The top three players in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings will play together as the featured grouping in Thursday’s start of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico City.
No. 1 Inbee Park, No. 2 Stacy Lewis and No. 3 Lydia Ko are scheduled to go off as the final tee time of the first round at 12:16 p.m. local time (1:16 p.m. ET) at Club de Golf Mexico.
There’s more than world rankings distinguishing this trio. Lewis, Park and Ko are 1-2-3, respectively, in the Race to the CME Group standings. That’s notable because the top three in the standings at the conclusion of this event will be the only players at next week’s season-ending CME Group Tour Championship guaranteed to win the $1 million race’s jackpot if they win the Tour Championship. Lewis and Park have locked down top-three spots in the race while Ko is vulnerable to a challenge by Michelle Wie. To crack the top three, Wie must win this week while Ko finishes fifth or worse.
Wie is grouped with So Yeon Ryu and Anna Nordqvist in a 12:05 p.m. pairing Thursday (1:05 p.m. ET) in the group just in front of Park, Lewis and Ko.
The top nine in points with Sunday’s finish in Mexico will be the only players left with a chance at the $1 million payday.
Lexi Thompson, Suzann Pettersen and Paula Creamer are scheduled to go off at 11:43 a.m. Thursday (12:43 p.m. ET). Thompson and Pettersen are outside the top nine and must win to have a chance to crack inside the top nine.