Tuesday, November 17, 2015

CME Group Tour Championship Preview & Pairings

Congratulations go out to Inbee Park for winning the Lorena Ochoa Invitational by 3 strokes over Carlota Ciganda. It was Inbee's 5th win of the season.

This week the LPGA moves to the state of Florida for the playing of the CME Group Tour Championship. This is the final tournament on the 2015 schedule. Many of you may remember last year's exciting finish when in a 3 way playoff, Lydia Ko came out victorious over Carlota Ciganda and Julieta Granada. Lydia not only won the $500,000 first prize, but also won the "Race to the CME Globe" bonus of 1 million dollars!

Lydia Ko holds up both trophies she won last year at this event
This will be tournament #31 of 31 on the LPGA's 2015 schedule.

Here are the key details:
Course:  Tiburon Golf Club
Location:  Naples, Florida
Defending Champion:  Lydia Ko
Winning Score:  71-71-68-68 = 278 (-10)

Final Field: 71 players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,540
Purse:  $2,000,000

My strength of field rating is a very solid 75%. The only reason that number is not higher is that this is a limited field of just 71 players, and therefore lacks depth. But make no mistake about it, this is a major championship field. All the top name players are here.

Here are the pairings for round #1:

Here are this week's television times:
GC Thursday, November 19, 4:00 - 6:30PM ET
GC Friday, November 20, 4:00 - 6:30PM ET
GC Saturday, November 21, 4:00 - 6:30PM ET
ABC Sunday, November 22, 2:00 - 4:00PM ET

Once again the GC coverage is tape delayed. When the coverage starts on Thursday through Saturday, the tournament will already have been completed. For those who are scoreboard watchers and still want to see the TV broadcast, I would advise you to stop looking at the scores when the "Inbee Group" finishes the front 9. That is where the coverage on GC should begin. I am assuming the Sunday coverage on ABC is live. 

Here are my picks for this week's tournament:
1- Lydia Ko
2- Inbee Park
3- Stacy Lewis
4- Shanshan Feng
5- Suzann Pettersen
6- Sei Young Kim
7- So Yeon Ryu
8- Lexi Thompson
9- Hyo Joo Kim
10- Amy Yang
11- Minjee Lee
12- Anna Nordqvist
My solid picking this year has me in 2nd place among the 20 participants.

Other Tidbits:
It will not just be the 1 million dollars that are on the line this week, but all the major awards are still up for grabs. Lydia Ko currently leads the official money list, but could be passed by Inbee Park. Two Hall of Fame points are up for grabs also this week. Both Lydia Ko (currently with a slim 3 point lead) and Inbee Park will be fighting it out for the Player of the Year, while the Vare trophy's Hall of fame point will either go to Inbee or Lydia also. Inbee currently holds a slim lead there. Inbee Park needs just one more point to have the 27 needed for Hall of Fame entry. She also needs to play one more season to have put in the 10 years that are required. 

Chella Choi is the only LPGA player to play in all 31 tournaments this year.

Rolex Movers of the Week:
Carlota Ciganda leaps up from #61 to #52.

Race to the CME Globe:  (1 million dollars)
Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, and Stacy Lewis, are the only players that are guaranteed the 1 million dollars this week with a victory. Any player in the top 9 can win the big prize, but will need plenty of help to do so.

Who's Hot:
Suzanne Pettersen has registered four consecutive top 10 finishes. Jaye Marie Green has very quietly put together a very solid second half. She has 3 top ten finishes, and 5 top twenties, in her last 8 starts.

Who's Not:
No one that played in Mexico this past week is in any kind of a slump.

Here are the Final Results:

1Cristie Kerr-17F
2Gerina Piller-16F
2Ha-Na Jang-16F
4Lexi Thompson-14F
5Karine Icher-13F
6Inbee Park-12F
7Sydnee Michaels-11F
7Minjee Lee-11F
7Amy Yang-11F
7Lydia Ko-11F
11Jennifer Song-10F
11Brittany Lincicome-10F
13Brooke Mackenzie Henderson-9F
14Xi Yu Lin-8F
14Austin Ernst-8F
14Hee Young Park-8F
14Suzann Pettersen-8F
14Stacy Lewis-8F
14Ai Miyazato-8F
20Ryann O'Toole-7F
20Eun-Hee Ji-7F
20In-Kyung Kim-7F
20Jenny Shin-7F

Be sure to check back here daily for any LPGA news or updates.They will be posted here at the bottom of this blog.  Links to all Women's Tour scoreboards can be found at the top of this page.
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  1. Disappointing that In Gee Chun and Sun Ju Ahn didn't make the trip to Florida this week. Was looking forward to seeing In Gee Chun play.

    sports medic

  2. I will overlook the fact that you do not have Brooke Henderson among your picks. :)

  3. Tony, you don't think Ciganda will make the top 10 this time?
    I am glad to see her good result last week since she seemed to be one of the best performed in the Solheim Cup.

    1. She's playing well and certainly may finish in the top ten. I didn't pick her because this field is so strong.

    2. After first round, she really didn't do well.

  4. After first round, it looks like Korea vs. USA plus Lydia Ko.

  5. How is the caddy of Chella Choi this week?