Monday, December 17, 2007

1996 Player Rankings

When Laura Davies enters the World Golf Hall of Fame (by either point total or selection committee), 1996 should figure prominently in her highlight reel. Laura won four times that year (the LPGA and du Maurier included), finished second on the money list to Karrie Webb, second in scoring to Annika Sorenstam, and won her only Rolex Player of the Year award. When this series reaches the 1994 season, I’ll speak about the OTHER Rolex award Davies should have won.

The battle for #1 was a fairly close one – Sorenstam won the US Open and the Vare Trophy while Webb posted one of the greatest rookie seasons ever. The fourth major, the Kraft Nabisco, was won by Patty Sheehan. The Top 30 Players of 1996 are:

1. Laura Davies
2. Annika Sorenstam
3. Karrie Webb
4. Liselotte Neumann
5. Dottie Pepper
6. Michelle McGann
7. Meg Mallon
8. Patty Sheehan
9. Kelly Robbins
10. Emilee Klein
11. Val Skinner
12. Rosie Jones
13. Brandie Burton
14. Jane Geddes
15. Pat Bradley
16. Barb Mucha
17. Kris Tschetter
18. Juli Inkster
19. Nancy Lopez
20. Marianne Morris
21. Tammi Green
22. Hiromi Kobayashi
23. Beth Daniel
24. Mayumi Hirase
25. Tracy Hanson
26. Alison Nicholas
27. Caroline Pierce (McMillan)
28. Pat Hurst
29. Tracy Kerdyk
30. Deb Richard

Player of the Year – Laura Davies
Rookie of the Year – Karrie Webb
Fluke Victory of the Year – Joan Pitcock

I almost excluded Pitcock from fluke consideration because she ranked #28 in 1995. These stats swayed me – in 376 career starts, Joan collected only 23 Top 10s and missed the cut 137 times. She belongs on the list.

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