Skip to main content

CME Group Tour Championship Preview, Pairings, and Much More

I would like to start off by congratulating Shanshan Feng on winning the Blue Bay LPGA. For a full recap on that tournament press here.


Image result for CME Group Tour Championship


This week the LPGA returns to the United States with the playing of the CME Group Tour Championship. This is the final tournament on the 2017 LPGA schedule. Last year's exciting finish saw Charley Hull and So Yeon Ryu tied for the lead with just two holes to play. Hull would birdie the 17th hole while Ryu bogeyed it, sending Hull home with a two stroke victory and the championship trophy. Ariya Jutanugarn who finished tied for fourth, hung on to win the one million dollar bonus.

Image result for Charley hull wins cme
Charley Hull won this Championship (and the $500,000 first place check) in 2016

This will be tournament #33 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:
Course:  Tiburon Golf Club
Location:  Naples, Florida
Defending Champion:  Charley Hull
Winning Score:  67-70-66-66 = 269 (-19)

Final Field:  74 players (72 plus non LPGA member winners Jin Young Ko and Ha Na Jang)
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,540
Purse:  $2,500,000

My strength of field rating is 68% (down from 73% last year). Forty of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List (not used for this event) and twenty-one of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. Unlike previous years, a number of top players who qualified for this event will not be teeing it up. Those players include: Haru Nomura, Hyo Joo Kim, M.J. Hur, Chella Choi, Inbee Park (injury), Su Oh, and Laura Gonzalez Escallon. 

There is a lot at stake this week besides the CME Trophy:

  • I million dollars will go to the winner of the Race to the CME Globe. Lexi Thompson currently leads (see below for current standings).
  • The Rolex Player of the Year is still up for grabs. So Yeon Ryu currently has the lead by a very narrow margin over Shanshan Feng, Sung Hyun Park, and Lexi Thompson. The winner receives a Hall of Fame point.
  • The Vare Trophy is about as tight as could be as Lexi Thompson has a very narrow lead over Sung Hyun Park.
  • It still remains a mystery as to who will finish the season as #1 in the Rolex Rankings. Shanshan Feng (the current leader), Sung Hyun Park, So Yeon Ryu, and Lexi Thompson are all tightly bunched up and have mathematical chances of finishing on top.


Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
GC    Thurs. Nov 16,  4:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. ET  (tape delay)
GC    Fri.      Nov 17,  4:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. ET  (tape delay)
GC    Sat.     Nov 18,  4:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. ET  (tape delay)
ABC  Sun.    Nov 19,  1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. ET

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
1- Shanshan Feng - Looking for 3rd consecutive win to go along with Bonus
2- Sung Hyun Park - Looking to take back the #1 spot
3- So Yeon Ryu - Ditto

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Lexi Thompson - A win will get her the bonus and the Vare Trophy
2- Brooke Henderson - A win gets her the million dollar bonus

Longshot picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Moriya Jutanugarn - Eventually she will have to finish one. Why not here?
2- Lizette Salas - She is playing the best golf of her career

In 2017 The Race to the CME Globe has made the following changes this year:

1- The top five (5) finishers entering Naples will control their own destiny at the CME Group Tour Championship, meaning if they win in Naples they will also win the $1M CME Globe.

2- The top twelve (12) finishers entering Naples will have a mathematical chance to win the $1M CME Globe.

Previously the top 3 finishers controlled their own destiny, and the top 9 had a mathematical chance to win the $1M CME Globe.

Other Tidbits:
The 2020 KPMG Women's PGA Championship will be held at the Aronimink GC in suburban Philadelphia.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Shanshan Feng rises two spots to become the new #1 player in the world.
Moriya Jutanugarn jumps up 4 more spots to #17, while Megan Khang jumps into my field rating by moving up from #102 to #96.


Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
The points have been reset and here are the top 5 players that hold their fate in their own hands.
  • Lexi Thompson = 5,000 points
  • Sung Hyun Park = 4,750 
  • Shanshan Feng = 4,500
  • So Yeon Ryu = 4,250
  • Brooke Henderson 4,000
The above five players will win the 1 million dollar bonus if they win the tournament.

Seven other players have an outside chance of winning the 1 million dollar bonus.
  • In Gee Chun = 3,600 points
  • Cristie Kerr = 3,200
  • Moriya Jutanugarn = 2,800
  • Ariya Jutanugarn = 2,400
  • Anna Nordqvist = 2,100
  • Stacy Lewis = 1,800
  • Lydia Ko = 1,600
The above seven players can win the bonus if none of the top 5 players win the tournament.

