NAPLES, United States: Park In-Bee, Stacy Lewis and defending champ Feng Shanshan highlight the field this week at the LPGA Tour Championship, the season finale that includes a $1-million bonus prize.
The bonus is in addition to the $500,000 winner’s check and will go to the winner of the Race to the CME Globe series.
“It is just like everything matters this week,” said golfer Michelle Wie. “Good golf will take care of everything. You’ve got to go out there and hit the shots. I let it take care of the rest.”
Wie was speaking about the bonus prize which could go to one of nine players, comprising Wie, Lewis, Park, Feng, New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, Ryu So-Yeon, Swede Anna Nordqvist, Chella Choi and Karrie Webb, of Australia.
The Player of the Year award is also up for grabs at the Tiburon Golf Club course. Lewis leads South Korea’s Park by three points in that race.
“A lot of the things going on this week so I can’t just enjoy myself in the last tournament. I got to play very hard,” Park said.
Feng fired a 66 in the final round last year as she rallied to win the title by one stroke over Gerina Piller. The win for Feng was her second of the season and third of her tour career.
Feng recently added her fourth international title in Malaysia and she has four top-seven finishes in her last five starts.
The season finale comes just days after the Tour announced their 33-event schedule for 2015.
The former Dinah Shore tournament, a major known since 2002 as the Kraft Nabisco Championship, will now be called the All-Nippon Airways Inspiration, with a 25 percent purse boost to $2.5 million.
The event will remain at Mission Hills Country Club near Palm Springs, California and still be staged the week before the first men’s major event of the year, the Masters at Augusta National.
The 2015 tour includes one more event than this year and is worth $61.6 million compared to $57.55 million this season.
Added to the lineup is the Coates Championship in Ocala, Florida, on January 28-31 with a Saturday finish on the eve of the National Football League’s Super Bowl. AFP