"It didn't surprise me that I played well. It surprised me that I putted so well," Ramayah said. "I haven't putted well for eight years."
The PGA Tour might be the best place to gain wordwide golf fame, but for male fortune hunters, Japan is the place to play (page G12). This year Jumbo Ozaki has earned more money on the Japanese men's tour than anybody has ever made in a season on any circuit. With four events to play on both Japanese circuits, here are the figures for the top earners on the world's biggest tours in the past season.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
The Big Tie
The long and short of the LPGA season was this: 32 events, 124 miles of fairways and one eight-foot putt on Nov. 6. The eight-footer, on the final hole of the final tournament of the '94 season, belonged to Laura Davies. Trailing Beth Daniel in the Rolex Player of the Year race by a single point, Davies needed the birdie putt to finish fourth in the Toray Japan Queens Cup and edge Daniel in the LPGA Player of Year standings by one point. (Players receive points ranging from nine to-one for top-five finishes—placing fourth is worth two points.)
Davies, who had said all season that the money title would mean more to her than being Player of the Year, must have been overcome by a final wave of ennui. Knowing she had the money title sewed up when she arrived at the 18th green, she left the putt short, and Daniel, who had limped home with a final score of 72-71-76-219 for 45th place, thus won Player of the Year. Davies finished the season with $687,201, $27,775 more than Daniel.
More exhausted than elated afterward, Daniel said, "It was a hard year. I don't feel anything. I'll feel happy later." By now she does: She won the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average, again beating Davies by a scintilla, 70.90 to 70.91.
Daniel, who played her best golf over the second half of the season, was the only player with four wins on the LPGA tour. Davies, on the other hand, so dominated the first half of the year that she seemed to have nothing left to prove over the second half and played as if on automatic pilot. With seven wins—three in LPGA events and four overseas—Davies was certainly the best international player this year. But since races do not always go to the swiftest—or, in this case, the richest—you can call this season a draw.