Ariya Jutanugarn Wins Season-Ending Event
This season saw Ariya Jutanugarn reach No. 1 in the world and then miss the cut in the next four major championships. She capped off her rollercoaster season with a victory on Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship. She jumped into contention with a third round 67 that put her in a share of the lead heading into Sunday. On a day when the biggest names in women’s golf – Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie, Jessica Korda – went charging up the leaderboard, Jutanugarn birdied four of her last six holes to win. Thompson held the lead for much of the afternoon and held a one-stroke lead when she arrived at the 72nd hole, where she missed a two-footer for par which opened the door for Jutanugarn.
The victory is the second of the season for Jutanugarn who won five times last year.
Thompson Misses The Sweep
Thompson looked poised to sweep the season ending awards when she took a one-stroke lead to the 72nd hole on Sunday. She had just recovered with a brilliant chip that helped her get up and down at the par five, 17th. It was a reminder of her markedly improved short game she had worked so hard on during the off-season which earned her two victories this year. It seemed impossible Thompson would make a mistake at the par four, 18th, especially after rolling up her 60-foot lag putt to within tap in range. But Thompson missed her two-footer for par. She dropped back into a tie at the top with Jessica Korda and Jutanugarn, who was in the final group. Thompson headed to the practice putting green and waited. The sound of applause let her know there wouldn’t be a playoff. With a win, Thompson would have taken home Player of the Year, the Race to the CME Globe, Vare Trophy and she was projected to move to No. 1 in the world golf rankings.
2017 Award Winners
Rolex Player of the Year – Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu
For the first time in Tour history, there are two players who will share Player of the Year honors for a single season. Rookie Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu finished the season tied with 162 points.
Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year – Sung Hyun Park
Park locked up Rookie of the Year honors with five events remaining on the 2017 schedule. The rookie won twice in her first season on Tour at the U.S. Women’s Open and Canadian Pacific Women’s Open.
Money Title – Sung Hyun Park
Park also topped the money list in her first season on Tour. She earned $2,335,883 to edge out Ryu for the top spot.
Vare Trophy – Lexi Thompson
Lexi Thompson earned the 2017 Vare Trophy with the lowest scoring average of the season. She finished the year with an average of 69.114, just ahead of Park who averaged 69.247.
Race to CME Globe – Lexi Thompson
Thompson won the season-long Race to the CME Globe and the $1 million dollar bonus. She led the point standings ahead of the reset that took place at the beginning of the week and held the No. 1 position entering the season’s final event. This is the first time Thompson has won the award.
The following awards were presented during Thursday’s Rolex LPGA Awards ceremony:
- Heather Farr Perserverance Award – Tiffany Joh
- William and Mousie Powell Award – Katherine Kirk
- Commissioners Award – Roberta Bowman
- Ellen Griffin Rolex Award - Sandy LaBauve
The following Tournaments were recognized this week as Gold Driver Award recipients:
- Best Title Sponsor Integration - Evian Championship
- Best Player Integration - Cambia Portland Classic
- Best Advertising/Promotional Plan - McKayson New Zealand Open
- Best Special Event - Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
- Best Community/Charity Event - Canadian Pacific Women’s Open
- Best Social Media Activation - ShopRite LPGA Classic
- Most Fan-Friendly Tournament - LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship
- Volunteer of the Year - ANA Inspiration
- Tournament of the Year – Gold Driver Award - ANA Inspiration
Ariya Jutanugarn Final Round Highlights