Date: January 16, 2011
Author: Paul Melville


(6 December 2010 – Orlando, Florida)


Sweden&aposs Maria Hjorth had to stay calm as a fast-finishing Amy Yang chased her for the LPGA Tour Championship title. However, three solid pars were enough for Hjorth to get the job done by one shot to claim her first title since becoming a mum and her fourth overall. America’s Cristie Kerr and Korea’s In-Kyung Kim finished tied for third.
rnYang held a one shot lead at the start of the final round but it looked like her chances were gone after just three holes when she took a quadruple bogey 8, and added to that with another bogey at the 5th hole to fall four shots behind Hjorth, who proceeded to make birdie at the 7th hole and made the turn with a five shot lead at 6-under par.
rnYang wasn’t to be counted out just yet and she started a stirring comeback with back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th holes and added another on the 13th. The momentum had certainly turned with Hjorth making back-to-back bogeys at the 12th and 13th holes and all of a sudden there was a tie at the top with both players at 4-under par. This also brought other players into the mix, most notably Kerr, who needed to win the tournament to claim the Rolex Player of the Year race. However, she couldn’t find any birdies over her closing 7 holes and had to settle for third.
rnHjorth regained the lead with a birdie at the 15th and then saw her lead stretched to two shot as Yang made a costly bogey at the 17th. A par by Hjorth at the last was enough despite Yang’s birdie. After her round, Hjorth said, “I’m feeling great, after a win and those last three putts on 16, 17 and 18, it was really amazing. I’m just overwhelmed right now. Every win is emotional, but being a mother and coming back after giving birth. It’s nice to prove that it’s possible.”
rnIn a tournament where many other end-of-year trophies were decided, the following results were attained:
rnOfficial Money List:                                Na Yeon Choi (Kor) – US$1,871,166.00
rnRolex Player of the Year:                      Yani Tseng (Tai) – 188 points
rnRolex Rookie of the Year:                      Azahara Munoz (Esp) – 704 points
rnVare Trophy (Low Scoring Average):  Na Yeon Choi (Kor) – 69.96
rnAs far as the ALPG Members were concerned, only Katherine Hull could make the cut, capping a stellar year with a tie for 11th.  In a year that saw her capture her second LPGA tile at the Navistar LPGA Classic in October she finished 13th on the Official Money List with $817,627.50 in season earnings from 24 events. She finished in the Top-10 another four times including a gut-wrenching second place at the RICOH Women’s British Open. It’s the second time in three years she has been the leading Australian on the Money List and is now ranked No.20 on the Rolex World Rankings.
rnThe other ALPG Members filled the following places on the Official Money List:
rnKarrie Webb                   23rd      US$479,889.00    (19 events)
rnLindsey Wright             62nd      US$155,280.00    (16)
rnSarah-Jane Smith         71st       US$106,516.00    (13)
rnSarah Kemp                   89th       US$68,634.00      (14)
rnRachel Hetherington    108th     US$37,107.00       (5)
rnTamie Durdin                 114th     US$34,498.00       (7) 
rnWendy Doolan                135th     US$16,302.00       (4)
rnMichelle Ellis                  152nd     US$3,652.00       (11)
rnCathryn Bristow            157th      US$3,057.00        (4)