Golf Australia

Smith trends in right direction

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2/5

Australian Sarah Jane Smith savoured her best result on the LPGA Tour since 2014 today.

Smith, 31, has endured some frustrating results since the 2014 Tour Championship.

But the affable Queenslander has shown some very encouraging signs in the past few weeks and today recorded a T13 finish in the Texas Shootout.

Smith, now in her ninth season on the American-based Tour, had a flat start to her 2016 campaign.

But other than in testing conditions in San Francisco two weeks ago, she has not fired a round worse than one-over-par since the Founders Cup in mid-March.

And that run was capped this weekend in Texas with rounds of 67-69 to scythe through the field.

No other Australian woman made the cut this week, with world No.12 Minjee Lee missing her first weekend action since last year’s US Women’s Open.

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2/5

Victorian Matt Griffin conquered the "hardest day of golf" he's seen en route to a career-best finish on the Japan Golf Tour.

Griffin, 32, fired a tidy three-under-par 67 to close out The Crowns in a tie for fifth on the tough Wago Course at the Nagoya Golf Club.

So trying were the conditions during the event that Griffin said after his second-round 71 that he'd rarely seen a tougher test.

“Probably the hardest day of golf I've seen today here in Japan with a combo of wind, course and setup. One over and moved from 32nd to 9th,” Griffin tweeted after his round.

And the Melburnian cashed in, keeping his groove to tournament's end.

“Played really solid all week and nice way to keep the form rolling,” he wrote.

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20/4

We all know golf is a mind game, but research has taken that to a whole new level.

In a study by British lecturer Sally Linkenauger and a Lancaster University research team, it was found that golfers will putt better once they thought a top professional had used the putter.

Divided into two groups and asked to attempt 10 2m putts, one groups was told 2003 Open champion Ben Curtis had used the putter in question.

The players were also asked to estimate the hole size.

Remarkably, Dr Linkenauger’s team found that those using the putter they thought once used by Curtis drew the hole nine per cent larger and made 32 per cent more putts than the “control” group.

Dr Linkenauger said the results, gathered in 2011, displayed “evidence of positive contagion”.

“People who believed that a professional’s skills had rubbed off on a piece of equipment performed better while using it,” she told the Harvard Business Review.

“Contagion is an idea from social psychology. It means that when someone touches an object, they leave behind the essence of themselves on it … part of the reason people value autographs.”

Now, if we can only get Jason Day to pick up our sticks!!

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23/3

Tim Hart's extended flirt with 58 at the Queensland PGA Championship sent some scurrying for the record books.

As it turned out, his closing triple-bogey meant a 61 and statisticians rested easy.

But it wasn't before the name of Brad McIntosh was tossed around as the first Aussie to break 60 in an Australian PGA Tour event -- his superb 59 coming at the same tournament, but at a different venue in 2005.

That host club was Emerald Lakes at Carrara on the Gold Coast -- a shortish layout, but still a par 72 capable and worthy of holding championship events.

And that course is topical again at the moment with a rising young star making waves.

Josh Capes has been close to selection in a handful of representative teams in his short career to date, but couldn't even make the Emerald Lakes pennant team chosen a few weeks ago.

But, to his credit, that didn't stop the determined 17-year-old from rededicating himself and working harder than ever.

His scores since have been nothing short of remarkable with Capes firing a combined 23 under in his past four rounds, including a 66 last weekend.

But the icing on the cake was a scintillating 61 on March 12 -- a low mark at the course other than McIntosh's freakish round -- that has brought Capes' handicap down to +1.

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18/3

Two great sand saves in succession helped Melbourne’s Terry Pilkadaris to a share of fifth place in the Indian Open overnight.

The former West Australian made par and birdie from the greenside sand on both 17 and 18 to close out a 67, just two shots behind American leader Daniel Im at the Delhi Golf Club.

South Australian Wade Ormsby also opened well, firing a 68, while Asian Tour veteran Scott Barr shot a 71 to sit T40.

But needing a prominent finish to push his US Masters entry claims, Marcus Fraser uncharacteristically hit just seven of 14 fairways in firing a flat 74.

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4/12

Matt Jones has rocketed to No.51 in the world rankings after his Emirates Australian Open victory.

Jones, whose career high was 41 after his win in last year’s Houston Open on the US PGA Tour, soared 30 places after pocketing 32 world rankings points with his victory at The Australian.

Adam Scott’s runner-up finish was also good enough to bump him back to No.10, up two slots.

The rankings shake gives Australia six players in the top 80 in the world. Jason Day is top of the pops at No.2, Marc Leishman is No.47, John Senden is No.72 and Steve Bowditch is No.74.

There are 13 Aussies in the top 200, with another nine ranked between 200-299.

 

27 April 2016
20 April 2016
Golf Australia