The LPGA Tour has seen some of the youngest female golfers to ever win on international-level competitions, but the 2016 season stood out in particular with an average winner’s age of only 22. The season lasted from January to November, with 33 tournaments held in over 14 countries. Out of the winners, two of them stand out in particular: Ariya Jutanugarn from Thailand and Chun In- Gee from South Korea
21-year old Ariya Jutanugarn has made history in 2016 as the first Thai golfer to win a major championship after getting first place at the Women’s British Open last July, beating out Mirim Lee (S. Korea) and Mo Martin (USA), but what truly defined her success this season was her winning her first three titles in consecutive fashion – a first in LGPA history. She would later win her first major and another tournament in back-to-back fashion, bringing her LGPA season’s win count to 5.
Further cementing her success this season, Ariya also won the 2016 Rolex Player of the Year Award, 2016 Money Title, and being the first in the Race to the CME Globe title at 6,800 points, beating South Korea’s Lydia Ko by 1,750 points and earning her a $1 million bonus at the end of the season.
Rolex Player of the Year
Race to the CME Globe
Yokohama Tire Classic (May 8, 2016)
Kingsmill Championship (May 22, 2016)
LPGA Volvik Championship (May 29, 2016)
Ricoh Women’s British Open (July 31, 2016)
Canadian Pacific Women’s Open (August 28, 2016)
22-year old In Gee Chun won this year’s Vare Trophy by having a scoring average of 69.583 after closing with a 2-under 70 in the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship. She barely won over Lydia Ko by a small margin of only 0.013 points. This makes her the second rookie to ever win the prestigious trophy, preceded by Nancy Lopez way back in 1978.
Aside from the Vare Trophy, Chun also won her second major victory by winning the Evian Championship. She also received the Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year Award, finishing the season with one of the largest leads of all time. Her consistent performance has also allowed her to hold the number 3 spot in the Women’s World Rankings for nine straight weeks.
Vare Trophy (Scoring Leader)
Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year
Evian Championship (Sep 18, 2016)
There are numerous other pro golfers who made waves during this season, which include the individual tournament winners, the leaders of the 5 majors, and those who have topped the Official Money and Scoring Average lists.
Most Tournaments Won
These players won the most number of tournaments during the 2016 LGPA Tour:
- Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand) – 5 tournaments won, including 1 major
- Lydia Ko (New Zealand) – 4 tournaments won, including 1 major
- Ha Na Jang (South Korea) – 3 tournaments won
Here are the winners of this year’s LPGA majors:
- ANA Inspiration – Lydia Ko (New Zealand)
- KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – Brooke Henderson (Canada)
- U.S. Women’s Open – Brittany Lang (USA)
- Ricoh Women’s British Open – Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand)
- Evian Championship – In Gee Chun (South Korea)
Top 5 Money Leaders
The following are the top five money leaders this 2016 season:
- Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand) – $2,550,928 over 28 events
- Lydia Ko (New Zealand) – $2,492,994 over 24 events
- Brooke Henderson (Canada) – $1,724,409 over 31 events
- In Gee Chun (South Korea) – $1,501,102 over 19 events
- Shanshan Feng (China) – $1,458,579 over 21 events
Top 5 Average Score
Here is a list of the top five average scorers for the 2016 season:
- In Gee Chun (South Korea) – 69.583
- Lydia Ko (New Zealand) – 69.596
- Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand) – 69.870
- Shanshan Feng (China) – 69.877
- Ha Na Jang (South Korea) – 69.976
With the 2017 LPGA Tour just around the corner, it’s time drop the curtain on what is sure to be remembered as one of the most exciting season in women’s golf. Follow the Swing Control Blog for more updates in the future!