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Lexi Thompson wins LPGA finale; Jutanugarn takes Race to the CME Globe

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NAPLES, Fla. – Lexi Thompson was the best this week, and Ariya Jutanugarn was the best all season.

Neither left any doubt about that Sunday.

Thompson shot a final-round 70 to finish at 18-under 270 and win the LPGA’s season-ending CME Group Tour Championship by four strokes over Nelly Korda. The win makes this the sixth consecutive year that Thompson has won at least once, extending the longest such active streak on the LPGA Tour.

”It’s very gratifying,” Thompson said. ”This is such a special event for me in general, growing up in Florida. … It was just very gratifying.”

Jutanugarn took the other two big prizes that were up for grabs this week, clinching the yearlong Race to the CME Globe prize – and the $1 million bonus that comes with that – as well as the Vare Trophy for winning the season’s scoring title. The world No. 1 already had wrapped up player of the year honors, and finished 2018 with a 69.415 scoring average to edge Minjee Lee (69.747) for the top spot there.


Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Jutanugarn shot a 6-under 66 on Sunday, finishing the week tied for fifth at 12-under 276.

”It felt great today,” Jutanugarn said. ”I’m very proud of myself.”

Jutanugarn briefly lost the lead in the projected Globe standings on Sunday after Brooke Henderson made three birdies on her first seven holes to grab the top spot. Jutanugarn reclaimed the advantage with four birdies in a six-hole stretch midway through her round, and the trophy was just about locked up when she birdied the par-5 14th almost simultaneously to Henderson making bogey on the par-3 16th.

The 13th hole on Sunday provided the shift that Thompson used to hold off Korda. They went to the tee of that par-4 with Thompson up by two; she made birdie, Korda made bogey, and Thompson was suddenly up four with five holes to play.

”It was just very special to win in front of all my family and friends,” Thompson said.

Jutanugarn finished in style, rolling in a 15-footer for birdie on the final hole to cap the year where she swept the LPGA’s biggest prizes.

”It means so much to me because like to be honest, after 2016 I never expected anything,” Jutanugarn said. ”I feel like I achieve like too much already in my life, so I never think I can do anything more than that. So this year … just like unbelievable.”

It was the 10th career win for Thompson, who grabbed the lead on Friday and kept it the rest of the way. She hadn’t finished better than a tie for ninth in any of her last eight starts – but Tiburon Golf Club has been a haven for the native South Floridian, who is 31-under in her last seven rounds at the tour championship there.

The win also helped ease the pain of last year’s tour championship for Thompson. She had a 2-foot par putt on the 72nd hole – one that could have meant a tournament win, the world No. 1 ranking and player of the year honors – but pushed it right and wound up losing to Jutanugarn by a shot.

There was no final-hole angst this time, and the role reversal was complete. Like Thompson in 2017, Jutanugarn departed with the Globe and the Vare Trophy; like Jutanugarn in 2017, Thompson got the win in the season finale.

Among other notables, Brittany Lincicome (67) to finish tied for third at 13-under with So Yeon Ryu (68), Lydia Ko went 68-68 on the weekend to finish 12-under alongside Jutanugarn, Marina Alex (69) and Carlota Ciganda (70). Nasa Hataoka finished alone in ninth at 10-under, and first-round leader Amy Olson shot a 4-under 68 to finish at 9-under and in a group with Henderson and Sei Young Kim.

”To finish top 10, top five, whatever it’s going to be, going into the offseason, obviously I made a few extra dollars because I’m not playing until January,” Lincicome said. ”I feel pretty good about it.”

The 2019 LPGA schedule is expected to be released in full later this month. The year begins with the inaugural Tournament of Champions in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, from Jan. 17-20. Winners from the last two LPGA seasons are eligible for that field, which means there should be about 36 pros playing along with some celebrity participants and amateurs.



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Charles Howell III takes RSM Classic playoff for first win since 2007

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A year full of drought-breaking victories on the PGA Tour ended on a similar note at the RSM Classic. Here’s how things ended up at Sea Island, where Charles Howell III edged Patrick Rodgers for his first win since 2007:

Leaderboard: Charles Howell III (-19), Patrick Rodgers (-19), Webb Simpson (-18), Ryan Blaum (-17), Luke List (-17)

What it means: Howell has had plenty of close calls over the last 11 years, and this one certainly wasn’t easy. Poised for a wire-to-wire victory, he stumbled out of the gates by playing his first two holes in 3 over, then had to try and catch a red-hot Rodgers. But three birdies over his final four holes got him into a playoff, and Howell ended things with a birdie on the second extra hole. It’s just the third win of his career, and first since the 2007 Genesis Open, but now Howell can book a trip to Maui in January – and will make a hometown start in Augusta next spring in his first Masters appearance since 2012.

