Stacy Lewis became the first American in 21 years to sweep the three biggest awards on the LPGA Tour, which she considered more valuable than a $1 million bonus.
Lewis closed with a 1-under 71 in the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida, on Sunday, tied for ninth in the LPGA Tour finale. But it was enough for her to win LPGA Tour player of the year for the second time in three seasons. She also won the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average and the money title.
The last American to sweep the awards was Betsy King in 1993.
“The $1 million would have been nice,” said Lewis, who was six shots out of a playoff. “But those three, that’s what I came here for. … It’s been hard to play the last four days, and it’s nice to be done. I didn’t have my best stuff. I’m pretty surprised to finish where I did.”
Two years ago, the 29-year-old Lewis became the first American since Beth Daniel to win the points-based player of the year. She added the Vare Trophy a year ago. And on Sunday, she collected all three at the same time.
Inbee Park, the No. 1 in the world, was the only player who could have kept Lewis from the awards. She trailed in all of them, but struggled all week at Tiburon Golf Club and finished in a tie for 24th, four shots worse than Lewis.
Lewis finished atop the money list with $2,539,039, more than $300,000 over Park. Her scoring average was 69.532, while Park was second at 69.682. Michelle Wie was third in the Vare Trophy standings (69.818), followed by So Yeon Ryu at 69.978.
It was the first time in LPGA history that four women had a sub-70 scoring average.
New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko ended her rookie year with the biggest payoff in women’s golf.
Ko won the $1 million bonus from the inaugural “Race to CME Globe” by getting into a three-way playoff. Then, the 17-year-old added an extra $500,000 when she defeated Carlota Ciganda of Spain on the fourth extra hole at Tiburon Golf Club to win the CME Group Tour Championship.
Ko made par all five times she played the 18th hole on Sunday, and the last one paid handsomely.
Only the tournament earnings counted toward the money list. The $500,000 from her third victory of the year made Ko the first LPGA Tour rookie to surpass $2 million in one season.
Tommy Armour III made a 4-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole for a one-shot victory over Lee Janzen at the Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational in Pebble Beach, California.
Armour III, who won the event for the third time in its 43-year history, had a final-round 67 for a 14-under 274. He began the final round trailing Janzen, the two-time U.S. Open champion, by two shots.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.