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2022 LPGA Year in Review


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12 hours ago, MelloYello said:

 

 

Someone mentioned the somewhat disappointing disappearance of Patty T, but I'm kind of sad Lee6 didn't play a larger role. I see she's fallen to 39th in the Rolex Rankings, too. Wonder what's going on there. Any idea? She seems to have fallen back into the "contender" category. I mean, c'mon, even Jess Korda is still in the top-20 and it feels like she's got one foot out the door and into retirement, haha. Lee6 always seemed really solid top to bottom so I'm not sure why she would be outside the top-15. I know she tweaked her swing but I thought it had all come together.  

 

 

12 hours ago, MelloYello said:

 

 

Lee6 mentioned at the CME presser she had been tinkering with her swing all season and it was finally coming together towards the end so hopefully she plays more consistently next year. 

 

A Lim had a solid season, she won a KLPGA major 

 

Hae Ran Ryu coming from Korea will have a positive impact.  Wouldn't be surprising to see her finish in the top 25 CME next season. 

 

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5 hours ago, pmcuk said:

The stand-out for me this year was Lydia Ko and her very stylised pre-shot routines, on both putter and longer clubs. This looks like pure Sport Psychology - trust your coach, trust your routine. Many athletes do it - high jumpers, long jumpers, tennis players and so on. What's important is that in Lydia's case it has worked like a charm. I seem to remember that Lydia did some psychology courses as part of her education, so I'm sure she sees it's value. So one thing I'll be looking for in 2023 is more players adopting similar pre-shot routines. 

 

On the subject of psychology, this year showed me just how important motivation can be. I'm sure that this was a factor in some of the first time wins - Paula Reto pretty much said so, for instance, after Buhai won. Or maybe you could call this a mixture of motivation and self-belief, another important element that Lexi seems to have missed all season. And when you saw how hard players were trying to compete for money and their tour cards in the CME it indicated to me that there is a difference between "cruising" through the season and going for broke. 

 

I get the impression that putting has improved over the last 5 years or so. I don't have any stats, so please confirm if you know of any. I saw a lot of longer putts going in this season, which is more like you expect from the men's game. 

 

Yeah, the whole topic of psychology is sort of weird to me. Generally, the players most concerned with it are the ones who've somehow learned not to trust their game. You see it a lot more where you see scar tissue. Sports psychology as a thing is always much more popular in those trying to re-gain their former selves or achieve something after they've begun to stumble or plateau. 

 

And in a world where everyone's working on psychological stuff up there on the world's top stage(s), is it helping the winners win or is it just confusing and distracting the losers?

 

I find winners and losers are mostly separated by the quality of swings, putts, etc. And so we're left trying to guess at if psychology is actually causing better golf and how it might be doing that or if it's just noise in the background since most everyone is doing something. 

 

I think the truth is, psychology is simply tips and tricks aimed at shutting off the conscious mind which has a tendency to "say out loud" the stuff we mostly just find distracting like, "hey, there's a $2M check riding on this next round..." 

 

.

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It's a statement of the obvious, but this year was "the year of the rookies" for me. If we add in the almost rookies, I got a strong sense of sweeping change.

 

Nelly, Danielle and JYK all had injury interrupted years that have taken them out of the top tier to varying degrees, while Inbee has gone into something approaching retirement. Sei Young has completely lost the supreme edge she had late 2020, while Patty and Yuka (both expected world No 1's) both cooled dramatically. Nasa came back to Earth a little. Kupcho was a player that had an intriguing season. She had 3 wins, but only 4 top tens out of 26 tournaments. That put her at 15% for top tens, ranked 36th. Not elite class. Minjee was the hottest ticket on the planet, and then mysteriously lost it completely! She didn't really fire a shot after her 2nd place at the KPMG in June.

 

All this left the way open for a fresh batch of talent to step up. An amazing 14 rookies retained their cards for 2023. Watch out for those young Swedes!

 

And of course it was the year of Lydia Ko. It's the story of the year in golf, and a heart-warmer. Remember those debates in 2019 where many questioned whether she would ever get back to the top tier?

