Thursday, December 20, 2007

1994 Player Rankings – Laura’s Lament

I’ve posted 13 seasons of player rankings before today and in every case, the Hound Dog Player of the Year and the Rolex Player of the Year have been the same person. Until now.

In 1994 Rolex’s point system selected Beth Daniel. Beth’s four victories led the Tour, she won the Vare Trophy and finished second on the money list. Those are numbers befitting a great season, but she also missed the cut four times. A couple of other players had great seasons too. Laura Davies won three times including the LPGA Championship, topped the money list, finished second in scoring by 0.01 strokes, and missed only one cut. Not only should Daniel not have won POY, she probably shouldn’t have even finished second. Donna Andrews had three wins (one of them the Kraft Nabisco), was fourth and fifth in scoring and money and only missed one cut. You could argue that Daniel should be ahead of Andrews, but Davies simply got ripped off. If Beth had won six times or had taken one of the majors she would have a case. Let me put it this way – I’ve completed or done the majority of work on nearly 30 seasons of LPGA stats and have yet to find a Player of the Year who missed more than two cuts. It’s just not the ear-mark of a champion to miss four of them in one season.

The Top 30 Players of 1994 are:
1. Laura Davies
2. Donna Andrews
3. Beth Daniel
4. Liselotte Neumann
5. Dottie Pepper
6. Betsy King
7. Sherri Steinhauer
8. Patty Sheehan
9. Kelly Robbins
10. Tammie Green
11. Val Skinner
12. Helen Alfredsson
13. Meg Mallon
14. Elaine Crosby
15. Michelle McGann
16. Jane Geddes
17. Deb Richard
18. Dawn Coe-Jones
19. Pat Bradley
20. Lauri Merten
21. Judy Dickinson
22. Hiromi Kobayashi
23. Christa Johnson
24. Nancy Lopez
25. Missie McGeorge
26. Brandie Burton
27. Juli Inkster
28. Dale Eggeling
29. Alicia Dibos
30. Martha Nause

Player of the Year – Laura Davies
Rookie of the Year – Annika Sorenstam
Fluke Victory of the Year – Lisa Kiggens

Patty Sheehan won the US Open and Martha Nause won the du Maurier Classic. Nause won two other times in her career so hers was not the Fluke Victory of the Year. In 271 career starts, Lisa Kiggens finished in the Top 10 only 11 times and missed the cut 149 times (nearly 55% of her starts). Carolyn Hill gets a dishonorable mention for her win – 434 starts, 26 Top 10s, 178 missed cuts (41%).

One final point about Davies – had she won the ’94 POY and also managed to edge out Daniel for the Vare Trophy, she would have automatically entered the Hall of Fame with 27 points after winning the Wegmans Rochester International in 2001.


The Constructivist said...

Hmm, Annika made ROY w/o making your top 30. Any other '94 rookies close to her that year?

Hound Dog said...

Annika just missed the Top 30. To include her I would have had to leave out Nause, who as I mentioned won a major in '94. No other rookies even made my list.