Danielle Kang is playing in her eighth CME Group Tour Championship this week in a season unlike any other. Kang is one of only two players with multiple victories this season after winning the LPGA Drive On Championship – Inverness Club and Marathon LPGA Classic presented by Dana in the Tour’s restart in July. Throw in an additional three top-10 finishes, and Kang is third in the standings for the Rolex Player of the Year award. And, after making every cut in 12 events played, Kang is on the verge of closing out the year with the Vare Trophy.
“I definitely had, whether it was world No 1, Player of the Year, Vare Trophy, everything was a possibility at one point or another. I was world No. 2 at one point. You have goals and dreams in your mind and you set them when you play, and even before I started and while I'm on tour,” said Kang, who meets the 70% of the Official Tournament rounds requirement with her 69.978 scoring average. “That's part of it, though, and I think whether I do it or not, I'm okay with having the opportunity to have almost done it. Because I don't think it's just going to be once or twice that you have to have the opportunity. That's what actually Inbee said to me, too. We had a good chat a month ago.”
Kang said she likes Tiburon Golf Club and has been looking forward to this event. “I keep telling people if I just don't ‘beep’ around I should be contending pretty well. I don't know why. I just get really greedy out here. When you get greedy, there is this nice little lost ball waiting for you. I don't know. I just get really excited to play this event, and I even said to people that I took seven weeks off before U.S. Women’s Open,” said Kang, who finished in a tie for third in Naples in 2019. “U.S. Women’s Open is great, but I wanted it to be kind of a steppingstone. I know the golf course pretty well. I know how the greens break. There are some par-3s that I have made doubles out here with 8-irons because I got so cocky on the tee box and thinking I could hit it to five feet.”
While gearing up for CME week, Kang was able to talk with Mary Browder, a 17-year-old cancer survivor who, with the help of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, beat Hodgkins Lymphoma. Moved by her story, Kang pledged to donate $1000 per birdie this week in Browder’s honor. Her goal? 20 birdies, to equal the $20,000 donation made by CME Group for every ace this season thanks to the CME Group Cares Challenge - Score 1 for St. Jude.
“20 so I can get to $20,000 then,” said Kang. “That would be cool. I got you, Mary.”