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40 minutes ago, Raving Shanker said:

It's a statement of the obvious, but this year was "the year of the rookies" for me. If we add in the almost rookies, I got a strong sense of sweeping change.

 

Nelly, Danielle and JYK all had injury interrupted years that have taken them out of the top tier to varying degrees, while Inbee has gone into something approaching retirement. Sei Young has completely lost the supreme edge she had late 2020, while Patty and Yuka (both expected world No 1's) both cooled dramatically. Nasa came back to Earth a little. Kupcho was a player that had an intriguing season. She had 3 wins, but only 4 top tens out of 26 tournaments. That put her at 15% for top tens, ranked 36th. Not elite class. Minjee was the hottest ticket on the planet, and then mysteriously lost it completely! She didn't really fire a shot after her 2nd place at the KPMG in June.

 

All this left the way open for a fresh batch of talent to step up. An amazing 14 rookies retained their cards for 2023. Watch out for those young Swedes!

 

And of course it was the year of Lydia Ko. It's the story of the year in golf, and a heart-warmer. Remember those debates in 2019 where many questioned whether she would ever get back to the top tier?

 

One has to question the strength of this year for Lydia though, right? A critical approach is always the most fair. 

 

We can't talk about how so many other players missed time and/or struggled without basically saying Lydia won out over a population that was abnormally weak. 

 

In the end, I'm not sure Lydia is back to anything we'd really call dominance. She's consistent but she still struggles off the tee and her best performances came on wide open tracks with little-to-no rough which generally allowed for the kind of "consistency" that saw her rise up. 

 

This could be Lydia's return to the top or it could be an opportunistic rise that ends up being her last "great" year. You'd have to think she'll fall back down as the other players come back strong in 2023, especially with off-course things heating up for her. 

 

Yeah, she's 2 points from HoF status but who knows? Maybe she gets 2 victories next year and calls it a career Lorena style? 

 

Just saying, I'm not sure I'd go all-in on Lydia just yet. She has her weaknesses and a lot of her competition was gone this year. 

 

.

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52 minutes ago, MelloYello said:

 

Just saying, I'm not sure I'd go all-in on Lydia just yet. She has her weaknesses and a lot of her competition was gone this year. 

 

.

You kinda make it sound like only DK, Nelly, and JYK can give Lydia a run for her money.

 

She outplayed a healthy DK, Nelly at the Gainbridge for a win. I assume JYK was back in Korea at this time of the year.

She outplayed a healthy DK in Korea at the BMW, JYK withdrew, Nelly didn't go.

She outplayed a healthy DK, Nelly again at the CME, JYK played injured I assume.

So who is the competition that was gone all year? 

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18 minutes ago, ChronicSlicer said:

You kinda make it sound like only DK, Nelly, and JYK can give Lydia a run for her money.

 

She outplayed a healthy DK, Nelly at the Gainbridge for a win. I assume JYK was back in Korea at this time of the year.

She outplayed a healthy DK in Korea at the BMW, JYK withdrew, Nelly didn't go.

She outplayed a healthy DK, Nelly again at the CME, JYK played injured I assume.

So who is the competition that was gone all year? 

 

You named them. Do an honest survey of the LPGA. There were as many players who emerged from 2022 significantly disappointed as there were who accomplished something, but those who had good years were a mix of proven and unproven names. 

 

You point out how DK, Nelly and JYK all emerge woefully disappointed with 2022 due to injuries and missed time. Yes, but who's to say the younger players stick? We were all in love with Patty T and Yuka Saso last year but it went the other way for them in 2022. So how are we really feeling about Kupcho and Maguire today? Probably a bit more cautious in our optimism.

 

And what about Nasa, Lee6, Lexi and <insert a dozen others here>? They all walk away at least somewhat disappointed hoping 2023 sees them re-establish themselves as consistent winners. 

 

So here we are looking at Lydia who emerges from the pack for having been one of the few that (1) stayed healthy and (2) played up to expectation. That list includes who else? I'd include Minjee Lee, Ingee Chun, Brooke Henderson and Atthaya Thitikul who all rank #2 thru #5 in $$$, with Lydia being #1.

