13 Apr 2022 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Davidson's debut as LPGA Tour member

by Dane Heverin

Karis Davidson in action at the 2022 Vic Open.

The Australian contingent on the LPGA Tour is only growing stronger as Queenslander Karis Davidson makes her debut as a member of the premier tour in women’s golf at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii on Friday morning.

Davidson, 23, earned her LPGA card at the gruelling two-week LPGA Q-Series in Alabama last December and her coach of more than a decade, Ian Triggs, believes that experience will hold her in good stead for what is to come.

“I don’t think she’ll be any more nervous than normal. She’s quite an experienced professional now. To go through Tour School and handle it the way she did - the last nine holes was phenomenal,” Triggs said.

“I’ve spoken to her and she’s had a couple of videos through. Swing wise all looks fine so she’s in good shape technically, but we know that there is a lot more to it than that.”

Davidson has previously teed it up in LPGA-sanctioned events - at the Women’s Australian Open and the Vic Open in 2019 and 2020 - but since turning professional in 2017 she has primarily plied her trade on the Japan LPGA Tour while also playing on the WPGA Tour of Australasia.

During her stellar amateur career, Davidson received the Karrie Webb Scholarship with Hannah Green in 2016 and Triggs sees no reason why she cannot follow the trajectory of Green and Australia’s other top players.

“She possesses a very good game of golf so I think there is nothing holding her back from achieving quite highly. When you look at her amateur career and how she competed against the other girls who are being quite successful at the moment, there is no reason why she can’t do the same,” he said.

“She’s competed against Hannah Green at amateur level and she won the Australian Amateur in 2016 so she has competed against those girls successfully. So there’s no reason why once she gets comfortable - you need a bit of time to settle in - that she should be able to compete the way Minjee Lee, Su Oh and Hannah are doing so.”

Triggs knows that Hoakalei Country Club can be a very tough examination - especially first up - but he is confident that Davidson has put the work in before heading off to the United States.

“She’s made sure that she’s as fit as she can be because once you go out on the road, it’s tough to keep it there. She’s done some really good work at home and she knows that she has to go out there and do her pre-shot routines, be patient with herself and that the scores will happen. I think she’s in a good place,” he said.

“Hawaii’s a tough tournament starting out because sometimes the breezes are incredible and you can hardly stand up. That can come along and really test you. Hopefully she gets the right side of the draw and things go well for her. It’d be really nice to see her making the cut and competing strongly.”

Cameron Smith is back on course the week after finishing in a tie for third at The Masters as he and Cam Davis are the only Australians taking part in the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage in South Carolina.

In Thailand, the Asian Tour and Ladies European Tour are combining for a mixed event for the second straight week with eight Australians in action including TPS Victoria champion Todd Sinnott, Andrew Dodt who is currently third on the PGA Tour of Australasia’s Order of Merit and Vic Open runner-up Whitney Hiller.

Round 1 tee times AEST

LPGA Tour

Lotte Championship 

Hoakalei Country Club,Ewa Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

3.22am Stephanie Kyriacou, Gemma Dryburgh, Bianca Pagdanganan

3.44am Su Oh, Anna Nordqvist, Na Yeon Choi

3.55am* Lydia Ko (NZ), Megan Khan, Nasa Hataoka

4.06am* Hannah Green, Georgia Hall, Gaby Lopez

4.50am* Sarah Jane Smith, So Young Lee, Nicole Broch Estrup

8.28am Sarah Kemp, Casey Danielson, Gerina Mendoza

9.45am* Karis Davidson, Anne van Dam, Suzuka Yamaguchi

Defending champion: Lydia Ko

Past Aussie winners: Minjee Lee (2016)

Top Aussie prediction: Hannah Green

TV schedule: Live 9am-1pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 503

PGA Tour

RBC Heritage

Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

10.16pm Cam Davis, Tyrell Hatton, Luke Donald

3.07am Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Sungjae Im

3.29am Danny Lee (NZ), Brandon Hagy, Matthew NeSmith

Defending champion: Stewart Cink

Past Aussie winners: Aaron Baddeley (2006), Peter Lonard (2005), Greg Norman (1988)

Top Aussie prediction: Cameron Smith

TV schedule: Live 5am-8am Friday, Saturday; Live 3am-8am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 503

Asian Tour and Ladies European Tour

Trust Golf Asian Mixed Stableford Challenge

Siam Country Club (Waterside Course), Bangkok, Thailand

9.51am Daniel Fox, S. S. P Chawrasia, Agathe Sauzon

10.02am Todd Sinnott, Danny Masrin, Nattagate Nimitpongkul

10.40am* Andrew Dodt, Trevor Simsby, Tiia Koivisto

3.30pm Jake Higginbottom, Yikeun Chang, Natthakritta Vongtaveelap

3.41pm Scott Hend, Miguel Tabuena, Marianne Skarpnord

4.14pm* Whitney Hillier, Jarin Todd, Chapcai Nirat

4.47pm Travis Smyth, Prayad Marksaeng, Lina Boqvist

5.09pm* Josh Younger, Chanokhan Angurasaranee, Elena Hualde

Defending champion: Inaugural event

Top Aussie prediction: Todd Sinnott

TV schedule: Live 5pm-8pm Wednesday, Thursday; Live 4pm-7pm Friday, Saturday on Fox Sports 503

Japan Golf Tour

Kansai Open Golf Championship

Yomiuri Country Club, Tokyo

8.20am* Brendan Jones, Todd Baek, Kunihiro Kamii

9.20am Brad Kennedy, Togo Oka (a), Mikumu Horikawa

9.30am* Adam Bland, Taihei Sato, Yuta Uetake

9.40am Andrew Evans, Konosuke Nakazato, Daisuke Kataoka

12.45pm David Bransdon, Takahiro Hataji, Sang-Hee Lee

12.45pm* Matthew Griffin, Tomohiro Ishizaka, Wen-Chong Liang

1.55pm* Anthony Quayle, Tomoyo Ikemura, Yoshitaka Takeya

Defending champion: Rikua Hoshino

Past Aussie winners: Brad Kennedy (2013)

Top Aussie prediction: Anthony Quayle

Korn Ferry Tour

Veritex Bank Championship

Texas Rangers Golf Club, Arlington, Texas

10.15pm* Steven Bowditch, Scott Harrington Kim Knous

10.25pm Rhein Gibson, John Chin, Nick Hardy

10.35pm Brett Drewitt, Carl Yuan, George Cunningham

10.45pm* Aaron Baddeley, Anders Albertson, Zack Fischer

11.55pm Harrison Endycott, Martin Contini, Clay Feagler

4.10am Curtis Luck, Brandon Harkins, Alexandre Rocha

4.30am* Ryan Ruffels, Gregor Main, Thomas Rosenmueller

4.50am Nick Voke (NZ), Trevor Cone, Jay Card III

Defending champion: Tyson Alexander

Past Aussie winners: Nil

Top Aussie prediction: Aaron Baddeley

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