We already know that Annika Sorenstam is back in contention for Player of the Year honors. In my preseason Elevator post I said that if Annika was hitting GIR at a good rate through her first couple of events, that would be an early clue that she had fully recovered from her neck injury. Through HSBC Sorenstam is tied for second in GIR, hitting better than 82% of the greens in regulation. She’s also sixth in PPGIR – we know what it means when a player is Top 10 in both of those categories, don’t we?
Despite having played only four rounds so far, Lorena Ochoa is tied for 40th in total birdies (23). Everyone ahead of her has played at least six rounds and most have played nine or ten.
Natalie Gulbis is third in driving accuracy after being T42 last year. Perhaps she’s sorted out her driving problems which plagued her most of 2007. Thanks to the better starting position, she’s reaching GIR more often (from 63 to T39, from 61.6% to 71%). As you might expect, now her putter is letting her down big time – 132 in PPGIR, down from T3 (wow!). Like they say, there’s always somethin’…
Jee Young Lee is T86 in GIR and T115 in PPGIR. Excuse me while I hurl…something at the wall.
Several of the rookies appear to belong to the Big Bopper Club – Hee Young Park (T4), Yani Tseng, Louise Friberg (both T11), Momoko Ueda (17) and Shanshan Feng (27) all rank in the top 30 in driving distance. Both Tseng and Friberg are also keeping it in the short grass pretty well – we’ll see if they keep that up. The rookies who are going to have to join the Peanut Family to have any success include Violeta Retamoza (T94) and Carolina Llano (T121), and neither one is hitting the fairway enough to be considered for that just yet.
My Top 30 update won’t be out until next week, but it’s almost certain that Hee-Won Han will be among the top 20. Han is T26 in driving accuracy and 15th in distance, threatening to dethrone Angela Stanford (T48 and 22nd) as the Total Driving Champion.
Trivia Time! I could only find one positive career statistic in which Charlotta Sorenstam leads her more famous sister. Name it. Extra points if you can find one that I didn’t find.