 

Don't get me wrong, Lydia deserves the accolades (particularly for the Vare Trophy), but her PoTY status in 2022 definitely doesn't make her the unquestioned favorite going into next year. The uncertainty is large enough we can't really pick a favorite. 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, MelloYello said:

 

One has to question the strength of this year for Lydia though, right? A critical approach is always the most fair. 

 

We can't talk about how so many other players missed time and/or struggled without basically saying Lydia won out over a population that was abnormally weak. 

 

In the end, I'm not sure Lydia is back to anything we'd really call dominance. She's consistent but she still struggles off the tee and her best performances came on wide open tracks with little-to-no rough which generally allowed for the kind of "consistency" that saw her rise up. 

 

This could be Lydia's return to the top or it could be an opportunistic rise that ends up being her last "great" year. You'd have to think she'll fall back down as the other players come back strong in 2023, especially with off-course things heating up for her. 

 

Yeah, she's 2 points from HoF status but who knows? Maybe she gets 2 victories next year and calls it a career Lorena style? 

 

Just saying, I'm not sure I'd go all-in on Lydia just yet. She has her weaknesses and a lot of her competition was gone this year. 

 

.

I am already totally "all in" with Lydia. i don't believe the fields were abnormally weak. You are comparing this world to a fantasy world where no body is injured, and everyone plays at the peak of their potential, week in week out. Meanwhile, in this world, there's some golf going on.

 

I don't believe I ever used the words "dominate" to describe Lydia's current form, and her weaknesses are evident.  What we have seen is someone who was World No. 1, drop to 55th, and now climb back to No. 2.

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1 hour ago, Raving Shanker said:

I am already totally "all in" with Lydia. i don't believe the fields were abnormally weak. You are comparing this world to a fantasy world where no body is injured, and everyone plays at the peak of their potential, week in week out. Meanwhile, in this world, there's some golf going on.

 

I don't believe I ever used the words "dominate" to describe Lydia's current form, and her weaknesses are evident.  What we have seen is someone who was World No. 1, drop to 55th, and now climb back to No. 2.

 

We'll see what happens. 

 

I for one think 2023 could go in many ways.

 

You can be all in with Lydia. No sweat by me. 

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On 11/23/2022 at 4:30 PM, AKL Kiwi said:

@Argonne69 I think it was mentioned during several tournaments this year...if only Lydia had consistently hit it off the tee straight she probably would have won. If she has really sorted that out as we have seen in her the last few tournaments then HOF is only a couple of tournaments away. For the rest of the players that could be a scary thought for 2023. 

 

The forced absence of JYK, Nelly, Danielle Kang and Minjee after the WD from the CP Women's Open certainly had a bearing on them being more dominant than Lydia. It's going to take something extra special from Jeeno to get back the RR#1 as a teenager given the one tournament she has to do it. That Pelican win by Nelly makes it even harder. 

 

I guess CME Groups donations are tax deductible and they get good exposure all year for their investment.  No excuse though for the no show at the dinner as it was Tuesday night not the night before the tournament.  

 

 

 

The only part of CME’s investment that may be tax deductible are the donations given for St. Jude’s or other truly charitable contributions. Sponsorship of an LPGA event likely goes under marketing/promotional or hospitality expenses and very likely not tax deductible at all.

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14 hours ago, agolf1 said:

I don't think it is correct to diminish any multiple winner due to lack of competition.  Every week there are players hitting the ball and scoring at an exceptionally high level.

 

That being said, I will say I think people have a bit of a recency bias here.  I looked at how she was playing a few months ago and was surprised she had only won once.  At the time, her consistency (or dare I say stats) were pawned off as Top 10 golf while winning requires being in the zone or some luck.  The former is not untrue; possible that she was in the zone and had some luck (or competitors had less luck) to hoist the trophy two more times.

 

I also said there was a reasonable way for her to get the required HOF points with 3 or 4 wins (when she was 6 points short).  At the time, people were questioning whether we'd ever see someone else qualify, but now the perception is that she'll get it done next year.

 

Funny how things swing.

 

Will she be the best player on tour next year?  Or one of the few that are "clearly ahead of most?"  Or be something else?  I don't know but we'll see.

