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Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Last LPGA Event of 2012

Yes, today is the start of the CME Group Titleholders, the Tour Championship of the LPGA. It's somewhat unique in that the winner gets a full third of the total purse -- a half-million dollar winner's check from a $1.5 million purse. There are, by my count, 73 players in the field and no cut.

It should be interesting, as there's no reason to play safe!

Tony Jesselli over at Mostly Harmless has put together a preview of the event, so I won't duplicate his work. But I would like to note a few players to watch coming into this event.

Stacy Lewis has already been named Player of the Year (unlike the PGA, the LPGA uses points not votes) and So Yeon Ryu has won Rookie of the Year. It's the first time an American has won POY since Beth Daniel back in 1994. Stacy has 4 wins this year and So Yeon has 1. Needless to say, both of these players are playing well.

Inbee Park is coming off an incredible run since June. She's won twice, plus had 6 runner-ups and a third. One of those seconds came last week, so she's definitely in good form. In addition, she leads both the money list and the scoring average -- two awards that have yet to be determined.

Cristie Kerr broke a two-year winning drought last week. I'd be surprised if she doesn't have a little extra pep in her step this week.

At the other end of the spectrum, Paula Creamer is still in a two-year winning drought and Yani Tseng is playing better but hasn't won in months. Plus, as Tony points out, Stacy Lewis is now less than 3 points behind Yani for #1 in the Rolex Rankings. Obviously Paula and Yani are motivated to play well... and with the prize money set up the way it is...

Look for a shootout this week. Coverage runs today on GC from 1:30pm to 4pm ET. (Finally, some live coverage!)

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