04 Sep 2023 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Career firsts for Rudgeley, Wilkin

by Tony Webeck

Kirsten Rudgeley Women's Irish Open Aaron Wilkin Asian Development Tour
Aussies Kirsten Rudgeley and Aaron Wilkin both enjoyed career firsts on the Ladies European Tour and Asian Development Tour respectively. Photos: Tristan Jones/LET (Rudgeley); Asian Development Tour (Wilkin)

West Australian Kirsten Rudgeley and Queensland’s Aaron Wilkin both registered career firsts to lead the Australian contingent around the world this past week.

Rudgeley missed the playoff at the Women’s Irish Open by just one stroke in her return to the Ladies European Tour as Wilkin secured his maiden international victory at the BRG Open Golf Championship Da Nang on the Asian Development Tour.

A month back at home in Perth working with coach Craig Bishop transferred to results immediately who with nine holes to play was in contention for a breakthrough LET title.

The LET rookie made a hot start with five birdies on her front nine but dropped shots at 12 and 13 to lose touch with the leaders.

The top of the leaderboard was again within reach when she birdied both 15 and 16 but her 5-under 67 on Sunday would leave her one shot out of the playoff ultimately won by Denmark’s Smilla Tarning Soenderby (62) with an eagle at the first extra hole.

Rudgeley’s total of 15-under par earned her outright fourth, her best finish on the Ladies European Tour and a timely rise to 37th in the Race to Costa Del Sol standings.

“I’m proud of myself, it’s my first year,” Rudgeley said of her best result since turning professional late last year.

“I’m happy I went back home as it sorted a few things out. “It was a solid week; I didn’t do too much wrong. It was my first time in this situation as well and good to be able to push all the way to the end.

“I loved it and it was good to be in contention.”

It took the round of the day for Wilkin to play his way into contention in Vietnam.

Trailling fellow Australian Deyen Lawson by seven strokes heading into the final round of the 54-hole event, Wilkin’s 7-under 65 saw him assume the clubhouse lead after starting the day in ninth position.

The 2022 Queensland PGA champion had to endure an anxious wait but when Lawson (73) failed to find a birdie at either of his final two holes, Wilkin was able to celebrate his maiden victory on international soil.

“I think I was seven back after yesterday. I knew I had to go low, but I didn’t think it was out of my reach,” said Wilkin.

“I played to my game plan. It doesn’t always go the way you map it out but today it did, so I’m pretty happy with that.

“I’ve been struggling with my putting and I’ve been waiting for a day when they all go in. They didn’t all go in today but they pretty much did.

“I had some good par saves and then I holed the putt on the last which was probably a bit lucky.

“I was nervous and my hands were shaking.”

Sara Kemp’s tie for 21st was the best of the Aussies at the Portland Classic on the LPGA Tour while Jason Scrivener shot a second 5-under 65 for the week to climb into a tie for 36th at the Omega European Masters on the DP World Tour.


Asian Development Tour BRG Open Golf Championship Da Nang Da Nang Golf Resort (Nicklaus Cse), Vietnam 1 Aaron Wilkin 73-68-65—206 $US17,500 2 Deyen Lawson 68-66-73—207 $11,500 T15 Jack Murdoch 73-69-72—214 $1,237.50 MC Peter Wilson 75-72—147 MC Kade McBride 68-79—147 MC Harrison Gilbert-Wong 78-72—150

LPGA Tour Portland Classic Columbia Edgewater Country Club, Portland, Oregon 1 Chanettee Wannasaen 68-66-65-63—262 T21 Sarah Kemp 66-71-69-69—275 T26 Grace Kim 70-69-67-70—276 MC Hannah Green 70-72—142 MC Stephanie Kyriacou 74-70—144 MC Karis Davidson 73-71—144 MC Lydia Ko (NZ) 72-72—144 MC Su Oh 75-76—151

DP World Tour Omega European Masters Crans-sur-Sierre GC, Crans Montana, Switzerland 1 Ludvig Aberg 64-67-66-64—261 €425,000 T36 Jason Scrivener 68-65-73-65—271 €17,000 T63 Daniel Hillier (NZ) 70-65-75-70—280 €6,000 MC Blake Windred 77-71—148

Ladies European Tour KPMG Women’s Irish Open Dromoland Castle, County Clare, Ireland 1 Smilla Tarning Soenderby 71-67-72-62—272 €60,000 4 Kirsten Rudgeley 67-71-68-67—273 €18,000 MC Wenyung Keh (NZ) 73-78—151 MC Momoka Kobori (NZ) 73-79—152

Japan Golf Tour Fuji Sankei Classic Fujizakura Country Club, Yamanashi 1 Takumi Kanaya 68-68-69-67—272 ¥22m T52 Brad Kennedy 68-76-73-76—293 ¥279,840 MC Andrew Evans 74-73—147 MC Anthony Quayle 71-79—150 MC Brendan Jones 76-76—152 MC Dylan Perry 81-74—155

PGA TOUR Canada CRMC Championship Dragun’s Dutch Legacy Championship Course, Brainerd, Minnesota 1 Yi Cao 66-62-65-65—258 T30 Jason Hong 66-71-72-65—274 MC Jack Trent 71-72—143 MC Cory Crawford 73-75—148

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