Lorena Ochoa Hall of Fame Watch – 14 victories, one major championship, one Rolex Player of the Year award, one Vare Trophy. Lorena now has 17 HOF points and needs 10 more to qualify. Another POY, another Vare, two majors and four other wins (or one major and five other wins) would equal 10 points.
Paula Creamer managed to break 70 all four days and still finish three strokes behind.
Before yesterday, the last player to win two consecutive events on the LPGA schedule was…Lorena Ochoa. She won the Corona and Samsung events last October, then she took three weeks off (skipping the Asian swing) and made it three straight wins by taking the Mitchell TOC. To prepare you for this week’s Safeway, Annika Sorenstam was the last player to win three consecutive scheduled tournaments. In March of 2005 she won the MasterCard, the Safeway International and the Kraft Nabisco, which just happened to be her first three events of that amazing 10-win season. Since she had won the last two events she entered in 2004 (Mizuno and ADT), that made five straight victories in events she played and tied a record Nancy Lopez set in 1978.
Meg Mallon had been the last player to follow up a major victory with another win, when she took the 2004 US Open and Canadian Open.
On Sunday Seon-Hwa Lee became the third player in as many days to shoot 64, tying the course record set by Karrie Webb on Friday and tied by Lorena Ochoa on Saturday. Lee finished ninth while Webb had no other rounds under par and finished T18.
Canadian Alena Sharp (T10) picked the perfect place to collect the first Top 10 of her career, covering 41 starts over two seasons. After just missing out last year on earning full-exempt status (she was in 91st after the cut-off week), Alena locked up an exemption for 2008 with her performance at Edmonton.
Ya-Ni Tseng not only earned a Top 10 in her first LPGA start, she did it after only making the field through Monday qualifying. She also did not have a professional caddy, meaning she had to gauge yardage, choose clubs and read greens by herself. Looks like she did a decent job of that. Other than Creamer, Tseng was the only player to get within four shots of the lead on the Sunday back nine. Bogeys at 11 and 12 ended her chances and a double at 18 cost her a tie for third, but it was an outstanding performance nonetheless.
After starting 2007 with three Top 10s, Shi Hyun Ahn had gone ten straight events without registering another until finishing third this weekend. A hole-in-one on Friday and a hole-out from over 100 yards on her 72nd hole helped her cause.
The average score for the four rounds at Royal Mayfair was 72.116, just over +1 but more than two strokes per round lower than last year’s event at London, Ontario (par 71 this year, 72 last year). That will decrease the overall scoring deficit from last year a bit – although it hasn’t been quite as large as 0.65, as I have estimated before. I’ll elaborate on that tomorrow.