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Money-spinning Globe race to take tour to new heights

It may sound like a journey to some intergalactic space station but the newly-launched 'Race to the CME Globe' has helped propel the LPGA Tour to new heights.

Like the men's tours on both sides of the Atlantic, the women are also going to a points-based scramble this year which will bolster an already robust schedule.

From this month's season-opening LPGA Classic through to November's Lorena Ochoa Invitational, players will accumulate points over the course of 31 events, with the leading 72 players on the points list qualifying for the CME Group Tour Championship. The winner of that final event will earn $500,000 while the overall winner of the points-based race will earn a $1m pay-out, the largest in women's golf.

She will also receive a crystal globe from the sponsors to stick on the mantelpiece, hence the name.

Those who make the Tour Cham­pion­ship will have the points accumulated over the season reset, ensuring that the race will be won at the season-ending tournament. Reset points will give the top yearly performers an advantage but will not guarantee victory.

"It's the bow on the present we really wanted to get done," said Mike Whan, the LPGA Commissioner who has also added new events in Michigan and San Francisco to a strong calendar this year.

"The addition of this concept fundamentally connects every event on our tour and promises big things in 2014 and beyond. The stakes have risen dramatically and the excitement level goes up for our players and each of our tournaments."

n The old pals' act between Paul Lawrie and Greig Hutcheon was strengthened last night when ­Hutcheon, the dominant force on the Tartan Tour, signed a playing attachment to the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre for the 2014 campaign.

Hutcheon, the Scottish PGA's No.1 and the winner of the PGA Play-offs at the end of last season, used to be a "dogsbody in the professional shop" at Banchory when Lawrie was an assistant there during the duo's formative days.

As well as his Tartan Tour duties, Hutcheon will also make appearances in the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship and Scottish Open this season and Lawrie, the 1999 Open champion, is delighted to have his fellow north-east man on board.

"Greig has long been the top player on the domestic scene in Scotland," said Lawrie. "He is also brilliant with Pro-Am teams. Whenever he's done days for us in the past with clients and friends he always strikes the right balance, making partners feel at ease while imparting some of the knowledge he's built up over the years. He'll be a great addition to our personnel at the Centre."

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