02 Nov 2023 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Five in line for championship spots

by Martin Blake

Sarah Kemp LPGA image
Sarah Kemp is on the cusp of qualifying for the tour championship on the LPGA. Photo: Getty

The growing strength of Australian women’s golf is about to be revealed with up to five players in the mix to reach the LPGA’s season-ending championship in Florida.

With two qualifying tournaments remaining on the schedule – starting with the Toto Japan Championship in Omitama from Thursday – three Australians are guaranteed to be teeing it up in the CME Group Tour Championship from 16-19 November in Naples, Florida.

They are Minjee Lee (ranked No. 6 on the points list across the season), Hannah Green (27) and Grace Kim (29), all winners on the tour this year.

That makes this week’s Japan event hugely significant for veteran Sarah Kemp, who is ranked 53rd after one of her best seasons in some time, but who needs to keep herself inside the top 60 to qualify for the tour championship.

Kemp and Stephanie Kyriacou (ranked 71) are the two players who can close out their spots in the $US7 million championship over the next fortnight.

Kemp is playing both Japan and The Annika at Pelican Golf Club in Florida next week in a bid to clinch her place; Kyriacou is skipping this week, but is in the field next week at Pelican knowing that she needs a strong result to leapfrog into the tour championship for the first time.

Queenslander Karis Davidson is ranked 89 and has been home to Australia recently, but is entered for the Pelican event with the knowledge that if she had a high finish, she could potentially leap into the tour championship. Davidson’s card is secured as a top-100 player.

No Australian has ever won the Tour Championship since it began in 2011. A five-player contingent in the Tour Championship would compare favourably with the two – Green and Lee – who reached the climax of the 2022 season.

Jin Young Ko of South Korea won the event last year, while France’s Celine Boutier is the runaway leader this season, having won four times.

Meanwhile 13 Australians and a New Zealander are teeing it up in the Asian Tour’s Volvo China Open, worth $US1.5 million, this week.

There are three Australians competing in the PGA Tour’s World Wide Technology Championship in Mexico.

Tee times ADST


World Wide Technology Championship

El Cardonal at Diamante, Los Cabos, Mexico

12:36am David Lipsky, Austin Smotherman, Harrison Endycott

1:20am* K.H Lee, Lucas Herbert, Keith Mitchell

5:10am Andrew Putnam, Austin Cook, Cameron Percy

Defending champion: Russell Henley

Past Aussie winners: nil.

TV Times: Friday, Saurday, Sunday 7:30am on Fox and Kayo. Monday 7am on Fox and Kayo.


Toto Japan Classic

Taiheiyo Club Minori Course, Omitama, Ibaraki, Japan

10am* Saiki Fujita, Saki Nagamine, Sarah Kemp

12:01pm Rose Zhang, Ayaka Furue, Hannah Green

Defending champion: Gemma Dryburgh

Past Aussie winners: Karrie Webb (2006)

TV Times: Thursday, Friday, Sunday 1pm on Fox and Kayo. Saturday 1:30pm on Fox and Kayo.

Asian Tour

Volvo China Open

Hidden Grace Golf Club, Shenzhen, China

9:50am* Travis Smyth, Taichi Kho, Miguel Tabuena

10:30am Su Dong, Prom Meesawat, Sam Brazel

10:30am* Li Linqiang, Todd Sinnott, Lawrance Ting

10:40am John Lyras, Zhang Zihong, Doyeob Mun

10:50am Terry Pilkadaris, Hung Chien-yao, Fan Jicheng

11:00am Othman Almulla, Tong Yang, Jack Thompson

11:20am Douglas Klein, Yeongsu Kim, Tang Haizhao

2:30pm Eugenio Chacarra, Scott Hend, Andy Ogletree

2:50pm* Shen Nannan, Andrew Dodt, Itthipat Buranatanyarat

3:00pm* Hak Shun Yat, Kevin Yuan, Xiao Bowen

3:20pm Chen Yilong, Zach Murray, Miguel Carballo

3:50pm Luo Xuewen, Marcus Fraser, Yoseop Seo

4:00pm Ben Campbell (NZ), Zhao Xingyu, Karandeep Kochhar

4:00pm* Tom Power Horan, Jian Chuanlin, Bjorn Hellgren

Defending champion: Zhang Jin

Past Aussie winners: David Gleeson (2002), Scott Strange (2009), Brett Rumford (2013).

TV Times: Thursday, Friday, Saturday 3:30pm on Fox and Kayo. Sunday 3pm on Fox and Kayo.

Japan Golf Tour

Mynavi ABC Championship

ABC Golf Club, Kato, Hyogo, Japan

10:00am Dylan Perry, Azuma Yano, Terumichi Kakazu

10:05am* Taihei Sato, Tomohiro Kondo, Anthony Quayle

10:15am* Tomoyo Ikemur, Akio Sadakata, Brendon Jones

10:50am Naoto Nakanishi, Brad Kennedy, Yujiro Ohori

Defending champion: Mikumu Horikawa

Past Aussie winners: Brian Jones (1989), Brendon Jones (2002).

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