At the beginning of the year, I made a few LPGA predictions, most of which were incredibly bold at the time. An entire season has gone by since then, so let's see how much of a physic I was.
- Se Ri Pak will win the HanaBank Championship: FAILURE
It was another injury plagued season for Se Ri, who only made one start on the Asian Swing, and that happened to be the HanaBank, where she withdrew after three rounds. She started the season strong and almost completed the career grand slam at the Kraft Nabisco, but it ended like too many seasons have ended for Pak lately - on the IR.
- Lydia Ko won't win on the LPGA Tour, but will still be Rookie Of The Year: FAILURE
Probably my worst prediction. Ko won three times this season, including the CME Tour Championship, and won the season long CME Globe title. If Ko had not won, then South Korea's Mirim Lee would have taken the title, as she won twice on Tour this season. It was a fantastic rookie class that was ready to win right away, and my doubts of Ko have been completely eliminated. Note to self: never doubt Ko again.
- The five majors will have five different champions: SUCCESS
Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie, Mo Martin, Inbee Park, and Hyo Joo Kim were the five winners of the majors this season. There wasn't a lot of parity on the LPGA Tour this season, but there certainly was in the biggest events.
- Eun-Hee Ji will win before Yani Tseng: ???
Neither won on Tour this season, so this is an incomplete score.
5) Lexi Thompson will win a major: SUCCESS
Lexi made her leap into the pond and into superstar status when she won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in the first major of the season. Lexi's season took a bit of a tumble following that moment, but it does not change the fact that Lexi is no longer looked at as a young up and coming star. She is a superstar, one of the biggest names on Tour, and is now expected to deliver on the biggest stages.
4) Beatriz Recari will win the most tournaments by a European player: FAILURE
Recari will look back on 2014 as the year she won the International Crown with her fellow Spanish players, but that will be the only good memory she takes away from this season. In fact, all of Europe will likely try to forget this season, as only one player, Anna Nordqvist, won on Tour this season. Off the heels of a successful defense of the Solheim Cup last season, it was expected that the European players would begin to step up, and yet they have all taken a step back. Currently, there is only one European player in the top 10 of the Rolex Rankings, and that is Suzann Pettersen, whose world ranking fell from 2nd to 4th this season. Beatriz Recari has fallen all the way to 58th.
3) The Player Of The Year will NOT come from The Big Three: FAILURE
It came down to Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis, who battled it out with Suzann Pettersen last year. Pettersen has been replaced in The Big Three by Lydia Ko, but Park and Lewis continue to play at a different level.
2) So Yeon Ryu will be the top ranked Korean: FAILURE
I expected a drop off by Inbee Park following her record breaking 2013, and that did not happen. Even if she wasn't playing at her best, she still won three times, including a major. Ryu did win once and had another dozen top 10's, but she will likely look at 2014 for the events she didn't win rather than the one she did. Park will likely be the top Korean for a little while longer, while Ryu remains t great player, but has to look behind her for Hyo Joo Kim, who is now ranked 9th in the world and exploded on the scene in a big way. Kim will play a part time schedule on the LPGA Tour next season.
1) Michelle Wie will win in 2014: SUCCESS
It's amazing to think that this was a really insane prediction to make 11 months ago, but it truly was. The world had given up on Michelle Wie ever attaining a level of success on the LPGA Tour, and yet she exploded with a renewed confidence in 2014, with two wins, including the US Women's Open, and 13 top 10's to her credit. If she wasn't injured for part of the season, Wie might have been part of the conversation for Player Of The Year, and will try and be even better next season now that the expectations have risen for her once again.