10 surprise players currently outside the cutline for CME Group Tour Championship, including three former No. 1s


With eight events to go in the 2023 LPGA season, it’s time for players to make a move. The top 60 players on the Race to CME Globe points list will gain entry to the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, where anyone in the field can win the $2 million top prize in women’s golf. The last player in the field this year is guaranteed to make a minimum of $40,000.

Last week’s winner, Ally Ewing, jumped from 71st to 30th with her win in Cincinnati. Maria Fassi, who finished a career-best solo in third, jumped from 96th to 67th, just outside the line. The story around Fassi suddenly shifted from a possible Q-Series to a possible Tour Championship.

The top 100 on the CME points list will keep their LPGA cards for 2023.

61. Matilda Castren

Matilda Castren of Finland hits her tee shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the CP Women’s Open at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club on August 26, 2022 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Last year was the first time Matilda Castren qualified for the CME, but we expect so much from her in such a short time. The first player from Finland to win on the LPGA in 2021, Castren’s best result this season came at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, where she finished second to teammate Kelly Tan. She has only one other top 10 finish of the season.

62. Ariya Jutanugarn

Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn celebrates on the eighteenth green during the third round of the HSBC Women’s World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club on March 5, 2022 in Singapore. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

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After battling injuries this season, Ariya Jutanugarn has shed a tear of late, with 11 straight rounds in the 60s leading up to Sunday’s final round 74 in Cincinnati. Four consecutive top 30 finishes have put Jutanugarn on the points list. She won the CME in 2017.

66. Jenny Shin

South Korea’s Jenny Shin drives from the 8th tee during the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play hosted by Shadow Creek at the Shadow Creek Golf Course on May 28, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

South Korean Jenny Shin has competed in every CME Group Tour Championship since 2011. She’s not far off this year, but currently six places outside the cutline. Shin had a string of three top 10s in the middle of the season, but hasn’t cracked the top 30 since the KPMG Women’s PGA.

74. Yealimi Noho

Yealimi Noh of the United States walks to the sixth tee during the third round of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational at Midland Country Club on July 15, 2022 in Midland, Michigan. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Yealimi Noh played her way into the CME Group Tour Championship as a rookie in 2020 and 2021, finishing T-28 and T-30. After three missed cuts in the UK and Europe, Noh has a few top-20 finishes in her last two starts. She tends to be a late push.

91. So Yeon Ryu

So Yeon Ryu of South Korea hits her tee shot on the 3rd hole during day three of the Simone Asia Pacific Cup at Pondok Indah Golf Course on August 20, 2022 in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

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So Yeon Ryu, a former No. 1, has only one top-10 finish in the Amundi Evian Championship this season. Although she only missed two cuts, she hasn’t seen many leaderboards.

Ryu hasn’t missed a CME since joining the tour in 2012. In fact, she has six top-10 finishes at the event, including a few runners-up.

92. Pornanong Phatlum

Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum walks off the second tee at the final round of the Dana Open presented by Marathon at Highland Meadows Golf Club on September 4, 2022 in Sylvania, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

From 2011 to 2019, Pornanong Phatlum never finished worse than 64th on the LPGA money list, enjoying a long streak of consistent play. However, Phatlum has not been nearly as effective since 2020. Her best finish of the season, a T-11, came in Northern Ireland last month. She is in danger of missing the CME for the third year in a row.

104. Hyun Park Sung

South Korea’s Sung Hyun Park plays her shot from the 13th tee during the first round of the Kroger Queen City Championship presented by P&G at Kenwood Country Club on September 8, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Sung Hyun Park’s battle continues as the former No. 1 is currently ranked 116th in greens in regulation and 123rd in driving accuracy. Park, a seven-time winner on the LPGA, including two majors, has not made a top 10 list since August 2019.

(Park could still play in the big-winner category in 2023 and avoid the Q-Series if she finished outside the top 100.)

106. Sophia Popov

Sophia Popov of Germany plays her tee shot on the 12th hole during day two of the AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield on August 5, 2022 in Gullane, Scotland. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

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After the CP Women’s Open, Sophia Popov posted on Instagram that she would not compete for the rest of the season, citing shoulder pain. Her only top 10 of the year came at the Dow team event.

“I’m not here just to compete,” Popov wrote, “but hopefully I’ll win again.”

110. Mel Reid

Mel Reid of England looks on from the sixth tee during the second round of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational at Midland Country Club on July 14, 2022 in Midland, Michigan. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

After three consecutive missed cuts, Mel Reid found some light with a T-37 at the AIG Women’s Open, her best finish since the KPMG Women’s PGA (T-30). However, that momentum took a hit when she withdrew from the Dana Open earlier this month with an injury after an opening 81.

Reid is ranked 134th in driving accuracy, 133rd in regulation greens and 130th in putting average.

117. Amy Olson

Amy Olson chips to the fifth green during the second round of the Dana Open presented by Marathon at Highland Meadows Golf Club on September 2, 2022 in Sylvania, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

It’s been a rough time for Amy Olson lately, who has missed the cut in four of her last five starts. Her opening 66 at the Dana Open was her first round in the 1960s since mid-June. A rookie in 2014, Olson has 13 career top 10s. She currently ranks 119th in greens in regulation and 123rd in driving accuracy.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek