DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – The holiday season may be over, but the LPGA has one more surprise gift for its players, fans and sponsors. The LPGA and CME Group have announced they have joined together to create the all-new Race to the CME Globe, a season-long points competition that will debut during the 2014 LPGA Tour season.
The inaugural Race to the CME Globe will kick off the week of January 20 at the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic. Players will accumulate points at each official LPGA event from the Bahamas through the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex.
The Race to the CME Globe will then come to an end Sunday at the newly renamed CME Group Tour Championship.
Two big purses and two big winner’s payouts will be on-the-line during the final day of the CME Group Tour Championship. The winner of the CME Group Tour Championship will take home a $500,000 (USD) first-place prize, while the player who has accumulated the most points in the season-long points competition will be announced as the Race to the CME Globe champion with a $1 million unofficial money payout – the largest in all of women’s golf.
“CME Group has made quite an impact on the LPGA Tour during our three years together,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. “The addition of this concept fundamentally connects every event on our Tour and promises big things in 2014 and beyond. The stakes have risen dramatically and the excitement level goes up for our players and each of our tournaments.”
All tournaments will have the same point values in the Race to the CME Globe except for the five major championships, which will carry 25 percent more value. The winner of all official LPGA events leading up to the CME Group Tour Championship will earn 500 points and the winner of each major championship will earn 625 points. Only LPGA Tour members are eligible to earn points in the Race.
For all LPGA events with a cut, points will be awarded to LPGA members who make the cut. For all events without a cut (except for the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex), points will be awarded to members who finish among the top 40 and ties. And for the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex, points will be awarded to members who finish in the top 20 and ties.
The field at the $2 million CME Group Tour Championship will consist of the following: the top 72 players on the Race to the CME Globe Points Standings at the conclusion of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex, any LPGA member – not otherwise qualified – with at least one official LPGA win during the season and any non-member with at least one official LPGA win during the year.
Points will then be reset for the CME Group Tour Championship to ensure that the points race will be won at the season-ending tournament. Reset Points will give top yearly performers an advantage but not guarantee victory.
The points that a player earns at the CME Group Tour Championship will be added to her Reset Points, and the player with the highest points total will be named the winner of the Race to the CME Globe.
“I was so honored to win the LPGA money title in 2013 and now I have something even bigger to play for as I look to make it two in a row,” said Inbee Park, who is ranked No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. “Nothing is guaranteed with this new system so this new Race is going to make everyone on our Tour work a little bit harder because the payoff is so big.”
Fans will also have one more exciting race to follow throughout the 2014 season with “Wounded Warrior Project® Weekends,” a season-long charity program that will be tied into the Race to the CME Globe. Each Saturday and Sunday at LPGA tournaments, CME Group will donate $1,000 to Wounded Warrior Project® for each eagle that is recorded. This amount will increase to $5,000 for each eagle during the weekend of the CME Group Tour Championship and a formal check will be presented to the Wounded Warrior Project® during the trophy ceremony at the CME Group Tour Championship.