05 Oct 2023 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Micheluzzi leads 11 Aussies at Dunhill Links

by Tony Webeck

David Micheluzzi among 11 Aussies at the Dunhill Links Championship.
Australasian Order of Merit winner David Micheluzzi is among the 11 Aussies playing this week's Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland. Photo: Oisin Keniry/R&A/R&A via Getty Images

On the surface, a tie for 36th is not a result that would indicate a player is about to go on a tear.

Yet David Micheluzzi’s top-40 finish at last year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland instilled the belief he needed to dominate the Australian summer of golf.

As Kiwi Ryan Fox returns to defend his title at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, Micheluzzi will also draw on the positive memories of his performance in challenging conditions 12 months ago.

Ranked 760th in the world when the 2022 Dunhill Links began, Micheluzzi finished as the leading Aussie that week.

Two weeks later, he won the WA PGA Championship at Kalgoorlie, the first of three wins that would see him claim the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit.

That paved the way for the Victorian to make his PGA TOUR debut, play in two major championships and get his game ready to join the DP World Tour for the 2024 season.

That same opportunity is now available to 10 of Micheluzzi’s countrymen this week, nine of whom are in the field by virtue of their finish on the 2022-2023 Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit.

It is just one of many pathways now available to players on the Australasian Tour and one which Micheluzzi has shown can elevate players to the game’s highest level.

Even this week’s defending champion used the Australasian Tour to catapult himself into the game’s upper echelons.

The 2014 WA Open champion and 2019 Order of Merit winner, Fox was second on the DP World Tour Order of Merit in 2022 and rose to 31st in the world on the back of his BMW PGA Championship win a fortnight ago.

Now the 36-year-old wants to make sure he is on the International Team at next year’s Presidents Cup.

“Going to help myself out; going to have my PGA TOUR card next year,” said Fox, who was a surprise omission from the 2022 Presidents Cup.

“That may is have hurt me slightly not being a PGA TOUR member.

“The Presidents Cup probably doesn't have quite the same aura around it as the Ryder Cup does, but it's certainly something I'd really love to play in.

“I know the International Team has not had the greatest record, so I would like to try to get on that team and maybe grab a little bit of history as well.”

It is a potentially life-changing week too for Robyn Choi on the Epson Tour.

The Gold Coaster enters the season-ending Tour Championship 11th in the Race For The Card standings, just $200 from one of the 10 cards on offer.

As fellow Australian Gabi Ruffels waits to be crowned the Order of Merit winner for 2023, Choi needs to extend her cut-streak of 26 straight events to play her way onto the LPGA Tour in 2024.

“Out here, every single dollar is very important, so I am just trying to make the cut every week,” explained Choi, who is a chance of obtaining an LPGA Tour card with a solo 60th-place finish or better.

“To get into the top 10, you need to try and get every dollar you can. If I had a bad round, I had to remind myself it wasn’t over and I can still make my way up the leaderboard.

“Obviously, I don’t have a win this year, but I have given myself a few good chances.

“The goal was to have a win this year, but at the end of the day, the top 10 is my ultimate goal, and I am really close to that.”

Elsewhere this week the Morgan boys, Jed and Lincoln, are among the 15 Aussies playing the International Series Singapore on the Asian Tour, amateur June Song makes her LPGA Tour debut at The Ascendant and Curtis Luck, Dimi Papadatos, Brett Drewitt and Rhein Gibson wrap up the Korn Ferry Tour season with the Korn Ferry Tour Championship in Indiana.

Round 1 tee times AEDT

DP World Tour Alfred Dunhill Links Championship Old Course St Andrews, Carnoustie & Kingsbarns, Scotland 7pm* Nick Bachem, Lincoln Tighe 7.11pm* Mikael Lindberg, Thomas Power-Horan 7.22pm Ryan Fox (NZ), Matt Kuchar 7.33pm* Manu Gandas, Haydn Barron 7.44pm Dylan Naidoo, Andrew Martin 7.55pm* Nathan Kimsey, Jason Scrivener 8.06pm Daniel Hillier (NZ), Justin Warren 8.17pm* Maximilian Kieffer, David Micheluzzi 8.28pm Scott Jamieson, Nathan Barbieri 8.39pm* Daniel Gale, Tapio Pulkkanen 9.01pm* Jeong weon Ko, Aaron Wilkin 9.23pm* Jaco Prinsloo, Christopher Wood

Defending champion: Ryan Fox Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 10.30pm-3am Thursday; Live 10pm-3am Friday; Live 12am-3am Sunday; Live 9.30pm-3am Sunday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.

PGA TOUR Sanderson Farms Championship Country Club of Jackson, Jackson, Mississippi, USA 11.22pm Nate Lashley, Cameron Percy, Henrik Norlander 12.17am Greg Chalmers, Will Gordon, Ben Taylor 4.06am Chris Stroud, Sam Ryder, Harrison Endycott 4.28am Luke List, Lucas Herbert, Jim Herman

Defending champion: Mackenzie Hughes Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 3am-5am Friday on Fox Sports 507; Live 7am-10am Friday on Fox Sports 503; Live 3am-5am Saturday on Fox Sports 507; Live 7am-10am Saturday on Fox Sports 503; Live 7am-10am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.

