LPGA Tour WHERE WE ARE The game's elite have shone, as expected, but it is a pack of frisky youngsters that has already made 2004 a memorable year

June 14, 2004

AND THE AWARDS GO TO ...

Player of the Half Year
Not only did Grace Park (right) win her first major, the Kraft
Nabisco, but she has also been a threat nearly every week, with
three runner-up finishes among her seven other starts. This is just
the beginning for the talented 25-year-old.

BREAKOUT PERFORMER
After teasing us for more than a year, Lorena Ochoa, the 2003
rookie of the year, finally won for the first time, at the Franklin
American Mortgage Championship. This is just the beginning for the
talented 22-year-old.

BIGGEST FLOP
Yes, Annika Sorenstam (below) has three victories and leads the
money list, but her stated goal at the start of the year was to win
the Grand Slam, so we have to judge her on that. She was
grand-slammed during the second round of the Kraft, shooting a
stunning 76 that included 35 putts and a drowned eight-iron
approach on the final hole. Annika finished 13th, ending the dream
before it began.

Best Shot
Sherri Steinhauer's blind, uphill, 246-yard three-wood to five feet
on the par-5 18th hole during the third round of the Sybase
Classic. The ensuing eagle gave Steinhauer a share of the lead and
keyed her first win in five years.

Worst Shot
It was a putt, actually: Cristie Kerr's blown three-footer for par
on the final hole that would have won the Takefuji Classic. The
bogey capped a collapse during which she lost a four-shot lead over
the final six holes. Kerr, 26, prevailed in a playoff.

CLUTCH PUTT
Aree Song's downhill 30-footer for eagle on the 72nd hole of the
Kraft Nabisco was one for the ages. It gave the 18-year-old rookie
a share of the lead ... until moments later, when Park topped her
with a clutch six-footer.

IN THE NEWS

PACESETTERS
The LPGA has assumed the vanguard in cracking down on slow play,
cutting the average round by nearly 20 minutes, thanks largely to
the threat of two-stroke penalties, of which five have already been
assessed.

AULD SOD
The all-male R&A will see the light in 2007, when the Old Course
hosts the Women's British Open for the first time. LPGA
commissioner Ty Votaw (below) said that a tournament at the home of
golf will be "a wonderful statement for women's golf around the
world."

REVENGE OF THE NERDS
The five major women's tours announced that a world ranking will be
instituted beginning in 2005. Complaining about the computerized
formula will commence shortly thereafter.

THE FOREST FROM THE TREES
Michelle Wie was granted an exemption into the U.S. Women's Open,
and the rank and file howled in protest. Yeah, we can see their
point--why would you possibly want the world's most exciting player
in the field?

TWO COLOR PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAVID WALBERG FLASHBACK Karrie Webb was at her overpowering best while winning the Kellogg-Keebler Classic in Aurora, III. En route to her first victory of the year, and 30th of her career, Webb shot a bogeyless final-round 67, beating Annika Sorenstam and two others by five strokes. COLOR PHOTO: DARREN CARROLL (PARK) TWO COLOR PHOTOS COLOR PHOTO: SCOTT HALLERAN/GETTY IMAGES (VOTAW)

2ND-HALF PREDICTION

Sorenstam will reassert herself in the majors, but because of
Annika's curtailed schedule, Park will take her first money title.
Meanwhile, Song will get her first win and take rookie honors.

Best Quote

"May 9th is the best day of my life."
--Se Ri Pak, after her win at the Michelob Ultra Open qualified her
for the LPGA Hall of Fame

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)