Who's Hot:
Lizette has 5 top tens in her last six starts (the other finish was 13th). 
Moriya Jutanugarn has 4 top fives in her last five starts.
Sarah Jane Smith has three consecutive top 15 finishes.

Who's Not:
Haru Nomura has not finished in the top twenty in her last 13 starts.
M.J. Hur's last seven starts have failed to produce a single top thirty finish.

This Week's Trivia Question: 

This is the fourth year for the CME Group Tour Championship. In the previous three years only 1 player has finished in the top 10 each time. Can you name her?

For the answer to this week's trivia question press here.

Here are the leaders after round 3:
1 Kim Kaufman -10
1 Michelle Wie -10
1 Ariya Jutanugarn -10
1 Suzann Pettersen -10
5 Stacy Lewis -9
5 Karine Icher -9
5 Lexi Thompson -9
5 Austin Ernst -9
5 Jessica Korda -9
5 Pernilla Lindberg -9
5 Sung Hyun Park -9
12 Amy Yang -8
12 Jin Young Ko -8
12 Charley Hull -8
12 Jenny Shin -8
12 Eun-Hee Ji -8
12 Pornanong Phatlum -8
12 In-Kyung Kim -8
19 Cydney Clanton -7
19 Anna Nordqvist -7
19 Nelly Korda -7
19 Sarah Jane Smith -7
23 Shanshan Feng -6
23 Candie Kung -6
23 Minjee Lee -6
23 Brooke Henderson -6
23 Marina Alex -6
23 Lydia Ko -6
23 Ha-Na Jang -6
23 Madelene Sagstrom -6
23 Caroline Masson -6

Be sure to check back here daily for any LPGA news or updates.  They will be posted here at the bottom of this blog. 
Tournament results will be posted here at the end of each round. Links to all Women's Tour scoreboards can be found at the top of this page.
   (Currently 1,555 followers)
                                     








Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

LPGA Player Profile - Natalie Gulbis

With the LPGA taking a one week break before resuming its schedule in the state of Texas, I want to take this opportunity to do my fifth player profile.

The player I have chosen this time around, may very well be in the twilight of her career, but has been a crowd favorite for many years. I have chosen:

NATALIE GULBIS


Born: 1/7/83 (34 years old)
Hometown: Sacramento Calif.
Resides: Lake, Las Vegas, Nev.
Rookie Year: 2002



Natalie has won once on the LPGA tour:

2007 Evian Masters

 Natalie has had many of her best finishes in Major Championships!

Best Finishes in Major Championships:

ANA Inspiration - Finished 3rd in 2006KPMG Women's PGA Championship - Finished 5th in 2005U.S. Women's Open - Finished 4th in 2005Ricoh British Open - Finished 9th in 2013The Evian Championship - Finished 52nd in 2013 (It was not a Major Championship when she won this event).

Career Stats:

318 career starts237 cuts made (74.5%)37 top tens (11.6%)Has $4,892,233 in career earnings through the 2016 season (57…

LPGA Reshuffles 2018 Priority List

The LPGA had its first reshuffle of its Priority List this week. While most of the players moved up or down a few insignificant spots, there were some very significant moves also.

The Priority List is what is used to fill the required amount of spots for any given tournament. Without me getting into the categories, which is potentially confusing, here is a brief explanation. Most full field events have a field of 144 players. Usually 140 of the players come from the Priority List ranking. Two players are Monday qualifiers, and 2 more are sponsor exemptions. So to keep it simple, if your Priority Rating is #150, you have to hope that 10 players decide not to play, or you are probably not getting into the field.


The following players made some of the biggest jumps in this week's reshuffle (and by getting into the top 100 become part of my weekly field rating):
Bronte Law - 108 to 86
Amy Olson - 112 to 88
Nasa Hataoka - 116 to 92
Caroline Inglis - 126 to 93
Hee Young Park - 106 to 94
Mariajo…

Most Popular Photos of the Year - 2017

1/9/18 - Bonus pics added at bottom of this page!


As many of my readers know, my wife and I go to quite a few LPGA tournaments each year. Since 2010 we have gone to over 50 events, including two in Scotland (St. Andrews being our favorite), and the last 8 Canadian Opens.

I do all the writing on here (my wife who is a teacher, is my proofreader), while my wife Cindy does most of the picture taking. Neither of us are professional photographers, but once in a while we get lucky and capture a moment that is very popular with my viewers.

