Tuesday, November 18, 2014

CME Group Tour Championship

This is the one!

 If you are an LPGA fan, and you are not excited about this week's tournament, then maybe you should start watching curling or water polo.

The LPGA's overwhelmingly successful 2014 season comes to an end this week with the playing of the CME Group Tour Championship. With one million dollars and many of the most important awards still undecided, this figures to be the most exciting tournament of the year.

At stake this week are the following prizes and awards:
  1. Nine players will have a chance at the $1 million bonus for winning the 72 hole event. The top 3 players (Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, and Lydia Ko) have their fate in their own hands. If they win the championship, the $1 million will go to one of them.  
     2. The Rolex Player of the year award will be decided. Stacy Lewis currently leads Inbee Park by a 229-226 count. Player of the Year points are given out in the following way:

1st place - 30 points
2nd place - 12 points
3rd place - 9 points
4th place - 7 points
5th place - 6 points
6th place - 5 points
7th place - 4 points
8th place - 3 points
9th place - 2 points 
10th place - 1 point

          As you can clearly see, Stacy has a very slim advantage. The winner of the Player of the Year award will receive a Hall of Fame point.

      3- The Vare Trophy Award will be decided. Stacy Lewis currently holds a slim advantage (69.476 to 69.571) over Inbee Park. This may very well go down to the final stroke of the final hole. The winner of the Vare Trophy will receive a Hall of Fame point.

     4- The 2014 money list title is also at stake here. Stacy Lewis has earned $2,502,309. Once again it is Inbee Park with $2, 209,460 who is threatening that lead.

How much more excitement can a tournament provide than this?

Here are some more of the key details:

Course:  Tiburon Golf Club
Location:  Naples, Florida
Defending Champion:  Shanshan Feng
Winning Score:  66-74-67-66 = 273 (-15)

Final Field: 72 players qualified. (69 are playing)
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  Not indicated on LPGA website
Purse:  $2,000,000 

This will be one of the strongest fields of the year. The only player in the top 25 on the LPGA Priority list not in attendance is Amy Yang. 

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
Nov 20 - GC 1:30 PM-4:00 PM ET
Nov 21 - GC 1:30 PM-4:00 PM ET
Nov 22 - GC 1:30 PM-4:00 PM ET
Nov 23 - GC 1:30 PM-4:00 PM ET

Here are my picks for this week's tournament:
1- Inbee Park
2- Shanshan Feng
3- So Yeon Ryu
4- Lydia Ko
5- Stacy Lewis
6- Michelle Wie
7- Brittany Lincicome
8- Pornanong Phatlum
9- Chella Choi
10- Azahara Munoz
11- Suzanne Pettersen
12- Cristie Kerr
I am currently in 3rd place among the 22 Pak Picker players. I still have an outside chance to win it all.

Other Tidbits:
Christina Kim's victory at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational was the 13th win by an American player this year, clinching the 2014 title for the U.S.A. Late charging South Korea has 10.

Rolex Rankings Mover of the Week:
Christina Kim catapults up from #76 to #49.

Race to the CME Globe: 
This is all explained above.

Who's Red Hot:
Inbee Park has 5 consecutive top 5 finishes, and nine consecutive top tens.

Who's Ice Cold:
Hee Young Park has failed to register a top 25 finish in her last 6 starts. She has only one top ten in 28 starts this year.

Here are the third round leaders:
1Carlota Ciganda-7F
1Julieta Granada-7F
3Morgan Pressel-6F
4Michelle Wie-5F
4Sarah Jane Smith-5F
4Sandra Gal-5F
7Chella Choi-4F
7So Yeon Ryu-4F
9Moriya Jutanugarn-3F
10Brittany Lang-2F
10Jennifer Johnson-2F
10Jenny Shin-2F
10Lydia Ko-2F
10Belen Mozo-2F

Be sure to check back here for any tournament updates. Results will be posted here after every round. Links to live scoreboards are always available at the top of this page.

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  1. 4- The 2014 money list title is also at stake here. Stacy Lewis has earned $2,502,309. Once again it is Inbee Park with $2, 209,460 who is threatening that lead.

    If Ko wins she will easily win this....

    1. I don't believe Lydia can win the money title even if she wins this week. I don't think the 1 million dollar bonus counts as official money.

  2. If that's the case she can not win but I have not read otherwise. It's also Ko's last chance at Julieta Granada"s LPGA tour record for the most money earned by a rookie at $1,633,586.00.