Well, everyone loved the IRT bar chart we did earlier this week, so here’s the same thing for the women.
Some interesting observations in this chart:
– 97 women have appeared in a top 10 since 1975. This is a bit more than the men; we see a lot of players who reached the top 10 for short periods of time, then dropped off quickly.
– The depth of the tour early on was very thin; the early parts of the graphic may look odd as it shows the early legends of the sport like Peggy Stedding and Jean Saucer lingering at the bottom of the bar chart before the tour begins to fill out.
– I think its amazing how many players debuted at #2 or #1 on tour; Heather McKay finished #1 in her first pro season, won four titles in five years, then basically disappeared. Lynn Adams debuted at #2 her first full season touring, as did Michelle Gould. Marci Drexler, who may be the most underrated player in the tour’s history, debuted at #3 in 1986 … then retired at #3 13 years later.
– Also interesting how so many players retired at or near the top. Gould ran off seven straight #1 titles … then never played again. Shannon Wright played seven events in 1983-84 season, made the semis in all of them … then quit and never played another pro event. In this graphic you’ll see these players’ bar charts just plummet off the screen, showing their ranking diving from a top 4 level to non-existent.
ps: again, thanks to Jessica Swartz Amezcua for the great idea.