Round of the day: What Rodgers did to the Seaside Course over the weekend may very well have violated Georgia law. After making the cut on the number, he blitzed Sea Island with a third-round 61 only to return with a 62 on Sunday. That 36-hole effort set a PGA Tour scoring record, and it included a bogey-free scorecard in the finale where Rodgers circled five birdies over his final eight holes.

Best of the rest: Peter Uihlein picked up some extra cash in his final competitive round of the year, shooting a 7-under 63 to move up 15 spots in the final standings. Uihlein made his move in the middle of the round, recording six straight birdies on Nos. 5-10, to finish the week at 15 under in a tie for seventh.

Biggest disappointment: Howell wasn’t the only player in the final group looking to end a victory drought, as Jason Gore was in contention for what would have been his first Tour win since 2005. But the veteran struggled Sunday, shooting a 2-over 72 that included just two birdies to drop from a tie for second into a tie for 15th.

Shot of the day: Howell had a putt to win on the final hole of regulation, and again on the first playoff hole. But the third time was the charm, as he buried a 20-footer for the win, dropped his putter to the ground and put his head in his hands in disbelief.

Quote of the day: “I’ve failed a lot of times. Fortunately, it was different today.” – Howell



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Patrick Rodgers comes up short in playoff after historic weekend rally

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ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Patrick Rodgers made the cut on the number at the RSM Classic and began the weekend at Sea Island Resort a dozen strokes off the pace.

What he did from there was historic.

Rodgers posted rounds of 61-62 on the weekend to get into a playoff with Charles Howell III at 19 under par. His 123 total over his final 36 holes was the lowest closing weekend in PGA Tour history.


Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos


“I’ve had a ton of rounds in the fall lately where I’ve gotten off to great starts, it looks like I could take it really, really low, and I just haven’t quite got it over the edge,” he said. “Sometimes when you make the cut on the number you can play pretty free. I played freely and confidently, and the next thing I know I’m right in the mix.”

Rodgers final round included a 30 on his closing nine and a birdie at the 72nd hole from 8 feet to get into overtime. In the playoff he failed to convert birdies putts on both extra holes and his runner-up showing was his best finish on Tour since he finished second at the 2015 Wells Fargo Championship.



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Alabama, Auburn Rivalry the Focus of New ‘Driven’ Documentary

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The documentary series “Driven” will return in May 2019 with an all-access look at the Alabama and Auburn men’s golf teams – college golf’s version of the Iron Bowl.

The four-part series will follow the teams’ journey to the 2019 NCAA Championship, a year after Alabama reached the finals (before falling to Oklahoma State) and Auburn advanced to the semifinals. They recently went head-to-head in the championship match at the East Lake Cup, where the Tigers prevailed.

Rickie Fowler will return as co-executive producer of the show, and this year he’ll be joined by fellow PGA Tour star Justin Thomas, a member of Alabama’s 2013 NCAA title team.

“I watched every episode of the first season of ‘Driven’ and I told Rickie that Alabama would be great for a future season,” Thomas said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to team up with Rickie and showcase Alabama’s golf program like never before.”

Led by All-American senior Davis Riley, Alabama is currently ranked fourth in the country. Auburn is 16th in the country behind the strong play of NCAA individual runner-up Brandon Mancheno.

“Driven” is scheduled to air on three consecutive Mondays, beginning on May 6 on Golf Channel, with the final episode premiering on NBC following the NCAA Championship, which this year will be held May 27-29 at Blessings Golf Club in Arkansas.



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RSM purse payout: Charles Howell now inside top 20 all-time in career Tour earnings

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Charles Howell III won on the PGA Tour for the first time since 2007 and earned over $1.1 million in the process. The earnings bumped him to No. 20 on the Tour’s all-time earnings list with a career total of $37,048,795.

Here’s how the purse was paid out at the RSM Classic:

1.

  Charles Howell III

-19

  $1,152,000

2.

  Patrick Rodgers

-19

  $691,200

3.

  Webb Simpson

-18

  $435,200

T4.

