New South Welshmen Brett Drewitt and Blake Windred have taken significant steps toward promotions to golf’s two largest tours in 2022 after top-five finishes on their respective tours over the weekend.
As the golf world was enraptured by an enthralling final day at the US Open, Drewitt was putting himself in contention for a second Korn Ferry Tour title at the Wichita Open and a move deep inside the top 25 in the Order of Merit.
Thrust into the top five on the back of an 8-under par round of 62 on Saturday, Drewitt was treading water with nine straight pars to start his final round before making his charge early in the back nine.
He birdied the 10th and 11th holes and when he eagled the par-5 14th was just one shot off the lead.
The birdies he needed to rise to the top of the leaderboard proved elusive over the final four holes as he closed with a 4-under 66 to take a share of third, two shots back of Englishman Harry Hall.
A winner at the Lincoln Land Championship last September, Drewitt’s top-five finish moves him up six spots to 23rd on the Korn Ferry Tour moneylist and within reach of one of the 25 PGA TOUR cards to be handed out at the end of the regular season.
Rhein Gibson was the only other Australian to make the cut at Crestview Country Club, moving up 14 spots to a tie for 13th courtesy of a final round of 5-under 65.
Like Drewitt, Windred has greatly enhanced his chances of playing on the European Tour next year with a runner-up finish at the Challenge de España on the Challenge Tour.
Tied for second at the ISUZU Queensland Open in March, Windred held a share of the 36-hole lead in Cadiz but dropped into a share of fifth following a third round of 2-under 70.
Starting the final round three shots off the lead, Windred made birdies at four of his first five holes but bogeys at three and six prevented him from a making a greater impression on the front-runners early.
Five pars in succession were followed by a run of three straight birdies from the 12th hole, his eighth birdie of the day at the par-4 17th leaving him one shot shy of the winner, Spain’s Santiago Tarrio.
Top-20 the week prior, Windred’s second placing moves him up 44 places on the Road to Mallorca points race to 24th, the top 20 at season’s end earning a European Tour card for the 2022 season.
It was a US Open in which Australians failed to feature towards the top of the leaderboard all week, Adam Scott (73) finishing as the leading Aussie at 5-over par at Torrey Pines in California and in a tie for 35th.
South Australian Wade Ormsby completed a memorable US Open debut with a final round of even par 71 to finish one shot back of Scott at 6-over and in a tie for 40th, his best career finish in a major championship.
A Sunday 77 saw Marc Leishman finish 64th at 12-over par, one shot ahead of Matt Jones who was tied for 65th with a 13-over par total for the four rounds.
Su Oh was in contention to record her first LPGA Tour win at the halfway mark of the Meijer LPGA Classic in Michigan but struggled to keep up with the hot pace over the weekend.
A third round of 3-under 69 saw Oh fall into a share of fourth with a round to play, her closing 1-under 71 resulting in a tie for 15th, her best result of the 2021 season.
Europe’s Legends Tour kicked off its 2021 season at the Farmfoods European Legends Links Championship where Kiwi Michael Long and Peter Fowler both finished inside the top 20.
Korn Ferry Tour
Crestview Country Club, Wichita, Kansas
Winner Harry Hall 64-63-66-67—260 $US108,000
T3 Brett Drewitt 69-65-62-66—262 $31,500
T13 Rhein Gibson 68-67-66-65—266 $10,550
MC Steven Alker 67-71—138
MC Jamie Arnold 67-73—140
MC Harrison Endycott 69-71—140
MC Nick Voke 72-73—145
MC Brett Coletta 77-74—151
Challenge de España
Iberostar Real Club de Golf Novo Sancti Petri, Cadiz, Spain
Winner Santiago Tarrio 71-64-67-66—268 €32,000
T2 Blake Windred 68-65-70-66—269 €16,000
T9 Daniel Hillier 66-68-70-68—272 €4,250
T36 Dimitrios Papadatos 69-70-72-69—280 €1,360
MC Jarryd Felton 76-72—148
MC Deyen Lawson 75-74—149
Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Cse), San Diego, California
Winner Jon Rahm 69-70-72-67—278 $US2.25m
T35 Adam Scott 70-75-71-73—289 $65,416
T40 Wade Ormsby 72-74-73-71—290 $52,074
64 Marc Leishman 74-70-75-77—296 $25,907
T65 Matt Jones 72-71-79-75—297 $25,907
MC Cameron Smith 72-75—147
MC Brad Kennedy 74-78—152
MC Steve Allan 80-79—159
Meijer LPGA Classic
Blythefield Country Club, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Winner Nelly Korda 68-66-62-67—263 $US345,000
T15 Su Oh 67-65-69-71—272 $30,620
T29 Katherine Kirk 70-67-70-68—275 $15,407
T45 Gabriela Ruffels 67-72-69-69—277 $8,609
T45 Hannah Green 70-66-71-70—277 $8,609
T61 Lydia Ko 71-69-71-69—280 $5,493
MC Sarah Kemp 73-73—146
MC Sarah Jane Smith 73-73—146
Farmfoods European Legends Links Championship
Trevose Golf & Country Club, Padstow, England
Winner Chris Williams 69-68-70—207 €50,000
T14 Michael Long 77-70-68—215 €4,350
T17 Peter Fowler 75-72-70—217 €2,906
T33 Michael Campbell 78-72-71—221 €1,650
PGA TOUR Latinoamerica
Holcim Colombia Classic
Club Campestre de Bucaramanga, Bucaramanga, Colombia
Winner Sam Stevens 66-69-69-69—273
MC Danny List 73-76—149