Wednesday, December 19, 2007

1995 Player Rankings

Annika Sorenstam won the first of her eight Hound Dog Player of the Year awards in 1995. Oh yeah, she’s won eight Rolex POYs too. In only her second LPGA season, Annika won three tournaments – among them the first of two consecutive US Open titles – finished atop the money list and won the first of her six Vare Trophies.

Kelly Robbins won the LPGA Championship, Jenny Lidback took home the du Maurier Classic while Nanci Bowen won an amazing Kraft Nabisco – amazing, because the runner-up was Susie Redman. A victory by either of those two players (especially a major) would have guaranteed membership on the Fluke Victories chart. Come to think of it, Lidback’s win might belong there too. There might even be three or four 1995 flukes.

’95 was the first year that Michelle McGann broke into the Top 10. The three previous seasons she ranked in the mid-teens but this year Michelle jumped to #6 with two victories and maintained that position with three wins in 1996. During this time I was watching the LPGA only once or twice a year and only knew a few of the players, but I always recognized Michelle McGann – great hats! The Top 30 Players of 1995 are:

1. Annika Sorenstam
2. Laura Davies
3. Betsy King
4. Dottie Pepper
5. Beth Daniel
6. Michelle McGann
7. Kelly Robbins
8. Patty Sheehan
9. Meg Mallon
10. Rosie Jones
11. Val Skinner
12. Pat Bradley
13. Tammie Green
14. Jane Geddes
15. Liselotte Neumann
16. Dawn Coe-Jones
17. Nancy Lopez
18. Kris Tschetter
19. Helen Alfredsson
20. Colleen Walker
21. Jenny Lidback
22. Brandie Burton
23. Dale Eggeling
24. Sherri Steinhauer
25. Alison Nicholas
26. Caroline Pierce (McMillan)
27. Julie Larsen (Piers)
28. Joan Pitcock
29. Michele Redman
30. Marianne Morris

Player of the Year – Annika Sorenstam
Rookie of the Year – Tracy Hanson
Fluke Victory of the Year – Nanci Bowen

No rookies finished in my Top 30 and three rookies were very comparable in the mid-40s – Tracy Hanson, Emilee Klein and the Rolex winner Pat Hurst. Pat managed a couple more Top 10s than the others, Hanson scored a little better while Klein was the only one in the money list Top 40 and missed the fewest cuts. I eliminated Hurst because she missed the most cuts in the fewest starts, and then picked Hanson over Klein. None of them really deserved it.

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