08 Dec 2021 | Professional golf |
Aussies on Tour: Smith seeking more Q-School success
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck
It’s a test she has not had to take for 14 years yet Sarah Jane Smith feels well prepared to retain her LPGA Tour status in the second week of Q-Series qualifying in Alabama.
Smith is one of three Australians to advance to the second week of the eight-round marathon with Stephanie Kyriacou and Karis Davidson both seeking to play their way onto the No.1 female professional tour in the world.
It’s a place that Smith is very familiar with having played her rookie season in 2006 regaining her main tour status by finishing 20th at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in late 2007.
The 37-year-old has been a fixture on the LPGA Tour ever since and will enter the second week of the Q-Series in 24th position at six-under par, the top 45 at the completion of the eighth round on Sunday to earn full status for 2022.
“I had had a rough year and it was from probably July onwards it was in the back of my mind. If I don't start playing better, I'm going to be back at Q-School,” said Smith.
“I feel like it was always over my head, and then once Tampa was finished it was like this is what we're doing. There are no ifs, ands or buts. I'm going to Q-School. Let's get ready.”
With husband Duane on the bag Smith also has two-and-a-half-year-old son Theo in tow in Alabama, another big change from her most recent Q-School experience.
With a best finish of a tie for 34th at the Walmart NSW Arkansas Championship Smith knows it has not been anywhere near her best year on tour but is now determined to finish 2021 on a positive.
“There has been a lot that has happened, and I wouldn't change any of it for anything,” said Smith. “We're here, and we're just going to make the most of being here.”
Kyriacou is the best-placed of the Aussie trio and will tee off in the second-to-last group in round one, currently tied for fourth at 13-under par. Davidson will also start from a strong position at Highland Oaks, nine-under and tied for 11th at the halfway stage.
Jason Day will also be eager to recapture some former glories at the QBE Shootout hosted by Greg Norman in Florida.
The winner in 2014 partnering American Cameron Tringale, Day has this year linked with fellow Aussie Marc Leishman while Matt Jones is paired with American Ryan Palmer.
Queensland rookie Louis Dobbelaar will play his final event on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica for the year at the Chile Open and Mark Hensby is hoping to secure status for the Champions Tour in 2022 at the final qualifying tournament in Florida.
Round 1 tee times AEDT
Q-Series Week Two
Highland Oaks (Highland & Marshwood Cses), Dothan, Alabama
1.14am Sarah Jane Smith, Hinako Shibuno, Emily Kristine Pedersen
1.58am Karis Davidson, Kaitlyn Papp, Yaeeun Hong
2.31am Stephanie Kyriacou, Atthaya Thitikul, Peiyun Chien
Top Aussie prediction: Stephanie Kyriacou
Tiburon Golf Club, Naples, Florida
1.45am Matt Jones/Ryan Palmer, Sean O’Hair/Will Zalatoris
2.45am Jason Day/Marc Leishman, Sam Burns/Billy Horschel
Defending champions: Harris English and Matt Kuchar (2020)
Past Aussie winners: Steve Elkington and Raymond Floyd (1993), Steve Elkington and Mark Calcavecchia (1995), Greg Norman and Steve Elkington (1998), Rod Pampling and Jerry Kelly (2006), Jason Day and Cameron Tringale (2014)
PGA Tour Latinoamerica
Scotia Wealth Management Chile Open
3.30am Louis Dobbelaar, Landon Lyons, Alex Scott
3.40am Denzel Ieremia, Michael Kartrude, Danny Ochoa
Defending champion: John Somers (2019)
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Top Aussie prediction: Louis Dobbelaar
Qualifying Tournament Final Stage
TPC Tampa Bay, Lutz, Florida
1.25am Mark Hensby, Jean-Francois Remesy, Kent Jones
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