LPGA awards scenarios: Breaking down CME Sunday

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NAPLES, Fla. – Lydia Ko and Ariya Jutanugarn will battle Sunday for more than the CME Group Tour Championship.

They’ll battle for a major haul of coveted season-long awards.

But they aren’t the only players in the mix.

In Gee Chun is in position to take home the Vare Trophy.

Here’s a breakdown of how the season-long awards and honors are shaking out:


Rolex Player of the Year

This is the simplest race of all.

If Ko wins the CME Group Tour Championship, she will be the Rolex Player of the Year, based on the points standings. If Ko doesn’t win, Jutanugarn will be the Player of the Year. No other scenarios exist.


Race to the CME Globe

Jutanugarn, Ko and Brooke Henderson rank 1-2-3 in the season-long CME Globe points race.

Ko and Jutanugarn are guaranteed to win the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot if either of them wins the CME Group Tour Championship. They’re two shots back going into Sunday’s final round.

Henderson is also guaranteed to win the jackpot by winning the Tour Championship, but she starts Sunday 10 shots off the lead.

Here’s how it goes between Ko and Jutanugarn . . .

If Jutanugarn finishes second or third Sunday, Ko must win to claim the $1 million jackpot.

If Jutanugarn finishes fourth, Ko must finish second or better to win the jackpot.

If Jutanugarn finishes fifth, Ko must finish third or better to win the jackpot.

It keeps going pretty much like that . . .


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Sei Young Kim, Shanshan Feng, In Gee Chun, Minjee Lee and Haru Nomura also have chances at the $1 million jackpot, but their chances are slimmer now with Ko and Jutanugarn both contending for the Tour Championship title.

If Kim wins the Tour Championship, she will claim the $1 million jackpot if Jutanugarn finishes fifth or worse and Ko finishes fourth or worse. If Ko finishes third in this scenario, she will meet Kim in a CME Globe playoff.

If Feng wins the Tour Championship, she claims the $1 million jackpot if Jutanugarn is sixth or worse and Ko is fifth or worse. If Ko finishes fourth in this scenario, she will meet Feng in a CME Globe playoff.

The scenarios for Chun, Lee and Nomura to win the $1 million jackpot require Ko and Jutanugarn to slip farther out of contention.

For example, if Chun wins the Tour Championship, she doesn’t have a chance at the $1 million jackpot unless Jutanugarn finishes outside the top nine and Ko outside the top six. Notably, there would be a three-way playoff for the $1 million jackpot if Chun were to win the Tour Championship, Jutanugarn were to finish 10th and Ko were to finish seventh. 


Vare Trophy

Lydia Ko leads In Gee Chun by .006 points in the battle for the Vare Trophy for low scoring average.

Ko takes a 67.571 scoring average into Sunday, Chun a 67.577 average.

Ko and Chun also happen to be paired together Sunday.

How close is the race?

If Chun beats Ko by a shot Sunday and posts a score of 70 or lower, Chun wins the Vare Trophy. If Chun beats Ko by one shot Sunday but posts a score above 70, Ko wins the Vare Trophy.

They’re the only two players with realistic shots to win the trophy.


Money title

Ariya Jutanugarn leads the LPGA money list with $2,475,218 in earnings.

Ko is second, trailing Jutanugarn by $17,305.

Nobody but Jutanugarn or Ko can win the money title.

Here’s the CME Group Tour Championship money breakdown for the top 10 places:

1. $500,000

2. $164,299

3. $119,187

4. $92,201

5. $74,211

6. $60,718

7. $50,823

8. $44,527

9. $40,030

10. $36,431