Perry’s CME Group Tour Championship Picks: Lexi Leads List of Top Plays in Women’s Finale
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Lexi Thompson.
With the PGA and European tours having reached their 2020 conclusions, we’ll take a look at this week’s LPGA finale.
The CME Group Tour Championship will tee off Thursday at Tiburon Golf Club. The four-round event will feature a 72-player field, set up as a no-cut event similar to the European Tour championship that was played a week ago.
That said, let’s take a look at what’s in store.
Tiburon in Naples, Fla., has played host to the tournament each year since the 2013 season. The course is going to be set up on the longer side for an LPGA event, stretching out to 6,556 yards for on the par-72 layout.
The past winners have usually had a strong combination of length off the tee and solid approach games, with the latter being the more important.
Water is lurking everywhere at Tiburon, serving as the primary defense. There isn’t much rough to deal with on the course, so that should help the longer hitters as long as they can steer clear of trees and stay dry.
Defending champ Sei Young Kim opens at the top of the board at plus+800. She was coming off a pair of victories prior to finishing 20th at last week’s U.S. Women’s Open.
Inbee Park (+850) and Jin Young Ko (+900) are next in line on the odds board. Both players had a great couple of weeks in Texas recently, but neither has contended here in recent past. Ko doesn’t have a top-10 finish thus far and Park hasn’t finished inside the top 5 since 2013 at this competition.
Danielle Kang (+1200) was third a year ago and made the cut last week after a two-month layoff, but has been hit and miss with the results after racking up some victories this summer.
Brooke Henderson and So Yeon Ryu close out the top part of this range at +1400 odds. Ryu has played all seven years at Tiburon, posting five top 10s, including a second and third. She was also second two weeks ago in the warmup to the U.S. Open.
Henderson has slowly improved her results here, finishing a career-best fifth a year ago. She didn’t really do much after making the cut at the U.S. Open, but prior to that, she was consistently putting up top-10 results.
Lydia Ko and Nelly Korda also pop up here with some solid results in recent years, both sitting at +2000. Ko is the 2014 champion and is coming in with some solid form, finishing in the top 20 in five straight events. Korda has been battling a back issue and missed the cut last week, but has yet to finish outside the top 10 here in three tries.
Four of the previous seven winners have come from this type of range, and I’ll dip just a notch below for my first selection with Lexi Thompson at +3300 on DraftKings. Thompson won here in 2018 and has finished sixth or better in four of the last five years. She missed the cut last week, but I’m not as concerned with that as usual.
The U.S. Open was a grind in difficult, cold conditions so avoiding that and coming into a comfortable situation for the Florida native might be a benefit. Thompson never really had great form heading into this event in the past anyway. Her best result leading into those high finishes was 19th place. This is just a great fit for Thompson who is fifth in distance and GIR on the LPGA Tour.
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While strong players have a good track record here, it’s not really just a run of favorites that dominate. Three of the last five winners were +5000 or higher, so it’s not a bad event to take a chance or two in this range.
I’ll go with two plays in this group, starting with Jessica Korda at +3300 on DraftKings. Nelly’s older sister has been playing fairly well for a little over a month now, finishing in the top 25 in three consecutive events. She’s also played well here in the past few seasons, finishing inside the top 15 three consecutive times. Korda was second in the 2017 event.
We’ll also go with Brittany Altomare at +8000 on DraftKings. Altomare is another Florida resident who had a rough couple weeks in Texas. However, prior to that, she finished inside the top 15 in three of her previous four starts. She’s also taken ninth and 15th here in her last two tries. She’s not the longest hitter, but is usually pretty accurate and hits a large portion of the greens.
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Longshots aren’t as prevalent on the LPGA as they tend to be in the men’s game. There seems to be a little more of a talent gap from the top players of the game to the ones sitting in this range. We’ve never seen a triple-digit winner here, but I’ll take one look from way down the board.
I’ll back Cydney Clanton at 300/1 on Bet365. Her form isn’t great at all, but she did take 21st in her only appearance her when she entered with basically no form as well. Clanton pops up because she’s got above average length, ranking 21st in distance and 29th in solid approach. Putting is the weakness, but the Auburn alum is likely most comfortable on the Bermuda greens we’ll see this week. The top-20 play is probably the best option in this limited field, where she’s +550 on DraftKings.
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The CME Group Card
- Lexi Thompson: +2800 (1.18 units)
- Jessica Korda: +3300 (1 unit)
- Brittany Altomare: +8000 (.41 units)
- Cydney Clanton: +30000 (.11 units)
Total Stake: 2.7 units