Season-long awards on line with two weeks to play

By Randall MellNovember 12, 2014, 10:38 pm

Some of the LPGA’s most important season-long awards still hang in the balance with Thursday’s start of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

What happens in Mexico City this week sets the stage for potentially dramatic battles for the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Race to the CME Globe and the official money title at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship next week in Naples, Fla.

While the competition for Player of the Year and the money title are down to Stacy Lewis and Inbee Park, the Race to the CME Globe is more wide open, with a points reset before the CME Group Tour Championship setting up a nine-player battle for the season-long competition’s $1 million jackpot.

Lydia Ko has already locked up the Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year Award based on her points advantage.

Rolex Player of the Year

Lewis and Park are the only players who can win the award, but it’s a tight battle.

Lewis is 12 points ahead of Park in the POY points race as she seeks to win the award for the second time in her career. Lewis won the award in 2012 and Park won it in 2013. 

There are 30 points available to this week’s winner, 12 points for second place and nine for third with points awarded down to a single point for 10th place. The same POY points are up for grabs at the Tour Championship.

The Vare Trophy

Barring a collapse in the next two weeks, Lewis will take home the Vare Trophy for low scoring average for the second consecutive year. Lewis enters this week with a 69.34 scoring average to Park’s 69.58 and Michelle Wie’s 69.71. If Lewis shoots even par over the final two events of the season, Park would need to finish with a total of about 24 under par over those same to win the Vare Trophy.

Race to the CME Globe

Lewis and Park are 1-2 in the Race to the CME Globe points standings and are guaranteed to finish that way going to the CME Group Tour Championship. That’s notable because the top three in points are guaranteed that they will win the season-long race’s $1 million jackpot if they win the Tour Championship. Lydia Ko is third in points but could be challenged for the final spot at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational this weekend. Wie must win while Ko finishes fifth or worse for Wie to move ahead of Ko and into the top three.

Only the top nine in points will go to the Tour Championship with a chance to win the CME Race to the Globe’s $1 million jackpot. Karrie Webb holds down the ninth spot, but she and No. 8 Chella Choi aren’t playing this week. That opens the door for four players in this week’s field to crack the top nine: Azahara Munoz, Cristie Kerr, Lexi Thompson and Suzann Pettersen.

The Race to the CME Globe points standings will be reset for the Tour Championship.

Here are the top 16 in standings:

1. Stacy Lewis 4,823

2. Inbee Park 3,912

3. Lydia Ko 3,313

4. Michelle Wie 2,939

5. So Yeon Ryu 2,526

6. Anna Nordqvist 2,455

7. Shanshan Feng 2,353

8. Chella Choi 2,299

9. Karrie Webb 2,281

10. Azahara Munoz 2,154

11. Mirim Lee 2,068*

12. Cristie Kerr 1,957

13. Lexi Thompson 1,949

14. Suzann Pettersen 1,939

15. Jessica Korda 1,871*

16. Na Yeon Choi 1,808*

+ A victory this week is worth 500 points, second place worth 300, third 190 with points awarded through the top 20 finishes.

* Mirim Lee, Jessica Korda and Na Yeon Choi are eliminated from any chance at the top nine as they aren’t playing this week.

LPGA Money List

The battle for the 2014 money title is down to Lewis and Park.

Lewis tops the money list with $2,492,483 in earnings. Park is second with $ 2,134,415 in winnings.

Lewis is seeking to win the LPGA money title for the first time. Park has won it the last two years.

With the winner’s check worth $150,000 at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational this week and $500,000 at the CME Group Tour Championship next week, a lot can happen between these two over the final two weeks.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.