02 Dec 2021 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: A marathon journey

by PGA of Australia

Steph Kyriacou USA image
Steph Kyriacou is in the last stage of LPGA Tour qualifying. Photo: Getty

By Tony Webeck

Two-time LPGA Tour winner Hannah Green has thrown her support behind the four Aussies in action in week one of the Q-Series starting in Alabama on Thursday night.

For the first time in the history of the LPGA Tour, the Q-Series will be conducted over two weeks with Robyn Choi, Karis Davidson, Stephanie Kyriacou and Sarah Jane Smith earning exemptions in a variety of different ways.

From the 110 who tee it up at the Magnolia Grove Golf Course in Mobile, Alabama this week, the top 70 will survive the cut and advance to week two.

Those who do not advance will receive status on the secondary Symetra Tour in 2022 while the top 45 finishers from the second week of competition will earn playing rights on the LPGA Tour which in 2022 will consist of 34 events and total prize money of $US85.7 million.

The 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA champion, Green is currently home in Perth halfway through two weeks of hotel quarantine after finishing the 2021 season 29th on the money list.

Green’s path to the LPGA Tour was via a three-win season and Rookie of the Year honours on the Symetra Tour in 2017 and believes confidence will be key ahead of a gruelling eight-round qualifying test.

“Steph’s playing great golf. I feel like she’s got a lot of confidence right now so I think she’ll be fine coming on to LPGA,” said Green.

“Karis hasn’t played too much tournament golf but Japan is still a high level and she has been in contention up there before.

“I feel like these girls are going to be fine and it would be really nice to have some more Aussies and I hope all four of them make it.

“I’m sure they’ll have a good week. Hopefully the weather is kind to them; I know at this time of year Alabama can get a little chilly so hopefully they get the correct side of the draw for week one and week two.”

Davidson will be the first to tee off at 8.14am local time when the forecast predicts the temperature to be in the low teens with Smith to follow 22 minutes later.

The temperature in Thailand will be double that when the Asian Tour’s Laguna Phuket Championship tees off on Thursday morning with 12 Aussies in the field.

Scott Hend is coming off a tie for fourth in the Asian Tour’s resumption last week while Wade Ormsby remains $25,000 clear at the top of the Order of Merit with three events left in the season.

The announcement of players committed to the $US5 million Saudi International adds further importance to the Order of Merit race, the top 30 at season’s end to also receive exemption into the event.

This week also marks an important milestone for reigning Australian Amateur champion Louis Dobbelaar, who will play his first event as a professional at the Argentine Open on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

Joining Dobbelaar in Buenos Aires is New South Welshman Tim Stewart and Kiwi Denzel Ieremia. Round 1 tee times AEDT LPGA Tour Q-Series Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Magnolia Grove, Mobile, Alabama 1.14am Karis Davidson, Leslie Cloots, Haley Moore 1.36am Sarah Jane Smith, Bianca Pagdanganan, Alena Sharp 2.09am Stephanie Kyriacou, Kristy McPherson, Beatrice Wallin (a) 2.53am Robyn Choi, Ssu-Chia Cheng, Karen Fredgaard (a) Top Aussie prediction: Karis Davidson Asian Tour Laguna Phuket Championship Laguna Golf Phuket, Phuket, Thailand

10.40am Evan Burford (a), Jesse Yap, Chaiyaporn Ouitragoon 11am* Travis Smyth, Pavit Tangkamolprasert, Bio Kim 12pm* Josh Younger, Thaworn Wiratchant, Viraj Madappa 12.10pm* Andrew Martin, Peradol Panyathanasedh, Woohyun Kim 3.50pm Scott Hend, Prayad Marksaeng, Shiv Kapur 4pm Wade Ormsby, Suradit Yongcharoenchai, Gavin Green 3.50pm* Sam Brazel, Nicholas Fung, Nirun Sae-Ueng 4pm* Jake Higginbottom, Kwanchai Tannin, S Chikkarangappa 4.10pm* Cory Crawford, Galven Green, Pasavee Lertvilai 4.40pm Ben Campbell, Chonlatit Chuenboonngam, Karandeep Kochhar 4.40pm* Will Heffernan, Poosit Supupramai, Sungyeol Kwon 4.50pm Ben Eccles, Aadil Bedi, Sattaya Supupramai 5pm Kevin Yuan, Wongsakorn Pikunsawat, Nopparat Panichphol Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Travis Smyth TV schedule: Live 5pm-9pm Thursday, Friday; Live 4pm-8pm Saturday, Sunday on Fox Sports 506. PGA Tour Latinoamerica 115 VISA Argentine Open Nordelta Golf Club, Buenos Aires, Argentina 9.30pm Louis Dobbelaar, Velten Meyer, Exequiel Lopez 2.10am* Tim Stewart, Luke Kwon, Ryan Cole 3.30am* Denzel Ieremia, Rodolfo Cazaubòn, Chris Wiatr Defending champion: Ricardo Celia (2019) Past Aussie winners: Nil Top Aussie prediction: Louis Dobbelaar

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