01 Sep 2021 | Professional golf |
Aussies on Tour: What's at stake at Tour finales
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck
Millions of dollars and a place on the game’s greatest stage are up for grabs for seven Aussies this week as the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour seasons reach their respective climaxes.
Queenslander Cameron Smith can make history by becoming Australia’s first FedEx Cup champion at the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta while six Aussies are chasing status on the PGA Tour next season at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship in Indiana.
As he sits fifth in the FedEx Cup standings through two events of the FedEx Cup Playoffs Smith will begin the Tour Championship at 5-under par, five strokes behind BMW Championship winner Patrick Cantlay in pursuit of the $US15 million prize for first place.
If he was to finish the year in fifth position Smith would collect $US2.5m for his efforts with second to receive $US5m, third $US4m and fourth $US3m.
Runner-up at The Northern Trust, Smith’s previous best FedEx Cup finish was 12th in 2018 for which he received $US290,000.
Currently ranked No.23 in the world, the Tour Championship marks the end to Smith’s best year on the PGA Tour to date, five top-five finishes, victory alongside Marc Leishman at the Zurich Classic and $US5,851,867 in prize money that will swell significantly on Sunday.
As Smith reaches the culmination of his PGA Tour season six fellow Australians are seeking to secure their position on the main tour for the 2021-2022 season at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship.
Brett Drewitt and Lucas Herbert have already guaranteed their place on the PGA Tour next season but can improve their priority ranking with a strong finish to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
Sitting in 24th position at present, West Australian Curtis Luck can likely wrap up one of the 25 PGA Tour cards given out at the completion of the finals with a top-15 finish at Victoria National Golf Club but Aaron Baddeley will need a finish towards the top 10 to move up from 31st to maintain full status next season.
In a share of 48th after two events Rhein Gibson could also extend his stay on the PGA Tour with a top-five finish, a result that might also be enough for veteran Greg Chalmers.
There are eight events still remaining on the 2021 European Tour season with four Aussies to contest this week’s DS Automobiles Italian Open and 2010 champion Daniel Gaunt has bolstered the Australian presence at this week’s Challenge Tour event, the British Challenge at The Belfry.
Although the Solheim Cup is the primary focus in the women’s game this week Stephanie Kyriacou, Whitney Hillier and Amy Walsh will take part in the Creekhouse Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour and Kristalle Blum and Victoria Fricot are in Switzerland for the LET Access Series Flumserberg Ladies Open.
Round 1 tee times
East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia
3.40am Cameron Smith, Justin Thomas
Defending champion: Dustin Johnson
Past Aussie winners: Adam Scott (2006)
Top Aussie prediction: Cameron Smith
TV schedule: Live 3am-8am Friday, Saturday; Live 3am-9am Sunday; Live 2am-8am Monday on Fox Sports 503
Korn Ferry Tour
Korn Ferry Tour Championship
Victoria National Golf Club, Newburgh, Indiana
9.50pm* Rhein Gibson, Camilo Villegas, Max Greyserman
10.50pm* Curtis Luck, Tom Lewis, Tom Whitney
11.02pm Brett Drewitt, Brandon Wu, Patrick Fishburn
11.38pm Greg Chalmers, Max McGreevy, David Kocher
3.48am* Lucas Herbert, Matthias Schwab, Scott Gutschewski
4am Aaron Baddeley, Trey Mullinax, Satoshi Kodaira
Defending champion: Brandon Wu
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Top Aussie prediction: Lucas Herbert
TV schedule: Live 12am-2am Friday; Live 12am-3am Saturday on Fox Sports 507; 11.45am-1.30pm Sunday on Fox Sports 503; Live 6am-9am on Fox Sports 507
DS Automobiles Italian Open
Marco Simone GC, Rome, Italy
4.20pm* Min Woo Lee, Garrick Higgo, Sami Valimaki
5pm* Scott Hend, Eddie Pepperell, Joost Luiten
5.30pm Maverick Antcliff, Gregorio De Leo, Filippo Celli
9.30pm* Wade Ormsby, Jeff Winther, Joachim B. Hansen
Defending champion: Ross McGowan
Past Aussie winners: Greg Norman (1988), Craig Parry (1991)
Top Aussie prediction: Maverick Antcliff
TV schedule: Live 9.30pm-2.30am Thursday, Friday; Live 9.30pm-2am Saturday, Sunday on Fox Sports 503
Japan Golf Tour
Fujizakura Country Club, Yamanashi
9.15am Dylan Perry, Naoto Takayanagi, Yuki Kitagawa
9.45am Todd Sinnott, Keita Suzuki, Suzuchiyo Ishida
12.20pm* David Bransdon, Hiroki Abe, Norihiko Furusho
12.50pm* Scott Strange, Shohei Hasegawa, Daiki Imano
1.50pm* Anthony Quayle, Dong-Kyu Jang, Shinichi Yokota
Defending champion: Rikuya Hoshino
Past Aussie winners: Graham Marsh (1973, 1974), Paul Sheehan (2004)
Top Aussie prediction: Anthony Quayle
British Challenge Presented by Modest! Golf Management
The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, England
6.25pm Blake Windred, Deyen Lawson, Christopher Mivis
7.35pm Daniel Gaunt, Chase Hanna, Grégory Bourdy
7.45pm Josh Geary, Ben Evans, George Bloor
10.05pm Dimitrios Papadatos, Javier Sainz, Dominic Foos
11.50pm Daniel Hillier, Clément Berardo, Joshua Grenville-Wood
Defending champion: Tom Lewis (2018)
Past Aussie winners: Matthew King (2004), Daniel Gaunt (2010)
Top Aussie prediction: Dimi Papadatos
Ladies European Tour
Creekhouse Ladies Open
Kristianstad Golf Club (Åhus Ostra Cse), Sweden
5.17pm Stephanie Kyriacou, Atthaya Thitikul, Marianne Skarpnord
9.34pm Amy Walsh, Maria Palacios, Carolin Kauffmann
10.07pm Whitney Hillier, Caroline Hedwall, Aditi Ashok
Defending champion: Isabella Ramsay (2014)
Past Aussie winners: Corinne Dibnah (1986)
Top Aussie prediction: Stephanie Kyriacou
LET Access Series
Flumserberg Ladies Open
Gams-Werdenberg Golf Club, Gams, Switzerland
8.12pm Kristalle Blum, Tomoko Yokoyama, Aada Rissanen
8.56pm Victoria Fricot, Alexandra Bonetti, Erika De Martini
Defending champion: Sanna Nuutinen
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Top Aussie prediction: Kristalle Blum
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