  Ryan Blaum

-17

  $281,600

T4.

  Luke List

-17

  $281,600

6.

  Cameron Champ

-16

  $230,400

T7.

  Kevin Kisner

-15

  $192,800

T7.

  Zach Johnson

-15

  $192,800

T7.

  Peter Uihlein

-15

  $192,800

T7.

  Chase Wright

-15

  $192,800

T11.

  Dominic Bozzelli

-14

  $140,800

T11.

  Austin Cook

-14

  $140,800

T11.

  Lucas Glover

-14

  $140,800

T11.

  Graeme McDowell

-14

  $140,800

T15.

  Ryan Armour

-13

  $92,960

T15.

  Matt Every

-13

  $92,960

T15.

  Hunter Mahan

-13

  $92,960

T15.

  Richy Werenski

-13

  $92,960

T15.

  Patton Kizzire

-13

  $92,960

T15.

  Anders Albertson

-13

  $92,960

T15.

  David Hearn

-13

  $92,960

T15.

  Jason Gore

-13

  $92,960

T23.

  Nick Watney

-12

  $51,413

T23.

  Corey Conners

-12

  $51,413

T23.

  Harold Varner III

-12

  $51,413

T23.

  Scott Langley

-12

  $51,413

T23.

  Troy Merritt

-12

  $51,413

T23.

  Brian Gay

-12

  $51,413

T23.

  Jonathan Byrd

-12

  $51,413

T23.

  Adam Schenk

-12

  $51,413

T23.

  Kyle Jones

-12

  $51,413

T32.

  Scott Brown

-11

  $36,224

T32.

  Hank Lebioda

-11

  $36,224

T32.

  Brian Harman

-11

  $36,224

T32.

  Robert Streb

-11

  $36,224

T32.

  Martin Piller

-11

  $36,224

T37.

  Fabian Gomez

-10

  $26,240

T37.

  Derek Fathauer

-10

  $26,240

T37.

  Tom Hoge

-10

  $26,240

T37.

  Joel Dahmen

-10

  $26,240

T37.

  J.J. Spaun

-10

  $26,240

T37.

  Brice Garnett

-10

  $26,240

T37.

  Ernie Els

-10

  $26,240

T37.

  Sam Burns

-10

  $26,240

T37.

  Sung-jae Im

-10

  $26,240

T46.

  Stuart Appleby

-9

  $16,864

T46.

  Harris English

-9

  $16,864

T46.

  Sean O’Hair

-9

  $16,864

T46.

  Ben Crane

-9

  $16,864

T46.

  Ted Potter Jr.

-9

  $16,864

T46.

  Denny McCarthy

-9

  $16,864

T46.

  Chris Kirk

-9

  $16,864

T46.

  Benjamin Silverman

-9

  $16,864

T54.

  Dru Love

-8

  $14,592

T54.

  Brendon Todd

-8

  $14,592

T54.

  Johnson Wagner

-8

  $14,592

T54.

  Henrik Norlander

-8

  $14,592

T54.

  Lee Hodges

-8

  $14,592

T59.

  Sam Saunders

-7

  $13,888

T59.

  Sang-Moon Bae

-7

  $13,888

T59.

  Andrew Landry

-7

  $13,888

T59.

  Aaron Baddeley

-7

  $13,888

T59.

  Nate Lashley

-7

  $13,888

T59.

  Roberto Castro

-7

  $13,888

T65.

  Joaquin Niemann

-6

  $13,184

T65.

  Jamie Lovemark

-6

  $13,184

T65.

  Davis Love III

-6

  $13,184

T65.

  Wyndham Clark

-6

  $13,184

T65.

  Trey Mullinax

-6

  $13,184

70.

  Roger Sloan

-5

  $12,800

T71.

  Cody Gribble

-4

  $12,544

T71.

  D.A. Points

-4

  $12,544

T71.

  Seth Reeves

-4

  $12,544

T74.

  Ollie Schniederjans

-3

  $12,224

T74.

  Tyler Duncan

-3

  $12,224

T76.

  Garrett Barber (a)

-2

  $0

T76.

  Hudson Swafford

-2

  $12,032

78.

  Brendon de Jonge

-1

  $11,904



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Charles Howell III, Abraham Ancer make OWGR climbs after wins

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After getting into the winner’s circle following a number of close calls, both Charles Howell III and Abraham Ancer made significant climbs in the Official World Golf Ranking as the year in golf begins to wind down.

