Friday, April 18, 2008

HOF Ochoa, But Who is Next?

From now on, I think I will be referring to all Hall of Famers as HOF so-and-so. HOF Lorena Ochoa was the latest to qualify for the Hall with her win in Mexico on Sunday. Larry Bohannan at the Desert Sun asks: who could be next?

He does mention Laura Davies, who is closest with 25 points. She needs 2 wins or a major since a postseason award would not happen without either of those. But, among the young guns, here's where Bohannan tries to guess:

Suzann Pettersen: All six of her Hall of Fame points came last year (five wins, one major), a terrific start. At 27, she could make the Hall at 31 at the same pace she showed last year. Unfortunately, there is Ochoa's dominance, and no tightly held belief that Pettersen will keep winning at the 2007 pace.

Paula Creamer: With five career victories before her 22nd birthday, Creamer looks like a long-term but solid pick for the Hall. But she's got to get better in major championships. She has just one top-five finish in 13 career major starts as a pro. You have to win at least one major to make the Hall.

Cristie Kerr: Like Pettersen and Creamer, Kerr may struggle for the single points for player of the year or scoring average with Ochoa on tour, just as Kerr hasn't broken through for points against Annika Sorenstam. She has 10 victories, including one major at last year's U.S. Women's Open. But that leaves her 16 points shy of the Hall, which is a lot of wins. And she'll turn 31 later this year.

Morgan Pressel: Just 19, Pressel has the major championship behind her with the 2007 Kraft Nabisco victory. That's still only two points, but Pressel has an even greater luxury of time than the other young players. There could be plenty more wins in her future, but she'll need to get greater distance on her shots to consistently challenge longer hitters like Ochoa and Pettersen.

Notice, none of these players are Asian. Here would be some solid additions to this list:

Hee Won Han - 6 wins, no majors, turns 30 this year - could go on a tear, but in the Age of Ochoa, it may be difficult.

Mi Hyun Kim - 8 victories, no majors, turns 31 this year - about as close as Cristie Kerr is to getting into the Hall, and edit to say my bad on the win total.


The Constructivist said...

Where do you get 11 victories for Kim? I thought it was 8.

The Constructivist said...

On Pressel, it's probably too soon to tell for any of the Young Guns, but if she's being considered HOF material, then the ROY of her class Seon Hwa Lee (who's averaging a win a year so far) and perhaps the player with the most upside in it, Jee Young Lee, should be mentioned in the same breath. But it's probably far too soon to tell for anyone in that class or younger just yet.