 

I think most here would like to see her do well and qualify for the HOF.  Even if she isn't their number one player.

 

All good points. 

 

I think Nelly looks best heading into 2023. She's got the game to dominate. She's proven that. Heck, she already sits atop the rankings as the world #1. She's a far better driver than Lydia and she's been in positions where she had to stare down tough competition (e.g. Leona Maguire). Her missed time in 2022 was due to a medical issue rather than an injury like JYK. Injury would worry me more. And Nelly literally just won a few weeks ago, too.

 

So Nelly will head into 2023 looking to make hay. She'll be as motivated as anyone, and again, she's already #1 so that's just scary. To me, she's the player most ready to make a statement (and maybe collect another major). 

 

.

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1 hour ago, Argonne69 said:

Ignoring the competition and/or strength of fields, Lydia vs. the course is a good measure of progress. She von the Vare for the 2nd straight year, averaging under 69.0. That's 0.4 shots better than the next best average. It's also 0.3 shots better than her average last year, 1.25 shots better than her '20 average, and 1.9 shots better than '19. Heck, it's better than her average in 2015 when she was at her peak.

 

 

 

I guess that's what you call "arrow up!"

 

You think there's any chance of early retirement with Lydia? What if she wins twice by next summer, gets to world #1...any chance she ends her full-time commitment and opts for married life full-time at the end of 2023? Maybe she's ready for family life, idk? 

 

I know she's always indicated she's on a timeline. Just not sure what her end date is...28yo? 30yo? Could it be 26yo (which she'll be in April) if she's checked all the boxes, I wonder? 

 

.

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12 minutes ago, MelloYello said:

I know she's always indicated she's on a timeline. Just not sure what her end date is...28yo? 30yo? Could it be 26yo (which she'll be in April) if she's checked all the boxes, I wonder? 

 

 

 

My bet is she'll play as a 27 years old, not sure about 28; that's assuming she and her husband are good with family planning.

 

All bets are off if she gets pregnant; I can't see Lydia stays on tour as a mom.

 

 

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i followed this season from the start, first year i've done that

i must say that the season is extremely long!  there is no way to follow the action from january to november and keep the excitment for that long,

 

the thing thats is very weird to me is multiple trips to asia in one season, to me its very odd and tyring, that was my point of view coming from not being a usual watcher until this year. guess the trips make sense with so many player from that region of the world

to me its impossible to think that a player can dominate this tour with so many trips

 

start january usa

march: singapore-thailand

back usa, hawai, usa

june: france, scotland, northern ireland  -no england? weird

back can then usa

october: china(x), south korea, taiwan(x), japan

end usa

 

from when the season started i though Nanna was going to be dominant and it felt like she dissapeard

i was expecting more from Gaby and Hull, when they are playing good they are very fun to watch

it would have been awesome to see In Gee win the PGA and the Open, then august to november she was gone

 

it was very painful to see Lexi putt throughout the year, always feels like she is somewhat hesitant and her stance looks uncomfortable to me, she deserved more in this season, think she is a great athlete and a consumate Pro

 

great to see there will be more money thrown around for next year

 

 

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5 hours ago, 18majors said:

 

 

My bet is she'll play as a 27 years old, not sure about 28; that's assuming she and her husband are good with family planning.

 

All bets are off if she gets pregnant; I can't see Lydia stays on tour as a mom.

 

 

I predict she'll stick to her original plan. She'll have her husband in tow as she makes a worldwind final bow with the HoF in her rearview mirror. After securing the HoF I expect a lighter schedule, but she'll be out there on her favorite courses, and the majors of course. 

 

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Started following pro and college women's golf more in 2020. Below are my gut feeling (I did not fact check myself)

  • It is super hard to be in top forms. S.Y. Kim (she's the hottest player after COVID restart), Patty T, Yuka were all so good 12-18 months ago. There are couple of players who, I thought gonna be so good for so long, disappeared. 
  • I'm impressed by Lexi and Brooke. Say what you want about their putting and other stuff. They were in really good form in the last 3 years (as in they haven't fallen off the earth). 
  • College to pro transition is really hard. Besides Jennifer Kupcho, none of the big college stars made noise on LPGA. 
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19 hours ago, MelloYello said:

 

You named them. Do an honest survey of the LPGA. There were as many players who emerged from 2022 significantly disappointed as there were who accomplished something, but those who had good years were a mix of proven and unproven names. 

