13 Dec 2021 | Professional golf |
Aussies on Tour: Trio secure 2022 LPGA Tour cards
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck
Aussie trio Stephanie Kyriacou, Karis Davidson and Sarah Jane Smith have emerged from the eight-round Q-Series marathon with full cards for the 2022 LPGA Tour.
Kyriacou (pictured) closed out the two-week torture test at Magnolia Grove in Alabama with a round of one-under 71 to finish in a tie for 16th but it was a more anxious wait for both Davidson and Smith.
With tour cards given to those who finish inside the top 45, Smith (76) and Davidson (77) both fell perilously close to the cut-off.
With four bogeys in her opening five holes, Davidson showed tremendous grit to steady the ship and drop just one more shot over her final 13 holes, her eight-round total of four-under par just enough to finish in a six-way tie for 41st.
Smith looked as though she would comfortably regain her playing rights but bogeys on 13, 15 and 18 meant that she had to monitor the leaderboard closely over the final agonising hour of play.
It was a far less stressful final day for Kyriacou who entered the week on the back of a round of nine-under 63 on the final day of week one that has changed the trajectory of her career.
The 21-year-old is already a two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour and will now take her game to the bright lights of the US, her final round of an exhausting 2021 campaign featuring four birdies and three bogeys.
The Australian contingent exempt on the LPGA Tour now includes Minjee Lee, Hannah Green, Su Oh, Katherine Kirk, Sarah Kemp, Kyriacou, Davidson and Smith.
As those three brought a successful end to their qualifying tournament Amy Walsh is halfway through the Ladies European Tour equivalent.
The Gold Coaster delivered four consistent rounds across the four days of Pre-Qualifying to advance to the Final Stage starting Thursday, Victoria Fricot unable to join her.
There was further Q-School success for Aussies in Japan with Andrew Evans firing a final round of seven-under 65 to top Japan Golf Tour qualifying and secure a full schedule for the 2022 season.
The Aussie team of Marc Leishman and Jason Day began the final day of the QBE Shootout with a three-stroke lead but were run down by American pair Kevin Na and Jason Kokrak.
Na and Kokrak birdied 12 of their final 13 holes in a round of 12-under 60 in the fourball format, Day and Leishman finishing tied for third two shots behind the champions with a closing 65.
LPGA Tour Q-Series Final Stage Highland Oaks (Highland & Marshwood Cses), Dothan, Alabama Winner Na Rin An 67-67-72-66-64-69-70-66—541 T16 Stephanie Kyriacou 69-72-69-63-74-73-72-71—563 T41 Sarah Jane Smith 70-73-67-70-73-71-70-76—570 T41 Karis Davidson 68-71-69-69-73-73-70-77—570
PGA Tour QBE Shootout Tiburon Golf Club, Naples, Florida Winners KevinNa/Jason Kokrak 59-64-60—183 T3 Marc Leishman/Jason Day 56-64-65—185 T11 Matt Jones/Ryan Palmer 61-69-65—195
PGA Tour Latinoamerica Scotia Wealth Management Chile Open Club de Golf Sport Frances, Santiago, Chile Winner Alan Wagner 62-69-71-71—273 MC Denzel Ieremia 75-71—146
Champions Tour 2022 Qualifying Tournament-Final Stage TPC Tampa Bay, Lutz, Florida Winner Rob Labritz 65-71-67-64—267 WD Mark Hensby 68-73-75—216
Ladies European Tour Pre-Qualifying School Real Golf La Manga (North Course), Spain Winner Lisa Pettersson 67-70-69-73—279 T37 Amy Walsh 74-73-72-75—294 MC Victoria Fricot 83-77-79-78—317
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