisco in the bag on Sunday, but failed to close.
2007 Mom of the Year- Juli Inkster edges Catorina Matthew.
'The Tiger Woods had it easy' award- To the new LPGA Moms of 2007, Hee Won Han, Karen Stupples, Hillary Lunke and Jackie Gallagher-Smith. Also Catorina Matthew who had her daughter in 2006, but returned to play in 2007. As a father, I know mothers have the hardest job around. That these women can combine motherhood and professional golf, should get a big round of applause. That goes for all 29 LPGA Moms.
The 'What me worry?' award- Se Ri Pak for her final round birdie of the sixth hole at the Jamie Farr after Morgan Pressel made a hole in one on the same hole. Se Ri went on to win her fifth Farr Classic.
The 'I survived' award- Brittany Lincicome for her win at the Ginn Open. Morgan Pressel gets honorable mention.
'The Raindrops keep falling on my head' award- To Mother nature for washing out the NW Arkansas Championship Presented by John Q Hammons. Only 18 holes were played. And I thought the south was suffering from a drought this year.
The 'Pick who doesn't belong' award- Maria Hjorth. She was the only non-Asian among the four semifinalists at the HSBC World Match Play Championship.
The 'Scotty and the search party' award Part I- Michelle Wie. Can someone please locate her golf game?
The 'Scotty and the search party' award Part II- Morgan Pressel's golf clubs. They were stolen the day after she won the Kraft Nabisco.
The 'Thank God for electronic scoreboards' award- Stacy Prammanasudh and Virada Nirapathpongporn for their duel in the early rounds of the Navistar. Imagine if Vicki Goetze-Ackerman and Jackie Gallagher-Smith had been in contention.......
The 'Big hand for a little lady' award- Mi Hyun 'Peanut' Kim for her donation to Kansas tornado victims
The 'biggest splash' award- Morgan Pressel at the Nabisco
The 'thanks but no thanks' award- Annika Sorenstam for turning down a last minute invite to the Samsung.
The 'What the heck'? award- St Andrews 17th Road Hole plays as a par five for the British Open.
The 'Sizzler' award- In-Kyung Kim for shooting an LPGA record 27 for 9 holes.
The 'Pitchforks and torches' award- To the Korean golf fans who got upset when the Hana Bank-KOLON final round was canceled. Who says LPGA fans aren't enthusiastic?
The 'Chokin Freakin Dogs' award- To....cough...cough...Dottie Pepper. Dottie may well have destroyed any chance she had of being a Solheim Cup Captain in the future.
'We need an optometrist STAT' award- To the ESPN announcer who mixed up Laura Davies and Laura Diaz at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
Biggest letdowns of 2007- Karrie Webb, Meena Lee, Pat Hurst, only 4 Korean winners this year
Million Dollar winner award- Lorena Ochoa