Howell’s playoff win at the RSM Classic was his first since 2007, and the magnitude of the breakthrough brought a few tears to one of the PGA Tour’s most consistent performers. Howell jumped 23 spots in the latest rankings, up to No. 61, while playoff runner-up Patrick Rodgers went from No. 172 to No. 142.

Ancer cruised to a five-shot win at the Australian Open for his first worldwide win since 2015 and just his second as a professional. The Mexican now finds himself right ahead of Howell at No. 60 in the world, a career best and up 36 spots from last week. Ancer started the year ranked No. 267.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


There was another significant win on the European Tour, as Danny Willett claimed the season finale for his first win since the 2016 Masters. The Englishman made perhaps the biggest jump of the week in the rankings, going from No. 276 to 90th. It’s the first time he’s been ranked inside the top 100 in the world since December. Fellow Englishman Matt Wallace went from 57th to 44th with a T-2 finish behind Willett, putting him in position to likely qualify for the Masters as part of the year-end top 50.

Justin Rose moved back past Brooks Koepka at No. 1 by the slimmest of margins, although Koepka will re-take the top spot next week without hitting a shot because of a change in his divisor. There were no changes between Nos. 3-8 this week, with Dustin Johnson followed by Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Francesco Molinari Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.

The only other change in the top 10 came at No. 9, where a T-16 finish in Dubai moved Tommy Fleetwood up one spot and past Rickie Fowler.

With his next competitive start slated for next week’s Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods remained at No. 13 in the latest rankings.



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Matthew Wolff, Davis Riley, Cole Hammer Headline Invitees to Walker Cup Practice Session

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Sixteen of the best American amateurs have been invited to the Walker Cup practice session Dec. 14-18.

The location for the session is still to be determined, but the 2019 team should have a decidedly new look. Mid-amateur Stewart Hagestad is the only 2017 Walker Cupper who was invited for this session.

Though it’s generally an idea of what the USGA’s international selection committee is thinking, the players invited to the practice session are not the only ones who will be considered for the team, nor are they guaranteed to remain an amateur through the summer.

The invites for this year, in alphabetical order: John Augenstein, Akshay Bhatia, Will Gordon, Hagestad, Cole Hammer, Brandon Mancheno, Bryson Nimmer, reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champ Kevin O’Connell, Matt Parziale, Chandler Phillips, Davis Riley, Isaiah Salinda, Alex Smalley, Tyler Strafaci, Matthew Wolff and Brandon Wu.

Just as notable, perhaps, is who was not included, Nos. 1-3 on WAGR: Justin Suh, Collin Morikawa and Braden Thornberry, all of whom are seniors. It’s an indication that they’ll likely turn pro before the matches in September at Royal Liverpool.  

In 2019, the USGA will have a new way to determine the 10-man roster, with automatic invites for an American U.S. Amateur champion, an American who is No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, and the top 3 ranked Americans in the WAGR. The rest will be determined by the committee.

At No. 5, Wolff is the highest-ranked American at the practice session, followed by No. 8 Riley and No. 11 Hammer.



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Ignore all the issues that come with Tiger Woods against Phil Mickelson and just enjoy the show

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It all seemed like good fun back in May when Phil Mickelson began playfully poking Tiger Woods as they were to be grouped together for one of the rare times in their careers on the PGA Tour.

Mickelson was setting the stage for what would become known as The Match, to be played on Friday with a winner-take-all purse of $9 million in Las Vegas.

Back then, it just seemed like Phil being Phil.

“It gets me thinking,” Mickelson said in reaction to all the hype surrounding him playing with Woods at the Players Championship (along with Rickie Fowler). “Why don’t we just bypass all the ancillary stuff of a tournament and just go head-to-head and just have kind of a high-stake, winner-take-all match?

“Now I don’t know if he wants a piece of me, but I just think it would be something that would be really fun for us to do, and I think there would be a lot of interest in it if we just went straight to the final round.”

Later, Woods went along, suggesting he’d be happy to take on Mickelson for “whatever makes him uncomfortable.”

That was the first public vetting of something that had already been in the works, the idea of a one-on-one matchup that would take place for big money — and possibly set the stage for other matches. Mickelson had hoped it would come together by the Fourth of July, and it was around that time that the first details began to emerge.

What appeared then to be an interesting idea has taken considerable hits in the lead-up to this 18-hole encounter at Shadow Creek.