 

You point out how DK, Nelly and JYK all emerge woefully disappointed with 2022 due to injuries and missed time. Yes, but who's to say the younger players stick? We were all in love with Patty T and Yuka Saso last year but it went the other way for them in 2022. So how are we really feeling about Kupcho and Maguire today? Probably a bit more cautious in our optimism.

 

And what about Nasa, Lee6, Lexi and <insert a dozen others here>? They all walk away at least somewhat disappointed hoping 2023 sees them re-establish themselves as consistent winners. 

 

So here we are looking at Lydia who emerges from the pack for having been one of the few that (1) stayed healthy and (2) played up to expectation. That list includes who else? I'd include Minjee Lee, Ingee Chun, Brooke Henderson and Atthaya Thitikul who all rank #2 thru #5 in $$$, with Lydia being #1.

 

Don't get me wrong, Lydia deserves the accolades (particularly for the Vare Trophy), but her PoTY status in 2022 definitely doesn't make her the unquestioned favorite going into next year. The uncertainty is large enough we can't really pick a favorite. 

 

 

I believe you mentioned injured players and weak fields, having been the reason Lydia was winning this year. 

I believe I showed you that she played against these injured players, pre and post injury and won. So I'm confused how the strength of field was diminished by injuries when she won her 3 events.

21 hours ago, MelloYello said:

One has to question the strength of this year for Lydia though, right? A critical approach is always the most fair. 

 

We can't talk about how so many other players missed time and/or struggled without basically saying Lydia won out over a population that was abnormally weak. 

 

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8 hours ago, MelloYello said:

 

I know she's always indicated she's on a timeline. Just not sure what her end date is...28yo? 30yo? Could it be 26yo (which she'll be in April) if she's checked all the boxes, I wonder? 

 

.

She has not won an olympic gold medal and she will easily qualify for the Paris Olympics in late 2024. I'm sure the majors she has not won are still an ambition before retiring... 

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Just now, 18majors said:

 

Andrea Lee graduated from Stanford University in 2019 where she won a school record of 9 individual titles; she won a LPGA tournament and finished #15 on CME ranking in 2022.

 

Leona has done pretty well. She was ranked #1 in the amateur ranks for a while playing at Duke, breaking Lydia's record for most weeks at the top. She had her first win this season, and finished 10th in the CME points race.

 

Otherwise, the number of college players who make a splash on the LPGA is pretty slim. A number of players played a couple of years in college, and turned pro early. Danielle comes to mind.

 

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16 hours ago, ChronicSlicer said:

I believe you mentioned injured players and weak fields, having been the reason Lydia was winning this year. 

I believe I showed you that she played against these injured players, pre and post injury and won. So I'm confused how the strength of field was diminished by injuries when she won her 3 events.

 

 

Stop being coy and just say what you think. 

 

You clearly don't believe the injury/medical issues that Nelly and JYK dealt with were significant. If you did, you'd have a more empathetic take towards their being able to play effectively and thus retain their positions as the top 2 players in the world. 

 

When the games 2 most elite players both deal with medical/injury issues, I would think that'd be taken as a pretty big deal. Obviously you don't think so. 

 

Cool with me. 

 

Look at where the two elites sat last year in terms of Average Points and consider the lead they had on everyone else:

 

image.png.fa21be41ffdec2aedcd706abd9c87bb9.png

 

 

 

And now look at where they sit this year:

 

image.png.f157490601f3434251daa260c2dc46e5.png

 

 

 

 

 

The point is that if you don't think 2022 went shockingly badly for both those players you simply aren't giving them credit for how dominant they were in 2021. 

 

Both Nelly and JYK saw dramatic drops in their Average Points in 2022. 

 

They were miles ahead of everyone else when 2022 started. You're acting like their injury/medical issues didn't play a huge factor. 

