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Bubble watch for the CME Group Tour Championship

Bubble watch for the CME Group Tour Championship

Time is running out for players like Patty Tavatanakit. The top 60 players and ties on the Race to CME Globe points list qualify for the season-ending championship, and this week’s Annika driven by Gainbridge at Pelican is the final event before the list is finalized.

Tavatanakit, who currently sits 61st on the points list, opened with a 7-under 63 on a picture-perfect day at Pelican Golf Club to hold a share of the lead with former No. 1 Jin Young Ko.

“I’ve been like preparing for this event,” said Tavanatakit, the 2021 ANA Inspiration winner. “Obviously I knew what I had to do. I’m pretty stressed, but at the same time, I feel like I did everything under my control. I did everything with no regrets.”

The CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club offers the largest non-major purse on the LPGA at $7 million. The CME winner receives $2 million.

There are a number of high-profile major winners currently on the outside looking in. Here’s a list of bubble players as well as some stars who need a big week:

Bianca Pagdanganan of the Philippines lines up a putt on the 16th green during the final round of The Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America at Old American Golf Club on October 08, 2023 in The Colony, Texas. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

As it currently stands, Pagdanganan would be the last player to qualify for the CME field. The former Arizona standout dropped three places this week.  Her last start on the LPGA came in early October at The Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America where she tied for second to secure her card for 2024. Pagdanganan tied for third the week prior.

Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand tees off on the 5th hole during the second round of the Maybank Championship at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club on October 27, 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

Tavatanakit’s last top-10 finish came in August at the Women’s Scottish Open when she tied for sixth. The Thai player’s first-round 63 at Pelican is her lowest round of the season.

Sarah Schmelzel of the United States plays her shot from the ninth tee during the first round of The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican at Pelican Golf Club on November 09, 2023 in Belleair, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Schmelzel bounced back from four consecutive missed cuts midseason to notch three straight top-20 finishes…


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