20 Jul 2020 | Amateur golf | Professional golf |

Davidson builds lead at State Challenge

by Kirsty Wrice

Karis Davidson
Karis Davidson at the 2020 State Challenge.

Karis Davidson’s competitive fire built her a commanding lead over 17 of the best Queensland professionals and amateurs at the State Challenge.

The State Challenge – a joint initiative by Golf Australia, the PGA of Australia and the ALPG – was born as a contest for elite amateurs with a handful of local professionals invited to bolster the experience and to stay rust-free before they return to global tours. Participating states (Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia) each host three 36-hole stroke play events for fields comprising nine professionals and nine amateurs (12 men and 6 women).

Davidson, who primarily plays on the LPGA of Japan Tour, opened with rounds of 66-70 at The Brisbane Golf Club last week to share the lead with amateur Joel Stahlhut on 136. The pair narrowly edged out 2020 Isuzu Queensland Open champ Anthony Quayle and Brisbane member Louis Dobbelaar by one stroke.

But the Scottish-born star made a solo stride at Pelican Waters today with a morning even par 72 round backed up by a sizzling six-under-par 66 to hold off a late charge from three-time Asian Tour winner David Gleeson. The 22-year-old stands at 274 after the second event, three ahead of Gleeson, with Gold Coast amateur Elvis Smylie hot on his tail a further stroke back.

Over on the West Coast, it’s a clash of the next generation and a tour vet in Connor McKinney and Brett Rumford. European Tour champ Rumford posted three rounds of 67s plus a 73 today to share the lead with Scottish-born, McKinney who fired a pair of 66s. They duo sit on 274 followed by major champ Hannah Green three strokes back.

Grange professional Matthew Lisk maintained his advantage in South Australia, narrowly edging amateur Jack Thompson. Despite fog reducing the first round to 18 holes last week, Lisk recorded rounds of 66-72-68 with Thompson chasing one back on 207, followed by 2019 PNG Open champ, Peter Cooke, a further shot back. Kristalle Blum’s 70 was the best female score, currently sitting at 221.

The event heads to Coolangatta-Tweed Heads (QLD), Glenelg (SA) and Lake Karrinyup (WA) for the final 36-holes next Monday. Each state will crown an overall champion from the best of five from six rounds (five from five in South Australia).

State Challenge Queensland
State Challenge Western Australia
State Challenge SA

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