01 Mar 2021 | Professional golf |

Aussies on tour: March 1

by PGA of Australia

Cameron Percy finds the winds of Puerto Rico suit his shotmaking ability.
Cameron Percy finds the winds of Puerto Rico suit his shotmaking ability.

Sarah Kemp recorded her best LPGA Tour finish on American soil and Cameron Percy logged his second top-10 of the PGA Tour season in a weekend of strong performances by Aussies on tour around the world.

Starting with Greg Chalmers’ hole-in-one in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Open – his second ace in the event – a host of Australians played their way into contention without being able to close it out.

Cameron Smith tied his career-best score to par through the first 36 holes of an event on TOUR at the WGC-Workday Championship, but a third-round 77 that was derailed by two balls in the water and a triple bogey at the par-4 fifth set him back.

He tapped back into his recent good form with a 5-under 67 in the final round to lead the Australian contingent at The Concession Golf Club in a tie for 11th behind winner Collin Morikawa.

Jason Day wore red on Sunday as he joined a group of players in paying tribute to Tiger Woods as he recovers from the serious car accident he was involved in last week, while Min Woo Lee gave the US an insight into his immense talent to finish in a tie for 28th, returning the equal best score of the third round alongside Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland.

At the concurrent Puerto Rico Open, Percy displayed again his proficiency in the island winds as he equalled his second-best result on the PGA TOUR with a tie for seventh at the Grand Reserve Country Club.

One stroke off the lead heading into the final round, Percy made the turn in one under, but two bogeys in his final five holes were costly and left him at 14 under, five shots behind champion Branden Grace.

“I love playing in the wind because you’ve got to hit the ball properly, with the right fly and all that sort of stuff,” said the Victorian veteran.

“Not only just smash it as far as you can, find it and then smash it again, sort of thing. Like you really got to either draw it, fade it, hit a high, hit it low, hit on the right side of the fairway, to have the better angle, that sort of stuff.

“So that sort of suits me a bit.”

Chalmers’ tie for 22nd was his best PGA Tour result since the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship, with Aaron Baddeley and John Senden the other Aussies to make the cut.

It was a week of great significance, too, for Kemp whose tie for fifth at the Gainbridge LPGA represents her best finish on American soil since joining the LPGA Tour in 2008.

As Nelly Korda finished three strokes clear at the top at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Florida, Kemp compiled four consistently excellent rounds to end the week at 10-under in her first start for the year.

Runner-up at the 2019 ISPS Handa Vic Open that was co-sanctioned with the LPGA Tour, Kemp’s previous best result in the US was a tie for 10th at both the 2011 Safeway Classic and 2010 CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge.

AUSSIE RESULTS

World Golf Championships Workday Championship at The Concession The Concession Golf Club, Bradenton, Florida T11 Cameron Smith 68-66-77-67—278 $US189,666 T18 Jason Day 71-69-69-72—281 $125,500 T28 Min Woo Lee 74-71-66-72—283 $82,500 T39 Marc Leishman 72-70-74-71—287 $55,000 T41 Jason Scrivener 75-68-70-75—288 $52,500 T52 Wade Ormsby 68-74-78-72—292 $41,500 T54 Adam Scott 72-72-72-77—293 $38,300 T61 Brad Kennedy 81-73-69-73—296 $35,000 70 Lucas Herbert 77-77-74-74—302 $32,500

PGA TOUR Puerto Rico Open Grand Reserve Country Club, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico T7 Cameron Percy 67-69-67-71—274 $US91,125 T22 Greg Chalmers 66-68-76-68—278 $28,950 T30 Aaron Baddeley 70-70-71-69—280 $18,780 75 John Senden 70-72-76-73—291 $5,850 MC Mark Hensby 75-69—144 MC Rhein Gibson 72-74—146 MC Robert Allenby 81-77—158

LPGA Tour Gainbridge LPGA Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, Orlando, Florida T5 Sarah Kemp 70-69-70-69—278 $US75,659 T36 Gabriela Ruffels 73-70-71-72—286 $11,197 MC Katherine Kirk 72-76—148 MC Sarah Jane Smith 75-76—151

Champions Tour Cologuard Classic Omni Tucson National, Tucson, Arizona T58 Rod Pampling 73-75-76—224

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