Below I have reposted the most popular photos of 2017. I based this on the number of website hits, and the number of comments each photo received. Some came as quite a surprise to me, as when they were taken I was not expecting such a reaction.

#18
#17
#16
#15
#14
#13
#12
#11
#10
#9

What in the World Has Happened to Yani Tseng?

The 2013 LPGA season has brought us lots of surprises. We have had first time winners. We have had winners from 7 different countries. Five Major Championships were played for the first time, with one player (Inbee Park) winning 3 of them. We have even had 4 players win multiple championships this year. However the biggest surprise to date has to be the tumble taken by Yani Tseng.



Yani started the 2013 season ranked as the #1 player in the world. In fact, at one point during the 2011 season, the #2 ranked player in the world (Na Yeon Choi), was closer to the 180th Rolex ranked player than she was to Yani at #1. It seemed Yani would be number one forever.

Let us look at some of her accomplishments:

In 2008, at the age of 19, Yani won the LPGA Championship.
In 2009, Yani became the fastest player in LPGA history to reach $2 million in career earnings. She did it in only 32 events.
In 2010 Yani won 3 times, including 2 more championships.
In 2011 Yani won 7 times, including 2 more major…

LPGA Player Profile: Sandra Gal (and much more)

Let me start off by giving a big congratulations to Brooke Henderson for winning the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women's Open. Brooke took the lead from Belen Mozo early in round four and never looked back. She shot a final round 3 under par 69 , to finish 271 (-17), which was 5 strokes better than runner-up Jing Yan.

For the 20 year old Henderson, who is in her second full year on tour, it was her fifth LPGA victory (which includes one Major Championship) and second this year.


With the LPGA having an unexpected week off (the Alisport LPGA tournament was cancelled) it gives some time to do another LPGA player profile.


The player I have chosen this week is Sandra Gal.



Born:  May 9, 1985
Hometown:  Cologne, Germany
Resides:  Orlando, Fla.
Rookie Year:  2008




Sandra has one victory on the LPGA Tour.

2011 Kia Classic



Best finishes in major championships:

ANA Inspiration - 15th in 2011KPMG Women's PGA Championship - 12th in 2015U.S. Women's Open - 3rd in 2012Ricoh Women's British Open …

LPGA Player Profile: Belen Mozo

With the LPGA taking a one week break before resuming its schedule in the United States, I thought it would be a good time to do my third LPGA player profile.

The player I have chosen this time around, may not be a household name like the first two were, but I have received a number of requests to do this profile.


Belen Mozo




Pronounced: (bay-LEN moh-thoh) Born: 9/25/88 (28 years old) Hometown: Cadiz, Spain Resides: Cartagena, Colombia College: USC Rookie Year: 2011 2016 Earnings: $76,263 (104th)

Belen has not yet won on the LPGA tour: Here are her best finishes: Finished 5th at the 2016 LPGA Volvik ChampionshipFinished 4th at the 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA ClassicFinished 10th at the 2014 Airbus LPGA ClassicFinished 5th at the 2011 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship
Best Finishes in Major Championships: ANA Inspiration (formerly the Kraft Nabisco Championship) - Finished 41st in 2013KPMG Women's PGA Championship - Finished 58th in 2013U.S. Women's Open - Finished 55th in 2014Ricoh …

LPGA Player Profile: Beatriz Recari

With the start of the 2018 LPGA just a few days away, I would like to sneak in one more player profile.

The player I have chosen today is:


Beatriz Recari
Born:  4/21/87 (30 years old)
Hometown:  Pamplona, Spain
Resides:  Orlando, Fla.
Rookie Year: 2010
2017 Earnings:  $197,765 (77th)



Beatriz has won 3 times on the LPGA tour:

2010 - CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge2013 - Kia Classic2013 Marathon Classic



Best finishes in major championships
ANA Inspiration - 25th in 2013KPMG Women's PGA Championship - 19th in 2013U.S. Women's Open - 27th in 2011Ricoh Women's British Open - 14th in 2016The Evian Championship -9th in 2013



Career Stats:

200 career starts144 cuts made (72%)24 top ten finishes (12%)Has $3,024,791 in career earnings (102nd on the all-time LPGA career money list)



Other career highlights:

Carded a career low 63 in the final round of the 2015 Honda LPGA Classic.In 2013, had two victories and seven additional top ten finishes as she crossed the $1 million mark in season earnings for t…