27 Mar 2023 | Professional golf |
Aussies on Tour: Major berths secured
by Dane Heverin
Two Australians have locked in a chance to compete for a major championship with Min Woo Lee off to The Masters next month and Travis Smyth set for The Open in July.
Lee confirmed that he will be at Augusta National for a second straight year by winning one of his three group matches at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Texas to earn an invitation via keeping his world ranking inside the top 50 at No.47.
The 24-year-old lit up the first major of the year in 2022 with a front nine 30 to finish inside the top 15 and he will head down Magnolia Lane brimming with confidence courtesy of his stellar performances in recent months that includes a tied sixth finish at The Players Championship and six top 10 results on the DP World Tour.
Smyth has also started the year in impressive fashion with the Sydneysider chalking up three top 10s on the Asian Tour and he continued his good form with a third-place finish at the World City Championship in Hong Kong to grab one of the four Open spots on offer.
The 27-year-old will make his major debut at Royal Liverpool after he closed out the third and final round – the tournament was reduced to 54 holes due to inclement weather – with a second consecutive four-under par 66.
Smyth joins defending champion Cameron Smith, Adam Scott, Asia-Pacific Amateur champion Harrison Crowe, ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit winner David Micheluzzi, Lee and Haydn Barron – who both earned spots at the ISPS HANDA Australian Open - as Australians who have already confirmed their place in the field.
“I am super excited, as I haven’t played a major before,” Smyth said. “The Open at a links course means tough conditions and a tough major championship which I really look forward to.”
Vic Open champion Michael Hendry came runner-up to Taichi Kho of Hong Kong, but the New Zealander booked in a third trip to The Open having previously played in 2017 and 2018.
Jason Day’s rankings rise continues with the former world No.1 moving to 33rd in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Day reached the quarterfinals at Austin Country Club where he went down to world No.1 Scottie Scheffler 2&1. He infamously suffered from vertigo when he collapsed at the 2015 US Open and during his match with Scheffler, Day was experiencing head spins and cloudiness, but he eased concerns by confirming that those symptoms were related to allergies.
Only weeks ago, Day’s place at The Masters was in the balance but after missing the chance to compete for the green jacket last year, he has comfortably met the criteria to receive an invite for a shot at a second major title.
Day and Lee’s addition to the field stretches out the Australian contingent to five with Smith, 2013 champion Scott and Crowe already invited.
The news was not as kind for Lucas Herbert who will not be in the field at Augusta National with his Round of 16 loss to Rory McIlroy not enough to push him inside the world top 50. The 27-year-old made seven birdies to McIlroy’s nine in the contest that went to the 18th hole, and he has moved from No.56 to No.51 in the world.
Brett Drewitt registered the best result of an Australian this week with a tied fourth finish at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Club Car Championship in Georgia.
Drewitt has come inside the top eight in four of his five Korn Ferry Tour starts this year and he is currently eighth on the Points List with the top 30 at season’s end to be awarded PGA Tour membership.
Gabi Ruffels backed up her win last week by coming in a tie for sixth at the Epson Tour’s IOA Championship, while Sam Brazel, Zach Murray, Brett Coletta and Deyen Lawson all shared ninth place to round out a strong Australian showing on the Asian Tour.
New Zealand’s Steven Alker shone on the PGA Tour Champions once again with a runner-up result at the The Galleri Classic where Rod Pampling was tied 10th.
Hannah Green was the only Australian to make the cut at the LPGA’s Drive On Championship in Arizona and she strung together back-to-back rounds of 69 on the weekend.
World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play
Austin Country Club, Austin, Texas
1 Sam Burns (USA) def. Cameron Young 6&5 $US3,500,000
Quarterfinals - Jason Day def. by Scottie Scheffler 2&1 $US 645,000
Round of 16 – Lucas Herbert def. by Rory McIlroy 2-up $US 365,000
Group stage – Cam Davis two wins, one loss $US 219,909; Ryan Fox (NZ) two wins, one loss $US 219,909; Min Woo Lee one win, two losses $US 113,761; Adam Scott one win, two losses $US 113,761.
