Monday, January 14, 2008

Top 30 Players of the 1990s

I realize I’ve cranked out a lot of these lists in recent weeks, so some of you may be quite ready for something different. I have in mind some other things to cover so this will be the last “Top Players” list for awhile.

Since I’ve completed the decade of the ‘90s, it seemed appropriate to compile a “Best of” from the 1990-99 seasons. Like in the
“Annika Era” post earlier, some of your favorites may rank a little below where you think they might simply because some of their better seasons occurred outside this ten-year timeframe.

The Top 30 Players of the 1990s are:

1. Dottie Pepper
2. Betsy King
3. Patty Sheehan
4. Annika Sorenstam
5. Meg Mallon
6. Laura Davies
7. Beth Daniel
8. Karrie Webb
9. Rosie Jones
10. Juli Inkster
11. Liselotte Neumann
12. Nancy Lopez
13 Brandie Burton
14. Kelly Robbins
15. Pat Bradley
16. Donna Andrews
17. Tammie Green
18. Michelle McGann
19. Danielle Ammaccapane
20. Sherri Steinhauer
21. Helen Alfredsson
22. Se Ri Pak
23. Jane Geddes
24. Ayako Okamoto
25. Colleen Walker
26. Christa Johnson
27. Lorie Kane
28. Val Skinner
29. Deb Richard
30. Dawn Coe-Jones

I’m a Dottie Pepper fan but I didn’t expect this result. She’s on top because of one Player of the Year award and seven total finishes in the top six. Dottie’s worst ranking in the ‘90s was #17 in 1997. Only one other player made my Top 30 all ten years – I’ll bet you can’t guess who it was without
looking it up.

There is a case for naming Annika Sorenstam as the best player. She played only six of the ten seasons but finished first three times, second once and fourth once. These rankings are point-total based – if I had used an average points-per-season method, Annika would certainly have been #1. When measuring a player’s value across multiple seasons, I believe the point-total method is a better measure – especially if the point scale is weighted towards rewarding the higher-ranked players, as I have done.

Juli Inkster was a bit of a surprise – before I started all this number-crunching many months ago, I would have guessed Juli was one of the five best players of the ‘90s. The birth of her two daughters (circa ’90 and ’94) took a big chunk out of Inkster’s productivity in at least four seasons. Karrie Webb and Se Ri Pak would both rate higher if their limited numbers of seasons were taken into account.

So that’s it for a while. I’m going to keep working on past seasons (currently digging through the early 70s), and hopefully the next list you see will be the one ranking the Greatest Players in LPGA History. If anyone wants me to spotlight another season or two, let me know and I’ll oblige.


The Constructivist said...


firstbase31 said...

I have to admit....I looked it up. I found two players that made your top ten for all ten years.......I'll keep it to myself (for now) and let everyone else take a guess. Only one of my guesses was right.

Hound Dog said...

Good guess TC, but incorrect.

The Constructivist said...

Wild guess--Alfreddson?

Hound Dog said...

Nope, it was Tammie Green.

firstbase31 said...

...and Dottie Pepper.

firstbase31 said...

What a dork!! I just realized that you said one player OTHER THAN embarrassment is complete....