Altvater: Top LPGA Tour players Lewis, Ko have Toledo connectionWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
The LPGA Tour season wrapped up last week with its season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida.
After the last putt found the bottom of the cup on Sunday evening, both Lydia Ko and Stacy Lewis shared the spotlight. Even though Lewis’ family moved to Houston, Texas, at a young age, she was born in Toledo. She annually returns to play in the Marathon Classic and is a fan favorite. Ko won the 2014 Marathon Classic.
Lewis is the No. 2 ranked player in the world and led the seasonlong Race to the CME Globe for most of the year. She won three titles, posted 18 top-10 finishes and earned over $2.5 million.
She earned the Vare Trophy, awarded to the player with the lowest average score per round and topped LPGA Tour money list. Lewis was also named the LPGA Tour Player of the Year for the second time in the last three years. She is the only American player to ever win all three of these prestigious titles in one year.
When Lewis finished T-9 at the CME Group Tour Championship and Ko won the tournament in a playoff over Julieta Granada and Carlotta Ciganda, Ko slipped ahead of Lewis in the Race to the CME Globe and won the $1 million bonus.
Seventeen-year-old Ko also earned the largest first-place check in women’s golf, $500,000.
Toledo golf fans witnessed Ko’s superior golf talents, when she won the 2014 Marathon Classic at Highland Meadows in July.
The CME Group Tour Championship was her third win of the season, she also won the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in April. Ko is currently ranked third in the world behind Inbee Park and Lewis.
This was her first year as a professional on the LPGA Tour and she earned Rookie of the Year honors before the tour championship last week.
With this win, Ko became the first to win the Race to the CME Globe and turned in one of the greatest seasons in LPGA Tour history as a teenage rookie.
She and the rest of the LPGA Tour regulars will take a break, but the tour will begin anew in January at a new stop in Ocala, Florida, the Coates Golf Championship.
Toledo golf fans will get a chance to see both Ko and Lewis, as well as, the rest of the talented women of the LPGA Tour, at the Marathon Classic July 13-19.
Fred Altvater offers golf tips and videos at www.toledoohiogolflessons.com. Email him at BackNine@toledofree press.com or follow him on Twitter @tolohgolfr.