Corales Puntacana Championship
Puntacana Resort & Club (Corales GCse), Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
1 Matt Wallace (ENG) 67-66-70-66-269 $US 684,000
T46 Aaron Baddeley 74-66-70-74-284 $US 11,970
T56 Greg Chalmers 72-70-72-72-286 $US 8,854
T58 Harrison Endycott 75-69-71-72-287 $US 8,702
T68 Cameron Percy 74-70-77-69-290 $US 8,170
MC Geoff Ogilvy 75-70-145
LPGA Drive On Championship
Superstition Mountain G&CC, Gold Canyon, Arizona
1 Celine Boutier (FRA) 69-66-65-68-268 $US 262,500 * won in a playoff
T48 Hannah Green 73-67-69-69-278 $US 6,676
MC Grace Kim 70-72-142
MC Sarah Kemp 72-71-143
MC Stephanie Kyriacou 68-75-143
MC Karis Davidson 73-74-147
World City Championship
Hong Kong Golf Club, Hong Kong
1 Taichi Kho (Hong Kong) 64-64-70-198 $US 180,000
2 Michael Hendry (NZ) 68-64-68-200 $US 110,000
3 Travis Smyth 69-66-66-201 $US 63,000
T9 Sam Brazel 70-67-67-204 $US 15,950
T9 Zach Murray 71-66-67-204 $US 15,950
T9 Brett Coletta 69-67-68-204 $US 15,950
T9 Deyen Lawson 69-67-68-204 $US 15,950
T18 Todd Sinnott 70-68-67-205 $US 11,091.67
T24 Thomas Power Horan 71-68-67-206 $US 9,100
T24 Wade Ormsby 69-70-67-206 $US 9,100
T24 Kevin Tuan 66-71-69-206 $US 9,100
T31 Andrew Martin 73-65-69-207 $US 7,312.50
T39 Ben Campbell (NZ) 67-71-70-208 $US 6,030
T45 Scott Hend 65-71-73-209 $US 4,855.56
T64 John Lyras 67-70-75-212 $US 2,800
T67 Terry Pilkadaris 69-69-75-213 $US 2,550
MC Andrew Dodt 74-67-141
MC James Gill (a) (NZ) 73-70-143
MC Jack Thompson 69-74-143
MC Harrison Gilbert 73-76-149
MC Marcus Fraser 79-74-153
MC Shane Kuiti (NZ) 77-80-157
Korn Ferry Tour
Club Car Championship
The Landings Golf & Athletic Club (Deer Creek), Savannah, Georgia
1 David Skinns (ENG) 67-68-68-68-271 $US 180,000
T4 Brett Drewitt 70-68-67-68-273 $US 45,000
MC Curtis Luck 79-73-152
Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon, Beaumont, California
1 Miranda Wang (CHN) 69-65-70-204
T6 Gabi Ruffels 69-66-74-209
T31 Robyn Choi 70-73-71-214
T31 Hira Naveed 67-75-72-214
T42 Cassie Porter 72-73-71-216
MC Amelia Garvey (NZ) 76-74-150
MC Sarah Jane Smith 78-76-154
PGA Tour Champions
The Galleri Classic
Mission Hills Country Club, Rancho Mirage, California
1 David Toms (USA) 65-70-65-200 $US 330,000
2 Steven Alker 68-69-67-204 $US 193,600
T10 Rod Pampling 67-72-68-207 $US 57,200
T26 Richard Green 67-73-71-211 $US 20,900
T26 David McKenzie 71-68-72-211 $US 20,900
T53 John Senden 77-68-72-217 $US 5,500
T53 Stuart Appleby 77-70-70-217 $US 5,500
T67 Robert Allenby 70-75-75-220 $US 2,420
PGA Tour Lationamerica
Roberto de Vicenzo Memorial 100 Years
Ranelagh Golf Club, Buenos Aires, Argentina
1 Chandler Blanchet (USA) 65-68-66-267
T4 Charlie Hiller (NZ) 66-67-69-70-272
T41 Harry Hillier (NZ) 73-66-68-76-283
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