The LPGA is set to crown a $2 million winner at the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida this week. The tournament will feature the top 60 players in the Race to the CME Globe standings, with four women having the opportunity to break the single-season earnings record.
Lilia Vu and Allisen Corpuz are the top two players in the standings and have a chance to surpass the $5 million mark for the season with a win. Additionally, Vu or Celine Boutier could reach five wins and contend for the prestigious Rolex Player of the Year honors.
The increased purse for the tournament has attracted a strong field, with four past champions and 22 of the top 25 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings competing for the first-place check. The tournament will be held at Tiburón Golf Club, which has hosted all nine previous editions of the event. The course is known for its challenging design, with water coming into play on 17 of the 18 holes.
To predict the contenders for the tournament, past trends can be analyzed. The average winning score over the past nine years has been 17-under, and players must accumulate 20 or more sub-par scores to have a chance at victory. Taking advantage of the par 5s has been crucial for past winners, as seen in Lydia Ko’s victory last year.
Course history also plays a role in determining potential contenders. Jin Young Ko has won the CME Group Tour Championship twice in the last three years, while Sei Young Kim has consistently performed well at the event. Accuracy in approach shots and greens in regulation is important, as demonstrated by last year’s top 10 finishers.
Allisen Corpuz, who has already won a $2 million purse at the U.S. Women’s Open, will be a player to watch. Her ball striking abilities give her an advantage, but converting birdie opportunities will be crucial. Lilia Vu, fresh off a win at The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge, will also be a strong contender.
As the tournament unfolds, it will be interesting to see if any of these players can finish the year off in style and claim the $2 million prize. The CME Group Tour Championship promises to be an exciting event with a highly competitive field.
The LPGA’s CME Group Tour Championship Offers $2 Million Prize
Top Players Compete for Record Purses and Prestigious Titles
The LPGA is set to crown a $2 million winner at this week’s CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida. The tournament will feature the top 60 players in the Race to the CME Globe standings, offering a chance for four women to break the single-season earnings record. Lilia Vu and Allisen Corpuz, currently leading the standings, have the opportunity to surpass the $5 million mark for the season with a victory.
Not only is the purse for the championship impressive, but the overall earnings on the LPGA Tour have seen significant increases in 2022 and 2023. With the $2 million first-place check up for grabs, approximately 20 women still have a chance to win the money title. Six players have already earned over $2 million, while 22 have surpassed the million-dollar mark. Additionally, nearly 100 players will finish the season with over $200,000 in earnings.
However, along with the cash comes immense pressure. The field includes four past champions and 22 of the top 25 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Furthermore, 22 out of the 23 winners from this season will be competing for the prestigious first-place prize.
The tournament will take place at Tiburón Golf Club, which has hosted all nine previous editions of the CME Group Tour Championship. The Gold Course, designed by Greg Norman, presents a challenging par-72 layout that stretches to 6,556 yards. With water coming into play on 17 of the 18 holes and bunkers scattered throughout, accuracy and strategy will be crucial for success.
When analyzing past championships, a few trends emerge. The average winning score is 17-under, highlighting the need for players to accumulate 20 or more sub-par scores to secure victory. Additionally, the par 5s have proven to be pivotal, with last year’s winner Lydia Ko playing them in 5-under. Players such as Jennifer Kupcho, Nelly Korda, Georgia Hall, and Charley Hull, known for their prowess on par 5s, have excelled at Tiburón in recent years.
Considering course history, several names stand out as potential contenders. Jin Young Ko, a two-time winner of the CME Group Tour Championship in the last three years, and Sei Young Kim, with four top-25 finishes in her last four starts, have proven their ability to perform well at this event. Accuracy is also a key factor, with players like Minjee Lee and Ruoning Yin showcasing exceptional iron play in 2023. Hae Ran Ryu, coming off a recent victory and earning the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year honors, enters the championship in excellent form.
Last year’s top 10 finishers all displayed remarkable accuracy, hitting 74.6% of their greens in regulation and 91.4% of their fairways. Players like Leona Maguire, Hyo Joo Kim, and Megan Khang have maintained similar accuracy levels this year, making them strong contenders. All eyes will also be on Allisen Corpuz, who has already cashed a $2 million check this year with her victory at the U.S. Women’s Open.
With Xiyu Lin and Lilia Vu capitalizing on their birdie opportunities, the competition promises to be fierce. Vu, fresh off a win at The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican, has the chance to go back-to-back and secure her fifth victory of the season, potentially earning her the Rolex Player of the Year honors. As the season comes to a close, it remains to be seen if anyone else can finish the year in a similar fashion.
Stay tuned this weekend as the CME Group Tour Championship unfolds, and keep an eye on these names as they contend for the prestigious title.