Charging via pay-per-view probably leads the list, forcing those who might be intrigued to make a decision about parting with $20 to watch an otherwise meaningless exhibition on television.

The fact that this type of encounter would have played better in their primes is also prominently mentioned, with even Rory McIlroy chiming in last week, saying that it “missed the mark a little bit.”

Certainly the play of Woods and Mickelson at the Ryder Cup — they combined to go 0-6 in a deflating performance as part of a United States loss to Europe — didn’t help.

And nor does the huge sum being played for, an amount even Woods suggested was “astronomical.”

All perfectly good reasons to have your doubts.

Counterargument: so what?

With a nod to all the negative takes, why not just sit back and enjoy it for what it is, two of the game’s legends going head-to-head in a big-money match with some trash talking and side bets thrown in?

Nobody is suggesting this is major championship theater, or even Doral-level drama. (Their 2005 showdown during the final round in Miami was epic and remains — unless it happens at a major in the twilight of their careers — their best head-to-head matchup).

Yes, having to pay for it is annoying, but, as even Mickelson noted, that $20 can be split among friends who take in The Match together. While not suggesting how to spend other peoples’ money, we are talking about a discretionary income choice that many would squander on other dubious endeavors. And it is Black Friday after all, a day associated with money-spending opulence.

And then there are a couple of issues concerning the big money being offered.

Many have opined they’d only care about this if the two players put up their own cash.

Such a proposition is naive. What athletes in any other sport have done something similar? It’s never happened and never will, and to think that these guys would be the first to do it lacks an understanding of their place in the entertainment, marketing and endorsement world.

Depending on the outlet tracking such things — Forbes, Golf Digest, etc. — Woods and Mickelson earn in excess of $40 million per year apiece in off-the-course income. Mickelson makes well into six-figure paydays for one-day outings that are not televised. Woods can command $2 million plus for overseas tournament appearance fees.

The what-should-be-obvious point here is that these guys garner a healthy sum for walking across the street to tee up a golf ball. They are not going to — nor do they need to — put their own money on the table. (And to be clear, neither player will walk away from this with nothing; both of their management teams are heavily invested, and nobody is working for free.)

The $9 million amount seems gaudy to some (it was actually $10 million before the PGA Tour got involved and asked the parties to play for less, wanting to protect the prestige of its $10 million FedEx Cup payout — which is actually going to $15 million in 2019). Again, for guys who each have a couple of eight-figure endorsement deals, nobody should be shocked at that number.

The charitable components of The Match are so far unclear, and this should be spelled out better. If every PGA Tour event donates proceeds to charity, so should this one-day exhibition. That said, Woods and Mickelson are hardly slouches when it comes to charity, as evidenced by their own foundations.

So yes, the event has its flaws, to be sure. Playing this in, say, 2006 — at a point when Woods and Mickelson combined to win four of the five majors played in a 12-month period — might have brought more intrigue, but the result would not be any more meaningful, or historically significant, than what will transpire Friday. This will not alter the legacy of either player.

This is simply an entertainment play (and perhaps a test to see more of these type of matches in the future, maybe with Tiger and Phil as partners), with a gambling component that we are likely to see more prominent in sports, including golf. Tiger and Phil are two of the game’s biggest stars, even at this late stage in their careers.

Not everyone is on board with this, and that is understandable. But it is hardly a blight on the game or on the individuals taking part. As Woods often says, “It is what it is.”

And it might actually be fun.



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Ariya Jutanugarn completes the first LPGA awards sweep

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NAPLES, Fla. – Ariya Jutanugarn finished a remarkable year with an exclamation point.

She completed an unprecedented LPGA sweep burying an 18-foot birdie putt Sunday to end her season at the CME Group Tour Championship.

It was, by the way, her 470th birdie of the season, a tour record.

Jutanugarn wrapped up the Vare Trophy for low scoring and the season-long Race to the CME Globe’s $1 million bonus. She added those to the Rolex Player of the Year Award, LPGA money title and Rolex Annika Major Award that she had already clinched.

Nobody had ever won all of those in a single season.

Plus, Jutanugarn ends the season as the Rolex world No. 1.


Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


“I’m really proud of myself today,” Jutanugarn said of her Sunday finish. “The first three days, I couldn’t play golf at all because I was thinking about everything too much.”

Jutanugarn closed out with 6-under-par 66, the low round of the day. It was her 57th round in the 60s this year. That’s another tour record. It helped her tie for fifth in the tournament, her tour-best 17th top-10 finish of the year.

