Grab your calculator and spreadsheet and keep a pencil handy because the numbers game that players have been engaged in for months will reach its mathematical end on Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship.

Just getting to the Tour Championship has been a numbers game in and of itself, which wasn’t finalized until the conclusion of The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican. The top 60 in the season-long Race to the CME Globe point standings determined who would earn a spot in the field at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Fla.

At No. 60 in the Race to the CME Globe point standings, Madelene Sagstrom earned the final spot at the Tour Championship despite missing the cut at Pelican Golf Club. Patty Tavatanakit eked into the field with a tie for 15th at The ANNIKA to move from No. 61 to No. 57, and Stephanie Kyriacou also played her way into the season-ending event, tying for fifth on Sunday to jump from No. 71 to No. 56 and will make her debut at Tiburón. Bianca Pagdanganan was another player who secured a last-minute spot in Naples, moving from No. 60 to No. 55 with a top-20 finish at The ANNIKA. Their berths knocked out Celine Borge, who dropped from No. 58 to No. 62, and Albane Valenzuela, who slipped from No. 59 to No. 63.

Lydia Ko will also miss out on this year’s CME Group Tour Championship as she becomes the first winner of the tournament to fail to qualify the following season as she finished her year at No. 100 in the Race to the CME Globe point standings. Lexi Thompson, who won the Tour Championship in 2018, will miss this year’s tournament for the first time in her career. Thompson made a run up the leaderboard at last week’s The ANNIKA in an attempt to make a move in the standings, but her T7 wasn’t enough to move her inside the top 60, and she instead finished her season at No. 79 in the point standings.

With the field finalized, now is when the real number-crunching begins.

Over the season’s closing stretch, players have kept a watchful eye on the digits that will dictate who will earn the Tour’s top honors, including the Rolex Player of the Year, Vare Trophy, Money Title, Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year and the AON Risk Reward Challenge. With so many numbers to consider, every stroke will count when it comes to figuring out who will take home the biggest awards of the year come Sunday.

To make things slightly simpler, two awards have already been determined.

Angel Yin has won the AON Risk Reward Challenge and will take home the life-changing $1 million prize.

Hae Ran Ryu locked up the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award with her T12 at The ANNIKA to become the 14th player from the Republic of Korea to earn the title and the sixth Korean winner since 2015.

Still to be determined is the Rolex Player of the Year, which has come down to two players – Lilia Vu and Celine Boutier. Vu earned her fourth victory of the season at The ANNIKA to jump ahead of Boutier in the points standings. Boutier now trails Vu by just 27 points heading into the Tour Championship, and depending on their performances at Tiburon, either player could take home the award come Sunday.

The Vare Trophy has a new leader heading into the Tour Championship – Atthaya Thitikul. Since the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in June, Hyo Joo Kim has led the Tour in scoring average. Thitikul passed Kim at The ANNIKA, where Kim was not in the field, and currently leads with an average of 69.676. Kim, who led for much of the season, has an average this year of 69.689.

The Money Title also has a new frontrunner ahead of the Tour Championship – Lilia Vu. With her win at The ANNIKA, Vu passed Allisen Corpuz on the money list and currently leads by $204,490.

And speaking of money, there isn’t likely a number that looms larger this week than the one up for grabs on Sunday.

The CME Group Tour Championship has a total purse of $7 million, the largest on Tour outside the major championships, and $2 million of that goes to the winner, the biggest payday in the women’s game. The winner of the Money Title won’t be determined until the last putt drops on Sunday, and that won’t be the only race that won’t be finalized until late in the final round, as the victor at the Tour Championship will also be named winner of the season-long Race to the CME Globe.

The calculating, tallying and guesstimating that has gone on for months about who might earn the season’s top honors will come to its much-anticipated conclusion on Sunday when the ultimate numbers game sees a thrilling end at the CME Group Tour Championship.

By Muhammad Hussain