06 Dec 2021 | Professional golf |
Aussies on Tour: Steph storms into final stage of Q-Series
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck
Sydney’s Stephanie Kyriacou has stormed into the final stage of the LPGA Tour Q-Series with a stunning nine-under par 63 in the final round of Stage I in Alabama.
The top 74 players from Stage I have advanced to Stage II to be played at the Highland Oaks Golf Course starting Thursday where they will be trying to snare one of 45 cards up for grabs on the 2022 LPGA Tour.
Three Aussies remain in the mix after Kyriacou, Karis Davidson and Sarah Jane Smith all finished inside the top 25, Robyn Choi the only member of the Australian contingent to miss out.
Choi retains her status on the Symetra Tour for next year, status that the other three Aussies will also receive should they not finish inside the top 45 at the end of eight rounds.
Playing in her 22nd event since the start of the Ladies European Tour season in late May, Kyriacou showed no signs of fatigue as she flashed home on the Crossings Course with a back nine of six-under 30 to finish tied for fourth, six shots behind medallist Pauline Roussin-Bouchard.
The Sunday 63 and 13-under par total takes on even greater significance as the scores from week one carry forward to week two, putting the 21-year-old in a wonderful position to join the likes of Minjee Lee and Hannah Green on the LPGA Tour in 2022.
“It’s a marathon these two weeks,” Kyriacou said.
“It is a new week, new course. I don’t think the weather is going to be that great next week so honestly anything can happen. Just try and not get ahead of myself.”
Fighting through jetlag through the practice rounds after flying in from Spain, Kyriacou said it was her round of 69 on the more difficult Falls Course on Saturday that gave her the belief a low score was possible in her final round.
“In the practice rounds I found this course a bit easier than the other one,” she added.
“Then I had a good round on the other one yesterday and I just kind of thought, Oh, yeah, let’s go low today.
“Everything just clicked. Over the last couple days some things were working and some things weren’t, and then today they just both were in sync.
“It was just a really good day.”
A regular on the Japan Ladies Golf Tour the past two years, Davidson completed an extremely consistent week with a round of three-under 69 on Sunday to earn a share of 11th place, heading into week two at nine-under par.
Smith has been a regular on the LPGA Tour since graduating from the Futures Tour in 2009 and is positioned to keep that streak going in 2022 despite dropping two shots late in her fourth round of two-under 70, tied for 24th at six-under.
Scott Hend battled through a stomach illness on Saturday to lead the Aussie charge with a tie for 10th at the Asian Tour’s Laguna Phuket Championship, Wade Ormsby maintaining his spot at the top of the Order of Merit with a tie for 14th.
After a brilliant opening round of 63 Travis Smyth closed with a 69 on Sunday to squeeze inside the top 25 with Kiwi Ben Campbell tied for 30th and Victorian Ben Eccles tied for 34th.
There were two Aussies in action at the Argentine Open on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica, Tim Stewart and Louis Dobbelaar both failing to progress to the weekend.
LPGA Tour Q-Series
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Magnolia Grove, Mobile, Alabama
Winner Pauline Roussin-Bouchard 69-67-66-65—267
T4 Stephanie Kyriacou 69-72-69-63—273
T11 Karis Davidson 68-71-69-69—277
T24 Sarah Jane Smith 70-73-67-70—280
T94 Robyn Choi 77-74-71-70—292
Laguna Phuket Championship
Laguna Golf Phuket, Phuket, Thailand
Winner Phachara Khongwatmai 66-65-69-70—270 $US180,000
T10 Scott Hend 71-63-70-70—274 $16,987
T14 Wade Ormsby 70-69-68-68—275 $13,550
T24 Travis Smyth 63-74-71-69—277 $9,250
T30 Ben Campbell 70-70-69-69—278 $8,033
T34 Ben Eccles 71-66-71-71—279 $7,500
T57 Andrew Martin 69-71-74-69—283 $3,550
75 Cory Crawford 70-71-78-77—296 $1,800
MC Jake Higginbottom 73-69—142
MC Sam Brazel 74-71—145
MC Will Heffernan 71-77—148
MC Kevin Yuan 71-78—149
MC Evan Burford (a) 83-83—166
PGA Tour Latinoamerica
115 VISA Argentine Open
Nordelta Golf Club, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Winner Jorge Fernández-Valdés 70-70-67-70—277
MC Tim Stewart 74-73—147
MC Louis Dobbelaar 73-76—149
MC Denzel Ieremia 78-73—151
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