Image

Preview: LPGA Tour’s CME Group Tour Championship

Preview — LPGA Tour – CME Group Tour Championship — Tiburon Golf Club — Naples, Florida –

The top players from women’s golf compete this week in the LPGA Tour finale for 2013 at the CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club in Southwest Florida.

The event features a stellar field of the game’s best players including the entire Top 10 in the Rolex Rankings.

The week is headlined by a battle for the Race to the CME Globe title and the Rolex Ranking No. 1 spot with Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis neck and neck. Park has had the best of Lewis of late winning twice since summer.

Lewis has three wins but all earlier in the season prior to June.

Na Yeon Choi won this tournament in 2012 and Hee Young Park captured the event in 2011.

Shanshan Feng comes into the tournament with some momentum. Feng, 5th in the Rolex Ranking, was runner-up last week in Mexico to Christina Kim at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. It was Kim’s first win in nearly a decade.

Golf Channel has the coverage all week. Park, Lewis and Lydia Ko make up the featured group teeing off at 10:56 a.m. local time Thursday off the first hole. If either of three win the tournament, they claim the Race to the CME Globe and the $1 million jackpot.

FANTASY: Lewis comes in hungry after leading the season-long Race to the CME Globe standings, but she hasn’t won since June. Take So Yeon Ryu, who won in Canada this summer and was T-4 in Mexico last week. Avoid Suzann Pettersen, who has not won this season and rarely contended. Feng, the defending champion, is in a great spot here. She was runner-up last week and won in Malaysia last month.

BETTING: Park (5-to-1 odds) is the favorite to win, according to Ladbrokes.com followed by Lewis (8-1). Inbee is fresh off a victory over Lewis in Taiwan in early November for her 12th career LPGA Tour title. Take Feng at 16-1 odds, although it’s difficult to defend. For a longer shot, take Mirim Lee who has two wins since August including Beijing in October. Take a flier on Brittany Lincicome at 33-1 odds. She is overdue and finished T-4 in Mexico.

Other Golf News:

  • Retailer Golfsmith opened its first store in the Las Vegas Market in the Downtown Summerlin district.
  • The PGA Tour returns to action in January for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii at Kapalua Resort’s Plantation Course (Jan. 5-12). The event features a Monday finish. Zach Johnson is the defending champion of the event, which only features PGA Tour winners from the previous season.
  • The Rolex Ranking Top 9 features Park, Lewis, Ko, Pettersen, Feng, Michelle Wie, Ryu, Karrie Webb and Lexi Thompson.