25 Sep 2023 | Professional golf |
Aussies on Tour: Five seconds on an 'oh so close' Sunday
by Paul Munnings
It was a Sunday of seconds for Australian golfers competing around around the world, with a total of five runner-up finishes in tournaments in Asia and the United States.
Minjee Lee and Travis Smyth were second in Asia - Lee losing a playoff on the Korean LPGA Tour, while Smyth came close to repeating as champion on the Asian Tour at the Yeangder TPC in Chinese Taipei.
Curtis Luck produced his best showing of 2023 to end in a three-way tie for second in the Korn Ferry Tour event, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Classic, to boost his chances of grabbing a PGA TOUR card, while Robyn Choi recorded a T2 in the Epson Tour’s Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout.
In the LIV Golf event in Chicago, Marc Leishman showed a return to form to finish equal second – his best LIV result - one shot behind America’s Bryson De Chambeau.
In the Hana Financial Group Championship, home star Lee Da-yeon outlasted Lee with a birdie on the third extra hole at Bear's Best Cheongna Golf Club, forcing the world No.7 to settle for her second runner-up finish in the KRW1.5 billion event. Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit was the first player to be eliminated during the three-way playoff at the par-four 18th after she posted a bogey.
The title might have been Lee's on the next hole, but the West Australian missed a short par-putt to send the playoff to the third extra hole where Da-yeon ultimately prevailed with a superb 20-footer to claim her eighth title of her KLPGA Tour career.
Da Yeon, Lee, and Tavatanakit closed with 69, 70, and 68, respectively earlier in the day, finishing at the top of the leaderboard on matching eight-under-par 280 totals for the tournament.
Smyth was bidding to become the first player to successfully defend the Yeangder TPC title, but ended up falling three strokes short as Thailand’s Poom Saksansin triumphed on 24-under-par after closing with a 6-under 66 at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Smyth finished with a bogey-free 67, while Douglas Klein was the next best Australian in a tie for ninth at 16-under.
“I love this place and I think this course likes me as well,” Smyth said.
“I hit in the trees a couple times and got some lucky kicks back into the fairway and that sort of thing.
“It’s funny, you know, because I came here before I won and I hated it. I played terrible.”
In Ohio, Luck climbed from 13th after the third round to a share of second place with a closing 67 to be four shots behind the winner, American Norman Xiong,
Luck’s next stop will be the season-ending Korn Ferry Tour Championship on October 5-8 where PGA TOUR cards will be awarded to the top 30 finishers on the end-of-season points list.
He has climbed to 47th position in the Korn Ferry standings, while fellow Aussie Rhein Gibson missed the cut in Ohio and dropped from 29th place to 36th. Brett Drewitt, who failed to qualify for the weekend play by a single shot, will come into the finale in 39th.
Robyn Choi’s runner-up finish in Arkansas lifted her to 16th place on the Epson Tour points standings, in sight of the top 10 who gain LPGA Tour cards at the end of the season, with two tournaments remaining.
In the LIV Golf event in Chicago, former Australian PGA champion Jed Morgan had a share of the lead after the first round of 5-under but fell away to a tie for 37th place.
Leishman, who shot 66, took second-place points via a better final-round score than Anirban Lahiri, who shot 69.
“Just really enjoying the golf at the moment,” Leishman said. “Happy with the week.”
DP World Tour
Cazoo Open de France
Le Golf National, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France
1 Ryo Hisatsune (JPN) 66-69-69-66—270 €518,780.37
T64 Min Woo Lee 69-69-78-75—291 €7781.71
MC Ryan Fox (NZ) 75-68
MC Daniel Hillier (NZ) 72-71
MC Blake Windred 74-76
Linkou International Golf and Country Club, Chinese Taipei
1 Poom Saksansin (THA) 68-66-64-66—264 $US135,000
2 Travis Smyth 65-67-68-67—267 $82,500
T9 Douglas Klein 69-68-67-68—272 $14,487.50
T27 Jack Thompson 67-66-70-75—278 $6600
T43 Terry Pilkadaris 71-70-72-68—281 $4181.25
T47 Josh Younger 66-71-74-71—282 $3675
65 Tom Power-Horan 68-71-76-73—288 $2100
MC Kevin Yuan 73-69
MC Jack Murdoch 72-71
WD Nick Voke (NZ) 73
Japan Golf Tour
Panasonic Open Golf Championship
Onotoyo Golf Club, Hyogo
1 Tomoharu Otsuki 69-66-67-66—268 ¥20,000,000
T34 Adam Bland 68-72-70-71—281 ¥540,000
MC Dylan Perry 69-74
MC Andrew Evans 72-72
MC Brad Kennedy 74-70
MC Brendan Jones 74-72
Korean LPGA Tour
Hana Financial Group Championship
Bear’s Best Cheongna, Incheon
1 Lee Da-yeon (KOR) 280
T2 Minjee Lee 280
Korn Ferry Tour
Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship
Ohio State University Golf Club (Scarlet Cse), Columbus, Ohio
1 Norman Xiong (USA) 69-67-71-67—274 $US270,000
T2 Curtis Luck 72-70-70-65—278
MC Brett Drewitt 74-72
MC Rhein Gibson 74-76
MC Dimi Papadatos 77-75
Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout
Mystic Creek Golf Club, El Dorado, Arkansas
1 Natasha Andrea Oon (MYS) 67-70-69—206
T2 Robyn Choi 67-73-69—209
T47 Hira Naveed 75-73-74—222
MC Cassie Porter 73-77
DQ Amelia Garvey 72-81
PURE Insurance Championship
Pebble Beach Golf Links, Monterey Peninsula, California
1 Thongchai Jaidee (THA)70-65-67—202 US$345,000
T5 Steven Alker 68-69-70—207
T11 Rod Pampling 70-70-70—210
T35 Mark Hensby 72-73-71—216
T41 John Senden 70-71-76—217
T41 Richard Green 68-78-71—217
MC Stuart Appleby 76-72
MC David McKenzie 76-76
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