It’s been three years since Caroline Masson has tasted an LPGA victory. On Sunday at the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA, Masson started the round four shots behind Nelly Korda. As Masson walked to the final hole of regulation, she found herself alone on top of the leaderboard with a one-stroke advantage over playing partners Korda and Minjee Lee.
With pars on the 72nd hole and on the first playoff hole, Masson fell short of her second career LPGA title but took away a lot of positives from a season-best runner-up result with one event remaining on her 2019 schedule.
“Going back to Florida, I've lived there for a few years now,” Masson said of her plans for the next few weeks leading up to the CME Group Tour Championship. “Going to practice hard the next two weeks and be ready. I couldn't get these really good finishes for whatever reason, so it's nice to see one week where it almost all came together, and proved to myself that I can contend with the girls still. Not that old, but sometimes you feel like, man, hopefully you can still hang with them. I think that was nice for me to be able to do that.”
Rolex Rankings No. 8 Nelly Korda (66-67-65-72)
- Korda hit 9 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens, with 34 putts
- With her second win of the year, Nelly Korda is the first American with multiple wins in the 2019 season
- Korda is the third player this season to successfully defend a 2018 title, joining Brooke Henderson at the LOTTE Championship and Danielle Kang at the Buick LPGA Shanghai
- She is the seventh player to have multiple wins this season, joining Hannah Green (2), Brooke Henderson (2), Mi Jung Hur (2), Jin Young Ko (4), Sei Young Kim (2) and Sung Hyun Park (2)
- Became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the 2018 Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA, which was played at the Ta Shee Golf and Country Club
- Korda and her older sister Jessica (five wins) are one of three sets of sisters in LPGA history to both win titles, joining Annika Sorenstam (72 wins) and Charlotta Sorenstam (one win), and Ariya Jutanugarn (10 wins) and Moriya Jutanugarn (one win)
CME GROUP CARES CHALLENGE – SCORE 1 FOR ST. JUDE
The CME Group Cares Challenge is a season-long charitable giving program that turns aces into donations. CME Group will donate $20,000 for each hole-in-one made on the LPGA Tour in 2019, with a minimum guaranteed donation of $500,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
There have been 31 aces made this season and a total of $620,000 donated thus far to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This more than covers the average cost of $425,000 needed to treat a pediatric cancer patient.
LEADERS TOP 10 COMPETITION
The LEADERS Top 10 competition awards a $100,000 bonus to the LPGA player with the most top-10 finishes through the completion of the TOTO Japan Classic. In the event of a tie in total top-10 finishes, the award will go to the player with the most official wins, followed by most second-place finishes, third-place finishes, etc., until the tie is broken.
With her tie for ninth at the BMW Ladies Championship, Jin Young Ko clinched the LEADERS Top 10 Competition with 12 top-10 finishes. Brooke Henderson collected her 12th top-10 finish of the season on Sunday at the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA, but with Henderson sitting out the TOTO Japan Classic next week Jin Young Ko wins the tie-break scenario. Nelly Korda and Hyo Joo Kim are now tied for third with 11 top-10s.
AON RISK REWARD CHALLENGE UPDATED SCENARIOS
The season-long Aon Risk Reward Challenge highlight's the world's best professional golfers as they tackle the most strategically challenging holes across both the LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR schedules. Players will take their best two scores from each Aon Risk Reward Challenge hole, with the winners having the best average score to par at the end of the regular season. The player from each Tour on top of the Aon leaderboard at the end of the regular season will receive a $1 million prize.
Heading into the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA, only three players have a chance to catch Carlota Ciganda who leads the standings at -0.841 and is not playing the final two qualifying events. Ariya Jutanugarn who is in second at -0.800, In-Kyung Kimwho is in third at -0.750 and Hyo Joo Kim who is seventh at -0.706, all three are in the field at the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA and the TOTO Japan Classic.
The designated Aon Risk Reward Challenge hole at the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA is the par-4 8th. This hole has multiple teeing areas and presents a wonderful risk-reward opportunity for the player, depending on yardage for the day. It will be set up from the forward tee at just 255 yards for at least two of the four rounds. Two long bunkers guard the left side of the fairway, close to the landing area, while another bunker (short and right of the green) lies in wait for a poorly struck second shot.
Here's how the three players in contention fared this week:
|PLAYER||RD. 1 (339 yds)||RD. 2 (344 yds)||RD. 3 (241 yds)||RD. 4 (243 yds)|
|Hyo Joo Kim||birdie||par||par||par|
For more information about the Aon Risk Reward Challenge, visit www.lpga.com/statistics/aon-risk-reward-challenge.
RACE TO THE CME GLOBE NEARING THE FINISH LINE
Heading into the 30th week of the 2019 Race to the GME Globe, four-time winner Jin Young Ko leads the standings with 4,148 points. Two-time 2019 winner Brooke Henderson is second with 2,772 points, followed by Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Jeongeun Lee6 with 2,652 points.
The 2019 season brings a fresh face to the Race to the CME Globe. LPGA Members will accumulate points at each official LPGA Tour event leading up to the CME Group Tour Championship. The top 60 points earners and ties will then earn a spot in the CME Group Tour Championship, with the entire field competing for the $5 million purse and the $1.5 million winner’s check, the largest single prize in the history of women’s golf.
With a T23 finish at the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA, Anna Nordqvist is projected to squeak inside the top 60 in the Race to the CME Globe standings, going from 63rd to 59th. With a T8 finish, In-Kyung Kim inched closer to the 60th spot and is projected to move from 71st to 65th. A T11 finish moves Charley Hull closer to safety as she’s projected to move from 56th to 49th. Nordqvist, Kim and Hull are also in the field at the TOTO Japan Classic.
Players must finish in the top 40 and ties at the TOTO Japan Classic to earn Race to the CME Globe points