LPGA Tour The Ascendant LPGA Benefiting Volunteers of America Old American Golf Club, The Colony, Texas 12.31am Lindy Duncan, Sarah Kemp, Elizabeth Szokol 12.31am* Hannah Green, Ally Ewing, Hae Ran Ryu 1.04am* Luna Soborn Galmes, Jill McGill, June Song (a) 5.32am* Lucy Li, Su Oh, Jennifer Song 5.43am* Nicole Broch Estrup, Jennifer Chang, Karis Davidson 6.05am Elinor Sudow, Sarah Jane Smith, Sadena Parks

Defending champion: Charley Hull Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 3am-5am Friday on Fox Sports 503; Live 7am-10am Saturday on Fox Sports 505; Live 6.30am-8am Sunday on Fox Sports 505; 4.30pm-6.30pm Monday on Fox Sports 503.

Asian Tour International Series Singapore Tanah Merah Country Club (Tampines Course), Singapore 10am* James Leow, Chanat Sakulpolphaisan, Lincoln Morgan (a) 10.10am Nick Voke (NZ), Douglas Klein, Abiel Lim 10.30am* Charl Schwartzel, Scott Hend, Richard T. Lee 10.50am Jack Thompson, Suteepat Prateeptienchai, Bjorn Hellgren 10.50am* Jediah Morgan, Jazz Janewattananond, Kieran Vincent 11am Kevin Yuan, Viraj Madappa, Atiruj Winaicharoenchai 11.10am Natipong Srithong, Andrew Dodt, Veer Ahlawat 11.20am Josh Younger, Chonlatit Chuenboonngam, Hung Chien-yao 11.20am* Yuto Katsuragawa, Todd Sinnott, Jbe Kruger 11.30am Ben Campbell (NZ), Prom Meesawat, Honey Baisoya 11.30am* Zach Murray, Taehee Lee, Chikkarangappa S. 11.40am Terry Pilkadaris, Dodge Kemmer, SSP Chawrasia 3pm John Lyras, Sanghyun Park, David Drysdale 3.40pm David Puig, Travis Smyth, Chase Koepka 4pm Sangmoon Bae, Brendan Jones, Danthai Boonma 4.20pm Mardan Mamat, Shiv Kapur, Marcus Fraser

Defending champion: Nitithorn Thippong Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 5pm-9pm Thursday, Friday on Fox Sports 503; Live 5pm-6pm Saturday on Fox Sports 503; Live 2pm-6pm Sunday on Fox Sports 505 and Kayo.

Ladies European Tour Aramco Team Series Presented By PIF Hong Kong Golf Club, Hong Kong Australasians in the field: Stephanie Kyriacou, Kirsten Rudgeley, Momoka Kobori (NZ)

Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil

Japan Golf Tour ACN Championship Golf Tournament 10am* Yoshitaka Takeya, Michio Matsumura, Andrew Evans 11am Anthony Quayle, Takahiro Hataji, Tomohiro Ishizaka 11.30am Brad Kennedy, Yuki Shino, Takashi Ogiso 12.20pm* Yui Ueda, Dylan Perry, Tatsunori Nukaga 12.30pm* Shintaro Ban, Adam Bland

Defending champion: Shugo Imahira Past Aussie winners: Peter Thomson (1971), Graham Marsh (1972, 1974, 1982), Brian Jones (1985, 1987, 1988)

Korn Ferry Tour Korn Ferry Tour Championship Victoria National Golf Club, Newburgh, Indiana, USA 11.38pm Adrian Dumont de Chassart, Curtis Luck, Rafael Campos 1.06am* Jamie Lovemark, Kevin Dougherty, Dimi Papadatos 1.17am Rhein Gibson, Mac Meissner, Matt McCarty 1.28am Brett Drewitt, Taylor Dickson, Cody Blick

Defending champion: Justin Suh Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 5am-7am Friday; Live 3am-7am Saturday, Sunday; Live 4am-7am Monday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.

PGA TOUR Champions Constellation Furyk and Friends Timuquana Country Club, Jacksonville, Florida, USA Australasians in the field: Steven Alker (NZ), Stuart Appleby, Richard Green, Mark Hensby, David McKenzie, Rod Pampling, John Senden

Defending champion: Steve Stricker Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: 10am-11.30am Saturday, Sunday; 11am-12.30pm Monday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.

Epson Tour Epson Tour Championship LPGA National (Jones Course), Daytona Beach, Florida 11pm* Hira Naveed, Tsai Ching Tseng, Alana Uriell 4.03am Jiwon Jeon, Natasha Andrea Oon, Gabriela Ruffels 4.14am* Jenny Bae, Robyn Choi, Nataliya Guseva 4.25am* Amelia Garvey (NZ), Kirsten Gillman, Kaleigh Telfer 4.36am* Tzu-Yi Chang, Cassie Porter, Kenzie Wright

Defending champion: Jaravee Boonchant Past Aussie winners: Kristie Smith (2010)

LET Access Series Lombardia Ladies Open LETAS Golf Club Varese, Varese, Italy 5.40pm* Alice Gotbring, Victoria Fricot, Vicky Prietzel (a) 6pm Kelsey Bennett, Lejan Lewthwaite, Isabell Elkstrom 10pm Mayka Hoogeboom, Amy Walsh, Ellen Huthinson-Kay

Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil

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