KORDA DELIVERS RUNNER-UP PERFORMANCE
Entering the final day of the LPGA Tour season in the final pairing at the CME Group Tour Championship, Nelly Korda remained in the hunt until a tough break on the par-4 13th.
After a birdie on No. 12 brought her within two shots of leader Lexi Thompson at -15, a two-shot swing on No. 13, where Thompson found birdie and Korda made bogey, ultimately proved to be the deciding factor.
“I played pretty solid, just made a couple mistakes,” said Korda. “Lexi played really well, really solid today. I think she hit probably almost every green. She made I think just two mistakes but bounced back really fast. I was just thinking take it shot by shot. I made a really bad mistake after that birdie and she just kind of ran with it after that.”
Nonetheless, Korda wraps up a season where she stepped into the winner’s circle for the first time in her young LPGA career and captured a total of nine top-15 finishes.
QUIET YET STEADY WEEK FOR RYU
Perhaps the most under-the-radar name near the top of the leaderboard was the Republic of Korea’s So Yeon Ryu, who quietly notched four rounds in the 60s and finished tied for third. With a victory at the 2018 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give and a UL International Crown title under her belt in 2018, Ryu looks back at her year as one of great triumph and much learning.
“I had a good time and bad time this year, but I guess most of the time was good time,” said Ryu, the only player this week with four rounds in the 60s. “The biggest thing I learned this year was I really have to be myself. I cannot really take everybody's opinion. I think that's one of the biggest lessons I had. Well, I've won once, but I'm looking forward to have more multiple winning for 2019.”
Rolex Rankings No. 8 Lexi Thompson (65-67-68-70, -18)
- Thompson is playing in her fifth CME Group Tour Championship; her best finish is T2 in 2017
- She also played in the 2013 CME Group Titleholders held at Tiburon Golf Club
- She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 12 of 18 greens, with 27 putts
- This was Thompson’s 20th event of the 2018 season; she has six other top-10 finishes, with a best previous finish of T2 at the Honda LPGA Thailand
- Today’s win extends her yearly winning streak to six years (2013-2018), the longest active streak on the LPGA Tour
- Thompson is the 26th different winner of the 2018 LPGA season and the ninth American to reach the winner’s circle
Rolex Rankings No. 33 Nelly Korda (69-67-67-71, -14)
- Korda is playing in her second CME Group Tour Championship, finishing T8 in 2017
- She hit 13 of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens, with 28 putts
- This was Korda’s 22nd event of the 2018 season; she became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship presented by CTBC and has five other top-10 finishes
STATISTICAL RECORDS FOR ARIYA JUTANUGARN
ROUNDS IN THE 60S: Jutanugarn’s 57 rounds in the 60s this year are the most in a season in LPGA history.
- 57 - Ariya Jutanugarn - 2018
- 55 - Ariya Jutanugarn - 2016
- 51 - Lorena Ochoa - 2004
- 50 - Moriya Jutanugarn - 2017
- 50 - Stacy Lewis - 2014
SUB-PAR ROUNDS: Jutanugarn’s 80 sub-par rounds this year is tied for the third-most sub-par rounds in a season in LPGA history. Jutanugarn broke her previous record for most sub-par rounds in a season (74 in 2016).
- 85 - Stacy Lewis - 2014
- 83 - Brooke Henderson - 2016
- 80 - Brooke Henderson - 2017
- 80 - Ariya Jutanugarn - 2018
- 77 - Moriya Jutanugarn - 2017
BIRDIES: Jutanugarn entered the week having made 448 birdies. Jutanugarn’s 22 birdies made at the CME Group Tour Championship gives her a total of 470 birdies made in 2018, surpassing the LPGA record of 469 birdies in a season (set by herself in 2016).
- 470 - Ariya Jutanugarn - 2018
- 469 - Ariya Jutanugarn - 2016
- 460 - Stacy Lewis - 2014
- 455 - Brooke Henderson - 2016
- 442 - Lorena Ochoa - 2004
TOP 10S: With a top-10 finish at the CME Group Tour Championship, Jutanugarn breaks her career top-10 record of 16 in a season in 2016. In 2018, Jutanugarn recorded 17 top-10 finishes, averaging a top-10 finish every 1.65 events played.
TOURNAMENT SCORING RECORDS
18 holes: 62, Lydia Ko, 2016
36 holes: 132, Sung Hyun Park, 2017; Lydia Ko, 2016; Lexi Thompson, 2018
54 holes: 200, Lexi Thompson, 2018
72 holes: 269, Charley Hull, 2016