Golf: How Lydia Ko can get one million dollars richer

By Sam Warlow

Lydia Ko poses with the CME Race for the Globe trophy following the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club in 2015. Photo / Getty Images
Lydia Ko poses with the CME Race for the Globe trophy following the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club in 2015. Photo / Getty Images

The Race to the CME Globe is nearing its end as the LPGA season winds down and Lydia Ko is in position to win for the third consecutive year.

What is the Race?

In 2014 the LPGA Tour introduced a season-long points race, the 'Race to the CME Globe', with the winner awarded a $1 million bonus at the end of the season.

The CME Group Tour Championship marks the end of this season-long "Race". The final tournament takes place at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida from November 18th to 21st.

Each player's points they have accumulated over the season are "reset" before the final tournament based on their position in the points list.

Lydia Ko finished atop the final points list after the tournament in 2014 and 2015, taking home the million dollar bonus each year.

How the final tournament decides the winner

Ko this season sits second on the points table behind Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn.

After the points "reset" Jutanugarn, as top qualifier, now sits on 5,000 points, and Ko in second has 4,500.

Brooke Henderson, Ha NaJang and Sei Young Kim make up the remainder of the top five with 4,000, 3,600 and 3,200 points respectively.

The points distribution after the final tournament will decide the winner of the race.

First place will be awarded 3,500 points, second 2,400, third 2,200, fourth 1,800 and fifth 1,500.

How Ko can win again

A tournament win will see Ko surpass Jutanugarn (regardless of her finish) and claim the million dollar bonus. Jutanugarn's only previous appearance at the Tiburon Golf Club was a tie for 30th last season.

However Ko's form has been questionable of late.

She hasn't won a tournament since July and has had just one top-10 finish in her last six starts, with three finishes outside the top 40.

Points leader Jutanugarn on the other hand has racked up five top-10s in seven events since her tour-leading fifth victory in late August.

If Ko finishes second, she will end the season on 6900 points and will have to rely on Jutanugarn finishing anywhere lower than third place with someone other than Henderson and NaJang claiming the top spot.

If Ko finishes third, she'll end with 6,700 and will have to rely on Jutanugarn finishing in fifth place or lower. She'll also have to bank on women ranked in the top five not winning the tournament.

How likely is a Ko title?

Ko winning the million without winning the tournament is definitely not out of the question.

Last season, Ko was atop the points leaderboard before the final tournament, and a tie for seventh place was good enough to secure the title.

This season she has ground to make up on Jutanugarn, but if she has a decent finish and Jutanugarn can't get the job done Ko may see another one million dollars in her bank account at the end of the week.

Ko has amassed US$2,457,913 (NZ$3,465,483) this season. An extra $1m would take her career earnings past NZ$14.5m.

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