Tuesday, December 11, 2007

1998 Player Rankings

One reason I went eleven months without continuing this retro-series could have been that I was too busy keeping up with current events to continue exploring the past. Truth is, I did get quite a bit more research done. A more likely reason – I had a feeling that some of my good friends at a certain Asian golf message board weren’t going to be happy with my ’98 Player of the Year selection, so I just kept procrastinating!

That was the year that Se Ri Pak burst onto the scene with wins at the LPGA Championship and US Open. Those along with two other victories make her a lock for POY, right? Not so fast my friend! Annika Sorenstam didn’t win a major that year, but she did win four times, finished Top 10 17 times in 21 starts, topped the money list and won the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average. Pak’s four wins are more impressive with the two majors and she finished second on the money list, but she only finished Top 10 a total of eight times in 27 starts and her scoring average was a full 1.4 strokes behind Annika. Pak only missed one cut but Sorenstam didn’t miss any. Who had the better year? It depends on how much you value each of those accomplishments. In my system Annika wins by nine points (86-77), a margin I can’t possibly ignore.

The two other majors that year were won by Pat Hurst (Kraft Nabisco) and Brandie Burton (du Maurier Classic). My Top 30 Players of 1998 are:

1. Annika Sorenstam
2. Se Ri Pak
3. Karrie Webb
4. Donna Andrews
5. Liselotte Neumann
6. Pat Hurst
7. Brandie Burton
8. Juli Inkster
9. Meg Mallon
10. Dottie Pepper
11. Helen Alfredsson
12. Lorie Kane
13. Hiromi Kobayashi
14. Tammie Green
15. Kelly Robbins
16. Rosie Jones
17. Sherri Steinhauer
18. Laura Davies
19. Danielle Ammaccapane
20. Christa Johnson
21. Barb Mucha
22. Pearl Sinn-Bonanni
23. Charlotta Sorenstam
24. Lisa Walters
25. Wendy Ward
26. Emilee Klein
27. Dawn Coe-Jones
28. Tina Barrett
29. Betsy King
30. Cindy Figg-Currier

Player of the Year – Annika Sorenstam
Rookie of the Year – Se Ri Pak
Fluke Victory of the Year – Amy Fruhwith

1 comment:

The Constructivist said...

Wow, kind of amazing that only 7 from this list are still threats in 2007. Although come to think of it maybe 7 is a big number?