19 Jun 2023 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: McKinney, Hong log top-5 finishes

by Tony Webeck

Connor McKinney Kaskada Challenge

Rookies Connor McKinney and Jason Hong have recorded their best result on an international tour with top-five finishes on the Challenge Tour and PGA TOUR Canada respectively.

Making his fifth start of the season in Europe, McKinney (pictured) was inside the top five at the Kaskada Golf Challenge after starting the tournament with a round of 6-under 65 at the Kaskada Golf Resort in the Czech Republic.

He fell back slightly with rounds of 71-73 before climbing into a tie for fifth with a final round of 3-under 68, making birdies at 11, 14 and 17 to match his best finish as a professional, a tie for fifth at the 2021 WA PGA Championship in Kalgoorlie.

Hong went one better in what was his first start since turning professional.

Hailing from Concord Golf Club in Sydney’s west, Hong has been a college standout at both Purdue and Lipscomb University and earned his PGA TOUR Canada card by winning qualifying in Arizona in April.

He captained the New South Wales team to a share of victory at the 2016 Interstate Teams Matches and had a chance to win on his professional debut late in the final round of the Royal Beach Victoria Open.

Birdies at seven, eight, 11 and 12 brought the 24-year-old to within two of the lead but dropped shots at 13, 14 and 17 saw him finish six strokes back in a tie for fourth.

Hong had a share of the lead through three rounds at Uplands Golf Club but was 1-over through six holes of a final round of even-par 70 to drop off the pace set by eventual champion Etienne Papineau (64).

Minjee Lee warmed up for the second women’s major of the year next week with a tie for 13th at the Meijer LPGA Classic in Michigan as Anthony Quayle continued his strong form in Japan with a tie for 12th at the Hana Bank Invitational.


LPGA Tour Meijer LPGA Classic Blythefield Country Club, Belmont, Michigan 1 Leona Maguire 69-65-69-64—267 $US375,000 T13 Minjee Lee 68-67-72-68—275 $37,829 T20 Grace Kim 71-71-70-65—277 $25,108 T50 Hannah Green 71-69-74-68—282 $8,448 T66 Stephanie Kyriacou 69-73-71-74—287 $5,359 MC Lydia Ko (NZ) 72-72—144 MC Su Oh 75-73—148

Ladies European Tour Amundi German Masters Golf & Country Club Seddiner See, Berlin 1 Kristyna Napoleaova 68-66-69-71—274 €45,000 T22 Momoka Kobori (NZ) 76-72-69-68—285 €4,140 T22 Kirsten Rudgeley 73-71-70-71—285 €4,140 MC Whitney Hillier 75-76—151 MC Hanee Song 76-77—153 MC Wenyung Keh 78-78—156

Japan Golf Tour Hana Bank Invitational Chiba Isumi Golf Club, Chiba 1 Ji Ho Yang 66-70-69-67—272 ¥18,327,272 T12 Anthony Quayle70-69-71-69—279 ¥1,308,566 T26 Won Joon Lee 69-72-71-69—281 ¥733,090 MC Jun Seok Lee 71-76—147 MC Brendan Jones 73-75—148

Challenge Tour Kaskada Challenge Kaskade Resort, Brno, Czech Republic 1 Lorenzo Scalise 64-68-70-70—272 €42,400 T5 Connor McKinney 65-71-73-68—277 €10,776.67 T36 Ryan Ruffels 73-70-71-71—285 €1,643

Korn Ferry Tour Wichita Open Crestview Country Club, Wichita 1 Ricky Castillo 67-62-66-66—261 $US180,000 T61 Dimi Papadatos 69-64-70-68—271 $4,040 T72 Grant Booth 67-66-71-70—274 $3,830 T76 Louis Dobbelaar67-68-71-69—275 $3,770 MC Brett Drewitt 68-69—137 MC Rhein Gibson 70-71—141

PGA Tour Canada Royal Beach Victoria Open Uplands GC, Victoria, British Columbia 1 Étienne Papineau 64-65-69-64—262 T4 Jason Hong 67-64-67-70—268 MC Jack Trent 73-68—141 MC Cory Crawford 70-72—142

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