 

It just sounds really ignorant to purposefully ignore the obvious and act like their sudden drop was just because they played poorly. That's not the right take-away. 

 

And just because someone participates doesn't mean you're getting their best. Point here is that if Nelly & JYK are healthy next year, there's no reason to bet they won't re-emerge as the two clear elites. 

 

.

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On 11/28/2022 at 11:31 AM, Joselo said:

i followed this season from the start, first year i've done that

i must say that the season is extremely long!  there is no way to follow the action from january to november and keep the excitment for that long,

 

the thing thats is very weird to me is multiple trips to asia in one season, to me its very odd and tyring, that was my point of view coming from not being a usual watcher until this year. guess the trips make sense with so many player from that region of the world

to me its impossible to think that a player can dominate this tour with so many trips

 

start january usa

march: singapore-thailand

back usa, hawai, usa

june: france, scotland, northern ireland  -no england? weird

back can then usa

october: china(x), south korea, taiwan(x), japan

end usa

 

from when the season started i though Nanna was going to be dominant and it felt like she dissapeard

i was expecting more from Gaby and Hull, when they are playing good they are very fun to watch

it would have been awesome to see In Gee win the PGA and the Open, then august to november she was gone

 

it was very painful to see Lexi putt throughout the year, always feels like she is somewhat hesitant and her stance looks uncomfortable to me, she deserved more in this season, think she is a great athlete and a consumate Pro

 

great to see there will be more money thrown around for next year

 

 

 

Nana fell off a cliff. When she hit that ball into the water in her playoff with Jeeno, it's as if she never recovered from that. 

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Talk about players that have completely disappeared: Sung Hyun park,

good players with no wins: Celine Boutier

 

 

 

On 11/28/2022 at 3:47 PM, Medson said:

Started following pro and college women's golf more in 2020. Below are my gut feeling (I did not fact check myself)

  • It is super hard to be in top forms. S.Y. Kim (she's the hottest player after COVID restart), Patty T, Yuka were all so good 12-18 months ago. There are couple of players who, I thought gonna be so good for so long, disappeared. 
  • I'm impressed by Lexi and Brooke. Say what you want about their putting and other stuff. They were in really good form in the last 3 years (as in they haven't fallen off the earth). 
  • College to pro transition is really hard. Besides Jennifer Kupcho, none of the big college stars made noise on LPGA. 

 

Agreed with Lexi and Brooke, very consistent, it's impressive how they play through the season, or at least the last 2 seasons very often in contention 

 

Lexi could/should(?) Win so much more though, awesome attitude, power, great iron play, long of the tee

PXG Driver Gen 4 0811 XF

PXG 3 Wood Gen 5 0311
PXG Hybrid Gen 4 0317 XF

PXG Irons Gen 5 0311 XP  5 to 9

Titleist Vokey Wedges SM8 - 46* 52* & 56*
Scotty Cameron - Phantom X 5.5 - Custom 33'

Titleist ProV1

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6 hours ago, Joselo said:

Talk about players that have completely disappeared: Sung Hyun park,

good players with no wins: Celine Boutier

 

 

I assume you mean no wins in the 2022 season? Celine has two wins on tour ('19 and '21).

 

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Ping G425 Max Driver 12 (0 Flat) - Aldila Ascent Red 50 Stiff (46")
TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver 16 - Matrix Speed RUL-Z 60 Stiff
Ping G410 7wd 20.5 (0 Flat) - Alta CB 65 Stiff (43")
Ping G410 9wd 23.5 (0 Flat) - Alta CB 65 Stiff (42.5")
Ping G410 5h 26 (0 Flat) - Alta CB 70 Stiff
PXG 0311P Gen3 6-P (2 Deg Weak, 1 Deg Flat) - True Temper Elevate 95 S /

Ping i200 6-P Orange Dot (2 Deg Weak, 2 Deg Flat) - True Temper XP 95 S
Ping Glide 4.0 52-12 S, 56-10 Eye2, and 60-10 S Orange Dot (2 Deg Flat) - Ping Z-Z115 Wedge
PXG Blackjack 36" - SuperStroker Flatso 2.0

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