CME to sponsor new LPGA Tour finale

The LPGA has announced that CME Group has signed an agreement to act as title sponsor for a unique new Tour finale.

The LPGA Tour has announced that the CME Group (CME) has signed a three-year (3) agreement to act as the title sponsor for an exciting new season-ending event.

The CME Titleholders tournament will serve as the LPGA Tour’s 2011 season finale and in a format never before used in professional golf tournament anywhere in the world, will have a limited field made up of the top three finishes of every official 2011 LPGA-sanctioned tournament.

Should one or more of the top three in any of these tournaments already have qualified, the next best finisher/s in the event will take their place/s.

The CME Titleholders will be staged from November 14 to 20 at the Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The CME Group has previously hosted pro-am events with LPGA Tour players as part of their annual Global Financial Leadership Conference.

The company also sponsored the 2009 Solheim Cup and it was their combined experiences in these events that led to their decision to title sponsor an official LPGA Tour tournament.

“CME Group has been a friend of the LPGA for years and our players’ experiences with them proved that they are innovators and know how to run first-class dynamic events,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan.

“I thank CME Group Executive Chairman Terry Duffy for his support of the LPGA players and look forward to expanding his company’s branding with the LPGA Tour globally.

This is an ideal partnership as the CME Group Titleholders will be a unique LPGA Tour tournament featuring the best players in the world while CME Group serves the risk management needs of its customers around the world.”

Speaking on behalf of the CME Group, Duffy said” “We have had such tremendous success with the LPGA in the past through our annual Global Financial Leadership Conference that we are thrilled to partner with them again.

“Sponsoring this one-of-a-kind Titleholders event will effectively extend the reach of the CME Group brand and allow us new opportunities to engage with our customers globally.”

Players will punch their “Ticket to the CME Group Titleholders” in a season-long unifying program that showcases the best performing players from the 2011 LPGA Tour season.

It will highlight CME Group as its Title Sponsor but also showcase the events and title sponsors of the tournaments from which the players qualified.

The 2011 LPGA Tour schedule will feature 24 official money events in 12 countries, plus the biannual Solheim Cup matches pitting the United States against Europe in Dunsany, Ireland.

“Each tournament week, we’ll talk about who is ‘in’ the CME Group Titleholders, which enables us to discuss CME Group and our LPGA partners throughout the year,” Whan explained. “It truly will be a celebration of all the title sponsors who make the LPGA so special.”

Six players have already qualified for the CME Group Titleholders:

Aptly from the season-opening Honda LPGA Thailand they are World No 1 Yani Tseng (Taiwan), Michelle Wie (US) and Karrie Webb (Australia) who topped the leaderboard in that order.

Karrie Webb won the HSBC Women’s Champions with Chie Arimura second and Tseng third, but the three next best-placed Sun Young Yoo (South Korea), Morgan Pressel (US) and Na Yeon Choi (South Korea) took the qualifying spots because Webb and Tseng had already qualified a week earlier at the Honda LPGA Thailand and Arimura is a member of the Japan Ladies Tour and not the LPGA Tour.