Skip to main content

CME Group Tour Championship Preview, Pairings, and Much More

I want to start off today by congratulating Gabby Lopez for winning the Blue Bay LPGA. Gabby played the final round in a threesome with the number 1 and number 2 players in the world (Ariya Jutanugarn and Sung Hyun Park), and came away victorious. It was a see-saw battle until Gabby birdied the 11th, 13th, 14th, and 16th holes, to take a four shot advantage. Ariya made it close by birdying the final two holes, but it was too little too late. For Gabby it was her first win on the LPGA tour. It was also the first win by a Mexican player since Lorena Ochoa.

Image result for 2019 cme tour championship


This week the LPGA returns to the United States for the playing of the CME Group Tour Championship. Many of you may remember last year's exciting finish when Ariya Jutanugarn finished one stroke ahead of both Lexi Thompson and Jessica Korda. Lexi Thompson hung on to win the 1 million dollar bonus.

Image result for ariya jutanugarn wins the cme
Ariya Jutanugarn will be trying to defend her CME Group Championship title.

Image result for lexi thompson wins 1 million bonus
Lexi Thompson took home the 1 million dollar bonus plus the Vare Trophy last year.

This will be tournament #32 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:
Course:  Tiburon Golf Club
Location:  Naples, Florida
Defending Champion:  Ariya Jutanugarn
Winning Score:  68-71-67-67 = 273 (-15)

Final Field:  72 players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,556
Purse:  $2,500,000

My strength of field rating is 66% (down from 69%) last year. Thirty-seven of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 14 of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field will be led by the top three players in the world: Ariya Jutanugarn, Sung Hyun Park, and So Yeon Ryu. Top ranked players skipping the event this week include: Inbee Park, Shanshan Feng, I.K. Kim, Amy Yang, Michelle Wie (injury), and Jennifer Song.

Unlike previous years when all the big awards came down to this tournament, most of the races have already been decided:
  • Ariya Jutanugarn has already wrapped up the Rolex Player of the Year, and the Hall of Fame point that goes along with it.
  • Ariya Jutanugarn has already wrapped up the Vare Trophy, and the Hall of Fame point that goes along with it. (I am calling this one over, as all she has to do this week is stay within 15 strokes of runner-up Jin Young Ko).
  • Ariya Jutanugarn has already wrapped up the money list title by a wide margin.
  • Jin Young Ko has won the Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year Award.
What is still up for grabs and to be decided this week include:
  • Who will win the 1 million dollar bonus for the Race to the CME Globe.
  • Who will finish the year as the #1 ranked player in the world. It will take a victory by Sung Hyun Park to have a chance to unseat Ariya Jutanugarn from the top of the Rolex Rankings. 
Here are the pairings for round 1:

Here are the television times:
GC    Thurs. Nov 16,  4:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m. ET  (tape delay)
GC    Fri.      Nov 17,  4:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m. ET  (tape delay)
GC    Sat.     Nov 18,  4:30 p.m.- 7:30 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- Ariya Jutanugarn - She has to be the favorite to win every time she tees it up.
2- Sung Hyun Park - Can still finish the year on top with a victory here.
3- So Yeon Ryu - When you overlook her is when she is the most dangerous.

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Brooke Henderson - A win here would win her the 1 million dollar bonus.
2- Minjee Lee - Ditto.
3- Nasa Hataoka - Ditto.
4- Sei Young Kim - Can win the 1 million if the top five fail.

Longshot picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Angel Yin - Can turn around what has been a very disappointing season.
2- Georgia Hall - Didn't play the Asian swing and will be well rested.
3- Bronte Law - A real longshot, but a real possibility.

Other Tidbits:
Gabby Lopez became the ninth player to win for the first time on the LPGA Tour in 2018. There were only three first time winners last year.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
The only significant move this week in the top 100 was made by Gabby Lopez. Gabby moved up forty-five spots from #136 to #91.

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.
  • Ariya Jutanugarn = 5000 points
  • Minjee Lee = 4,750 
  • Brooke Henderson = 4,500 
  • Nasa Hataoka = 4,250 
  • Sung Hyun Park = 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.
  • Sei Young Kim = 3,600 points
  • Jin Young Ko = 3,200
  • So Yeon Ryu = 2,800
  • Moriya Jutanugarn = 2,400
  • Lydia Ko = 2,100
  • Marina Alex = 1,800
  • Carlotta Ciganda = 1,600
Who's Hot:
Both Danielle Kang's and Sei Young Kim's 4th place finish this weekend was their 7th top five finish of the year. Only Ariya Jutanugarn and Minjee Lee have more.

Who's Not:
M.J. Hur finished her 2018 season without registering a single top twenty finish in 19 starts.

This Week's Trivia Question:
Only one player has ever won this CME Group Tour Championship and the 1 million dollar bonus in the same year. Can you name her.

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


Here are the final results:

1 Lexi Thompson -18
2 Nelly Korda -14
3 Brittany Lincicome -13
3 So Yeon Ryu -13
5 Ariya Jutanugarn -12
5 Lydia Ko -12
5 Marina Alex -12
5 Carlota Ciganda -12
9 Nasa Hataoka -10
10 Amy Olson -9
10 Brooke Henderson -9
10 Sei Young Kim -9
13 Danielle Kang -7
13 Jessica Korda -7
15 Brittany Altomare -6
15 Sung Hyun Park -6
15 Charley Hull -6
15 Gaby Lopez -6
19 Azahara Munoz -5
19 Lizette Salas -5
21 Tiffany Joh -4
22 Maria Torres -3
22 Jane Park -3
22 Yu Liu -3
22 Mi Hyang Lee -3

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 on the right side of this page (or on pull down menu on mobile website).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

LPGA Player Profile - Natalie Gulbis

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 (36 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:   (Updated through the 2018 season)

329 career starts238 cuts made (72.3%)37 top tens (11.2%)Has $4,898,508 in career earnings through the 2018 season (67th on the all time LPGA career money list).


Other Career Highlights: A three time U.S. Solheim Cup Team member (2005, 2…

Most Popular Photos of the Year - 2018

1/24/19 Bonus photos added at bottom of page.

As many of my readers know, my wife and I go to quite a few LPGA tournaments each year. Since 2009 we have gone to almost 60 events, including two in Scotland (St. Andrews being our favorite), and 8 Canadian Opens.

I do all the writing on here, and my wife (who is a schoolteacher) is my proofreader and takes many of the photos. 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 2018. 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.

#17
#16
#12

My Top Ten LPGA Blogs of All-Time

Let me start out today by saying that I am looking forward to next week when the LPGA resumes it's schedule for real this time. They will play four consecutive weeks before the next break that will take them back to the USA. 
Needless to say with all the off time, I have been running out of things to write about. 
This week is the 9th anniversary of my blogging about the LPGA!


Those of you that have been with me from the beginning will remember that the first 3 years I blogged for Mostly Harmless. I created Tony's LPGA Report in 2013.

Over that period of time I have published over 750 blogs. Most have turned out to be quite successful, some have fallen flat. But one thing that you can be sure of is that I have always tried my best to be the "go to" resource for up-to-date and accurate news about the LPGA.

I recently went back through all of my blogs and made a list of the ten most popular. The results were quite surprising. It seems like the pieces that I spend the most t…

LPGA Qualifying Tournament 2018 Final Stage - The Q-Series

The final stage of the LPGA qualifying tournament, the Q-Series, will begin this week.
A field of 102 players will be teeing it up.

At the 2017 CME Group Tour Championship, the LPGA first announced that Q-Series will replace LPGA Qualifying School Final Stage, which was previously held annually in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Instead of 90 holes like the old Final Stage, the new Q-Series will be 144 holes. Players will compete in two, four-day tournaments with cumulative scores over the eight rounds for a $150,000 purse, which will be distributed at the end of the eight rounds.

The LPGA will debut the new Q-Series at the historic Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina, which has hosted several prestigious tournaments including the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open. 
The first week of the LPGA Q-Series presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will be played on the George and Tom Fazio-designed Pinehurst Course No. 6 from Oct. 24-27, while the Q-Series will conclude on the Rees Jon…

Michelle Wie Gets Engaged!

Michelle Wie announced on Instagram last night that she is engaged to marry Jonnie West, the Golden State Warriors' director of basketball operations.





Jonnie is the son of NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West.



Wie, 29, a Punahou School and Stanford graduate, is a five-time winner on the LPGA Tour. West, 30, played basketball at West Virginia, his father’s alma mater. Wie, who has been recovering from hand surgery in October, is expected to play in the Lotte Championship, April 17-20, at Ko Olina.

This Week's Trivia Question:
Who was the only LPGA player to play in 30 events in 2018?

For the answer tothis week's trivia question press here.

KPMG Women's PGA Championship Preview

Congratulations go out to Anna Nordqvist for successfully defending her ShopRite Classic title. She came from behind, shooting a final round 64, which turned out to be one stroke better than runner-up Haru Nomura.



This week the LPGA travels to the state of Washington for the the playing of the KMPG Women's PGA Championship. This is the second Major Championship of the season. It is also the start of an extremely important part of the 2016 LPGA schedule that will include 3 Major Championships and the UL International Crown in the next 8 weeks.

This tournament was won last year in run-away fashion, when Inbee Park smoked the field by 5 strokes. She has won this championship 3 years in a row, and will be trying for a very rare four-peat. However, a recent injury to her thumb, will make that highly unlikely.


This will be tournament #16 of 33 on the 2016 LPGA schedule.
This will also be Major Championship #2 of 5 to be played in 2016.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Sahalee Country Club

LPGA Announces its 2019 Schedule!

The LPGA officially announced its 2019 schedule today, and it well worth the wait!

Here are the highlights:
1- The schedule features 34 events (33 official + The Solheim Cup). There were 33 last year (32 + UL International Crown).

2- The season will start one week earlier than last year, and kick off with two new tournaments.

3- There are a total of four tournaments:
     a) Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions (Jan 17-20)
     b) Vic Open (Feb 7-10)
     c) Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (July 17-20)
     d) BMW Ladies Championship (October 24-27)

     Tournaments that are no longer on the LPGA schedule:
     a) Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic (Pure Silk will be sponsoring the Virginia Event)
     b) LPGA Volvic Championship
     c) LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship
     d) Blue Bay LPGA

     There will be another tournament announced at a later date, that will take place Nov 14-17.

4- Will feature a record setting $70.55 million in prize money (up from 65.35 last year).

5- There w…