If ever an award in golf needed an asterisk, it would be for Ai Miyazato winning the Ladies European Tour money list.
She played in only two tournaments – both part of the LPGA Tour schedule – winning the Evian Masters and missing the cut at the Women’s British Open. Because the Evian Masters purse dwarfs everything else on the Ladies European Tour, the Japanese star earned $487,500, which easily beat out Melissa Reid and Carolina Hedwall.
Reid won twice in 19 starts on the European Tour, while Hedwall won four times in her 20 tournaments.
“To be honest I have mixed feelings because I’m receiving the award from just winning one event on the LET,” Miyazato said. “But I’ve never won the money title on any tour, so I’m really happy.”
The Ladies European Tour does not require a minimum number of tournaments to be a member.
Yani Tseng chose not to become an LET member this year, or she would have easily won the money title. Tseng won four of the five tournaments she played on the European schedule.
Tseng won the Women’s Australian Open and the Australian Masters to start the year. She captured her second consecutive Women’s British Open at Carnoustie, and then won a fourth LET event at the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open in China. Had she been an LET member, she would have won the money title by about $160,000.
Tseng won the LPGA Tour money list with $2.9 million, more than the next two players behind her.
DONALD’S HAT TRICK: Luke Donald made it a hat trick of awards Tuesday when he won the Golf Writers Trophy from the British-based Association of Golf Writers. Donald previously was named European Tour Golfer of the Year and PGA Tour Player of the Year.
Padraig Harrington, a double major winner in 2008, is the only other player to sweep the three honors.
British Open champion Darren Clarke and U.S. Open winner Rory McIlroy tied for second in the voting of golf writers.
BATTLE IN THE BOOTH: The first PGA Tour event of the year at least will sound like a big tournament.
The Tournament of Champions at Kapalua will be hosted on the Golf Channel by Dan Hicks of NBC Sports, and for the first time will feature the dual commentary of Nick Faldo and Johnny Miller.
Faldo, the main analyst for CBS Sports, also works for the Golf Channel. Miller is with NBC Sports, which along with the Golf Channel is under the new Comcast ownership.
One year, Miller and Faldo were in the booth together briefly at The Players Championship.
For the tour’s season opener, they will be together all four days.
“It’s great repartee when Nick and I are together,” Miller said. “It’s kind of an older brother-younger brother dynamic. We’re not afraid to challenge each other.”
“I was really looking forward to a stress-free start to the new season,” Faldo said. “Now this news. Oh well, never mind. At least I’ve got two weeks in Hawaii watching the PGA Tour, and let just say some lively debate. Should be fun.”