Counting down the top 12 stories of 2012: No. 8

Over the next 12 days leading up to the new year, will count down the top-12 most memorable stories of the tour’s 2012 season. Coming in at No. 8 are the Symetra Tour alumni who made headlines on this year’s LPGA Tour.

The mission of the Symetra Tour is to prepare the world's best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour.

The tour’s mission statement could not have been reflected any better as it was this season with Symetra Tour alumni winning nine LPGA tournaments as well as earning Player of the Year honors, the Vare Trophy, and LPGA Official Money List.

Stacy Lewis led the way for Symetra Tour alums on the LPGA Tour this season as she took home an impressive four victories and eight additional top-five finishes. To cap off her impressive run of tournaments, Lewis became the first American since Beth Daniel in 1994 to win Rolex Player of the Year.

Fellow Symetra Tour alum, Inbee Park nipped on Lewis’s heels throughout the year but came up just shy of earning Rolex Player of the Year honors. Instead, Park notched two wins and seven additional top-five finishes to secure the Vare Trophy and 2012 LPGA Official Money List. The South Korean not only closed the year leading the tour in scoring average with 70.2, but also led the way in putts per GIR (1.72) and putting average (28.34).

Angela Stanford marked the first Symetra Tour alum to earn a victory on the LPGA this season as she outlasted a four player playoff to tally her fifth-career victory at the HSBC Women’s Champions 2012. The one-time winner on the Symetra Tour then went on to record four top-five finishes, including runner-up at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Presented by Kroger, Owens Corning and O-I, and tied for second at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco.

Sun Young Yoo also reeled in a victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in dramatic fashion. I.K. Kim had the championship in her sights but a missed one-foot par putt on the 18th hole forced a playoff which Yoo won with a birdie on the first playoff hole.

Cristie Kerr was the final Symetra Tour alum to win on tour this season as she ended a two year winless drought at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco.

Topics: Counting Down, LPGA Tour