13 Nov 2023 | Professional golf |
Aussies on Tour: Smith, Scott shine ahead of homecoming
by Tony Webeck
Major champions Cameron Smith and Adam Scott have set their sights on success on home soil following top-five finishes in their final international commitments for 2023.
A birdie at the 72nd hole saw Kiwi Ben Campbell edge Smith (68) by a shot at the Hong Kong Open on the Asian Tour while Scott was tied for fifth as old friend Camilo Villegas completed an emotional victory at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship on the PGA TOUR.
ISPS HANDA Australian Open drawcard Stephanie Kyriacou extended her LPGA Tour season by an extra week, her tie for fifth at The ANNIKA enough to squeeze inside the top 60 who qualify for the CME Globe Tour Championship in Florida.
Tied for the lead standing on the 18th tee, Smith’s struggles with his driver over the weekend forced him to lay up at the par-4 finishing hole.
He very nearly jarred his wedge shot for birdie but could only watch on as Campbell (66) drained his 15-footer for birdie to claim his first Asian Tour win and first anywhere since the 2018 NZ PGA Championship.
With the defence of his Fortinet Australian PGA Championship now just a week away, Smith will take the positives from his runner-up finish and tune up for Royal Queensland.
“Pretty poor over the weekend I guess but I hung in there so lots of positives,” said Smith, who struggled with his driver and long irons over the final two rounds.
“Definitely wasn’t the nicest golf to be played over last couple of days, still lots to work on.”
Scott made his return to Bermuda for the first time in a decade with his three-week schedule in Australia very much front of mind.
Scott will tee it up at the Australian PGA, Australian Open and Cathedral Invitational buoyed by his first top-five finish since the Wells Fargo Championship in May.
Scott, who introduced Villegas to the team at L.A.B. Golf who built the Colombian a new putter, shot 67 in difficult conditions in the final round to finish five back of Villegas.
A two-time winner of the Joe Kirkwood Cup and the 2009 Australian Open champion, Scott is heading home with winning on his mind.
“It was really one of the reasons for coming to play was to kind of make sure I’m not rusty when I play at home,” Scott said of his tournament debut in Bermuda.
“I want to play well down there. I want to play well every week, but if I didn’t play great this week, I would have known what to do when I got there and not just guessing.
“I really like where things are at. There’s a lot of good stuff to take out of my game this week and if I play in similar style down there, hopefully I can end up on top.”
Coming into the week 71st in the Race to the CME Globe standings, Kyriacou knew it would take something special to play her way into the $2 million season finale.
Not even after signing for a 3-under 67 was Kyriacou aware of her status but will now join fellow Aussies Minjee Lee (sixth), Hannah Green (28th), Grace Kim (30th) and Sarah Kemp (58th) in the final event of the season ready to let rip.
“You made it there, you’re there for a reason. You might as well go shoot the lights out,” said Kyriacou, who climbed from 71st to 56th with her second top-five finish of the season.
“Today I definitely found it pretty tough. Even before the round started I was quite nervous,” Kyriacou admitted.
“But my caddie kind of just said, ‘You know, it’s another round of golf. Yeah, there is more riding on it, but you’ve played good up until now not thinking about that, so let’s just try to go out there and do it again.’
“I’m pretty proud of myself. Definitely made some clutch pars coming in there.
A host of Aussies remain in the hunt for DP World Tour cards at the halfway mark of Final Stage of Q School in Spain.
With 25 cards to be handed out after six rounds, West Australian Hayden Hopewell is the best-placed Aussie through three rounds in a tie for 16th.
Fellow West Australian Haydn Barron is two shots further back in a tie for 34th with Connor McKinney, Elvis Smylie and Justin Warren also still in the hunt.
PGA TOUR Butterfield Bermuda Championship Port Royal Golf Course, Southampton, Bermuda 1 Camilo Villegas 67-63-65-65—260 $US1.17m T5 Adam Scott 65-67-66-67—265 $251,063 T30 Lucas Herbert 66-71-64-70—271 $38,954 T72 Cameron Percy 72-64-73-70—279 $12,870 MC Harrison Endycott 71-70—141 MC Greg Chalmers 77-71—148
LPGA Tour The ANNIKA Pelican Golf Club, Belleair, Florida 1 Lilia Vu 67-66-62-66—261 $US487,500 T5 Stephanie Kyriacou 70-65-64-67—266 $124,827 T23 Grace Kim 71-67-69-64—271 $34,952 T31 Lydia Ko (NZ) 67-69-67-70—273 $23,205 T38 Gabriela Ruffels 69-67-71-67—274 $17,726 T57 Sarah Kemp 68-68-73-69—278 $9,653 MC Su Oh 72-74—146
DP World Tour Nedbank Golf Challenge Gary Player CC, Sun City, South Africa 1 Max Homa 66-68-69-66—269 €961,124.05 T33 Daniel Hillier (NZ) 72-68-76-71—287 €42,852.07 T39 Jason Scrivener71-74-76-69—290 €35,069.31 T51 Ryan Fox (NZ) 69-76-70-77—292 €21,566.69
DP World Tour Qualifying School – Final Stage Infinitum Golf, Spain Through three of six rounds. The top 25 after six rounds earn 2024 DP World Tour cards T16 Sam Jones (NZ) 68-69-70—207 T16 Hayden Hopewell 73-65-69—207 T34 Haydn Barron 67-72-70—209 T69 Connor McKInney 71-69-71—211 T73 Elvis Smylie 73-70-67—210 T83 Justin Warren 78-68-65—211 T116 Matias Sanchez 72-67-76—215 T129 Andre Lautee 73-71-72—216 T129 James Marchesani 75-69-72—216 WD Blake Windred 70-70—140
Asian Tour Hong Kong Open Hong Kong Golf Club, Hong Kong 1 Ben Campbell (NZ) 66-64-65-66—261 $US360,000 2 Cameron Smith 63-66-65-68—262 $220,000 T8 Harrison Crowe 65-65-69-67—266 $41,225 T30 Douglas Klein 69-69-69-65—272 $14,225 T42 Zach Murray 70-68-66-69—273 $10,036.36 T42 Scott Hend 70-67-65-71—273 $10,036.36 T42 Travis Smyth 69-68-69-67—273 $10,036.36 T66 Jediah Morgan 67-71-70-69—277 $5,200 T69 Andrew Dodt 66-71-70-71—278 $4,600 MC Todd Sinnott 69-70—139 MC John Lyras 68-71—139 MC Kevin Yuan 71-68—139 MC Jack Thompson 67-73—140 MC Terry Pilkadaris 73-67—140 MC Wade Ormsby 70-71—141 MC Sam Brazel 74-68—142 MC Tom Power Horan 69-74—143 MC Marcus Fraser 73-71—144 MC Shane Kuiti (NZ) 72-73—145
Japan Golf Tour Sumitomo Mitsui VISA Pacific Masters Pacific Club (Gotemba Cse), Shizuoka 1 Shugo Imahira 67-66-65-70—268 ¥40m T29 Brad Kennedy 67-74-69-70—280 ¥1,252,500 T50 Brendan Jones 70-73-71-71—285 ¥554,666 MC Anthony Quayle 75-75—150
PGA TOUR Champions Charles Schwab Cup Championship Phoenix Country Club, Phoenix, Arizona 1 Steven Alker 67-64-65-70—266 $US528,000 T4 Richard Green 69-64-71-66—270 $165,375 T30 Mark Hensby 75-66-72-72—285 $19,875 35 Rod Pampling 71-74-74-73—292 $17,250
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