Jutanugarn was asked if she can improve upon those efforts next year. Her answer ought to scare fellow tour pros. She said she sat down and reviewed her year with Vision 54 coaches Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott and she discovered …

“I have a lot of things to improve,” she said.

They aren’t all stats.

“I said this year that my goal is to have good self-talk, but I didn’t have it every tournament,” she said. “Maybe half of it, I have good self-talk, but half of it not. I feel like I really want to have better commitment. I didn’t do 100 percent this year, so I have so much to improve next year.”



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Lexi Thompson wins LPGA finale, Ariya Jutanugarn takes Race to CME Globe

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NAPLES, Fla. — Lexi Thompson was the best this week, and Ariya Jutanugarn was the best all season.

Neither left any doubt about that Sunday.

Thompson shot a final-round 70 to finish at 18-under 270 and win the LPGA’s season-ending CME Group Tour Championship by 4 strokes over Nelly Korda. The win makes this the sixth consecutive year that Thompson has won at least once, extending the longest such active streak on the LPGA Tour.

“It’s very gratifying,” Thompson said. “This is such a special event for me in general, growing up in Florida. … It was just very gratifying.”

Jutanugarn took the other two big prizes that were up for grabs this week, clinching the yearlong Race to the CME Globe prize — and the $1 million bonus that comes with that — as well as the Vare Trophy for winning the season’s scoring title. The world No. 1 already had wrapped up player of the year honors, and finished 2018 with a 69.415 scoring average to edge Minjee Lee (69.747) for the top spot there.

Jutanugarn shot a 6-under 66 on Sunday, finishing the week tied for fifth at 12-under 276.

“It felt great today,” Jutanugarn said. “I’m very proud of myself.”

Jutanugarn briefly lost the lead in the projected Globe standings on Sunday after Brooke Henderson made three birdies on her first seven holes to grab the top spot. Jutanugarn reclaimed the advantage with four birdies in a six-hole stretch midway through her round, and the trophy was just about locked up when she birdied the par-5 14th almost simultaneously to Henderson making bogey on the par-3 16th.

The 13th hole on Sunday provided the shift that Thompson used to hold off Korda. They went to the tee of that par-4 with Thompson up by two; she made birdie, Korda made bogey, and Thompson was suddenly up four with five holes to play.

“It was just very special to win in front of all my family and friends,” Thompson said.

Jutanugarn finished in style, rolling in a 15-footer for birdie on the final hole to cap the year where she swept the LPGA’s biggest prizes.

“It means so much to me because like to be honest, after 2016 I never expected anything,” Jutanugarn said. “I feel like I achieve like too much already in my life, so I never think I can do anything more than that. So this year … just like unbelievable.”

It was the 10th career win for Thompson, who grabbed the lead on Friday and kept it the rest of the way. She hadn’t finished better than a tie for ninth in any of her last eight starts — but Tiburon Golf Club has been a haven for the native South Floridian, who is 31-under in her last seven rounds at the tour championship there.

The win also helped ease the pain of last year’s tour championship for Thompson. She had a 2-foot par putt on the 72nd hole — one that could have meant a tournament win, the world No. 1 ranking and player of the year honors — but pushed it right and wound up losing to Jutanugarn by a shot.

There was no final-hole angst this time, and the role reversal was complete. Like Thompson in 2017, Jutanugarn departed with the Globe and the Vare Trophy; like Jutanugarn in 2017, Thompson got the win in the season finale.

Among other notables, Brittany Lincicome (67) to finish tied for third at 13-under with So Yeon Ryu (68), Lydia Ko went 68-68 on the weekend to finish 12-under alongside Jutanugarn, Marina Alex (69) and Carlota Ciganda (70). Nasa Hataoka finished alone in ninth at 10-under, and first-round leader Amy Olson shot a 4-under 68 to finish at 9-under and in a group with Henderson and Sei Young Kim.

“To finish top 10, top five, whatever it’s going to be, going into the offseason, obviously I made a few extra dollars because I’m not playing until January,” Lincicome said. “I feel pretty good about it.”

The 2019 LPGA schedule is expected to be released in full later this month. The year begins with the inaugural Tournament of Champions in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, from Jan. 17-20. Winners from the last two LPGA seasons are eligible for that field, which means there should be about 36 pros playing along with some celebrity participants and amateurs.



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