30 Mar 2023 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Two chasing Augusta golden ticket in Texas

by Australian Golf Media

Harrison Endycott (left) and Cam Davis (right) are trying to play their way into The Masters this week.
Harrison Endycott (left) and Cam Davis (right) are trying to play their way into The Masters this week.

By Tony Webeck

When the Official World Golf Ranking was updated on Monday, the field for the 2023 Masters Tournament was set.

With one exception.

For those yet to receive their official invitation to tee it up in the year’s first major next week, there is but one way to become the 90th exempt player into the field: Win.

Win the PGA TOUR Valero Texas Open to be precise.

That leaves just Cam Davis and Harrison Endycott as possibilities to expand the Australian representation from its current count of five (Harrison Crowe, Jason Day, Min Woo Lee, Adam Scott, Cameron Smith).

Free of the health ailments that plagued the start of his 2023 campaign, Davis has impressed in his two most recent starts.

A tie for 10th at THE PLAYERS Championship pushed Davis back inside the top 100 of the world ranking and he enters this week having defeated Americans Tom Hoge and Aaron Wise in the Group Stage of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin.

Winner of the Rocket Mortgage Classic in 2021, Davis spent the weekend practicing his putting at Austin Country Club before making the hour-long drive south to San Antonio to press his claims for a Masters call-up.

Such has been the strength of Endycott’s start to his rookie season, by making the cut last week at the Corales Puntacana Championship he surpassed $US500,000 in season earnings.

In the first year of the Earnings Assurance Program that guaranteed all Korn Ferry Tour graduates $500,000 up front, Endycott is now banking every cent that he makes.

The 26-year-old has made the cut in three of his past four starts and has five top-30 finishes to sit 105th in the FedEx Cup standings.

Kiwi Ryan Fox is already guaranteed his maiden Masters appearance by virtue of his world ranking at the end of 2022 but is taking the opportunity to gain even more PGA TOUR experience.

Another rookie hoping to make a good impression second-up is Sydney’s Grace Kim.

Kim missed the cut at last week’s LPGA Drive On Championship but is back in action at the DIO Implant LA Open along with fellow Aussies Hannah Green, Sarah Kemp and Stephanie Kyriacou.

The Japan Golf Tour kicks off its 2023 season this week with the Token Homemate Cup where two-time champion Brendan Jones will be eager to carry forward the form that recently won him the New Zealand Open title.

Another former NZ Open winner, Dimi Papadatos, will make his first start on the Korn Ferry Tour at the Astara Chile Classic, there are five Aussies teeing it up at the Epson Tour event in Arizona and Cameron Smith will tune up for his Masters shot by leading Ripper GC into battle at LIV Golf Orlando.

Round 1 tee times AEDT


Valero Texas Open

TPC San Antonio (Oaks Cse), San Antonio, Texas

4.25am Ryan Fox (NZ), Taylor Pendrith, Dylan Wu

5.09am Cam Davis, Chris Kirk, Tyrrell Hatton

6.26am Harrison Endycott, Kyle Westmoreland, Chandler Phillips

Defending champion: JJ Spaun

Past Aussie winners: Joe Kirkwood Snr (1924), Bruce Crampton (1964), Adam Scott (2010), Steven Bowditch (2014)

TV times: Live 2am-10am Friday, Saturday; Live 3am-8am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 503


DIO Implant LA Open

Palos Verdes Golf Club, Palos Verdes Estates, California

Australasians in the field: Lydia Ko (NZ), Hannah Green, Stephanie Kyriacou, Grace Kim, Sarah Kemp

Defending champion: Nasa Hataoka

Past Aussie winners: Minjee Lee (2019)

TV times: Live 10am-1pm Friday, Saturday; Live 8am-11am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 503

Korn Ferry Tour

Astara Chile Classic

Prince of Wales Country Club, Santiago, Chile

9.45pm* Rhein Gibson, Andrew Kozan, Bo Hoag

10.45pm Dimi Papadatos, Tim Widing, Brett White

Defending champion: Dawie van der Walt (2015)

Past Aussie winners: Nil

Japan Golf Tour

Token Homemate Cup

9.20am* Dylan Perry, Atsushi Hiramoto, Kenichi Kubotani

9.40am* Brendan Jones, Takamitsu Tokimatsu, Katsumasa Miyamoto

10.20am Anthony Quayle, Mitsunosuke Nakazato, Park Sang Hyun

2.15pm Michael Hendry (NZ), Tomohiro Ishizaka, Yousuke Tsukada

2.55pm* Andrew Evans, Yuya Tokumitsu, Yuto Katsuta

Defending champion: Kazuma Jinichiro

Past Australasian winners: Craig Warren (1994), Andre Stolz (2003), Wayne Perske (2006), Brendan Jones (2012, 2019), Michael Hendry (2015),

Challenge Tour

The Challenge presented by KGA

Karnataka Golf Association, Bangalore, India

After Round 1

T134 Maverick Antcliff 75

Epson Tour

Casino Del Sol Golf Classic

Sewailo Golf Club, Tucson, Arizona

Australasians in the field: Gabriela Ruffels, Robyn Choi, Sarah Jane Smith, Amelia Garvey (NZ), Hira Naveed, Cassie Porter

Defending champion: Andrea Lee

Past Aussie winners: Nil

PGA TOUR Latinoamérica

JHSF Aberto do Brasil

Fazenda Boa Vista, Porto Feliz, Brazil

10.20pm* Harry Hillier (NZ), Jun Hak Lee, Brett Walker

2.40am Charlie Hillier (NZ), David Pastore, Alvaro Ortiz

Defending champion: Jaime Lopez Rivarola

Past Aussie winners: Nil

LIV Golf

LIV Golf Orlando

Orange County National, Orlando, Florida

Australasians in the field: Matt Jones, Danny Lee (NZ), Marc Leishman, Jed Morgan, Cameron Smith

Defending champion: Inaugural event

Past Aussie winners: Nil

TV times: Live 4am Saturday; Live 3am Sunday, Monday on 7 Plus.

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