Sarah Kemp has recorded her best LPGA Tour finish on American soil and Cameron Percy has logged his second top-10 of the PGA TOUR season in a weekend of strong performances by Aussies on tour around the world.
Starting with Greg Chalmers’ hole-in-one in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Open – his second ace in the event – a host of Australians and Kiwis played their way into contention without being able to close it out.
Cameron Smith tied his career-best score to par through the first 36 holes of an event on TOUR at the WGC-Workday Championship but a Saturday 77 that was derailed by two balls in the water and a triple bogey at the par-4 fifth set him back ahead of the final round.
He tapped back into his recent good form with a 5-under 67 on Sunday to lead the Australian contingent at The Concession Golf Club in a tie for 11th.
Jason Day wore red on Sunday as he joined a group of players in paying tribute to Tiger Woods as he recovers from the serious car accident he was involved in on Monday while Min Woo Lee gave the US an insight into his immense talent to finish in a tie for 28th, returning the equal best score of the third round alongside Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland.
At the concurrent Puerto Rico Open Percy displayed again his proficiency in the island winds as he equalled his second-best result on the PGA TOUR with a tie for seventh at the Grand Reserve Country Club.
One stroke off the lead heading into the final round, Percy made the turn in 1-under but two bogeys in his final five holes saw him end the week at 14-under, five shots back of champion Branden Grace.
“I love playing in the wind because you’ve got to hit the ball properly, with the right fly and all that sort of stuff,” said the Victorian veteran.
“Not only just smash it as far as you can, find it and then smash it again, sort of thing. Like you really got to either draw it, fade it, hit a high, hit it low, hit on the right side of the fairway, to have the better angle, that sort of stuff.
“So that sort of suits me a bit.”
Chalmers’ tie for 22nd was his best PGA TOUR result since the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship with Aaron Baddeley and John Senden the other Aussies to make the cut.
It was a week of great significance too for Kemp whose tie for fifth at the Gainbridge LPGA represents her best finish on American soil since joining the LPGA Tour in 2008.
As Nelly Korda finished three strokes clear at the top at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Florida, Kemp compiled four consistently excellent rounds to end the week at 10-under in her first start for the year.
Runner-up at the 2019 ISPS Handa Vic Open that was co-sanctioned with the LPGA Tour, Kemp’s previous best result in America was a tie for 10th at both the 2011 Safeway Classic and 2010 CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge.
WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS
Workday Championship at The Concession
The Concession Golf Club, Bradenton, Florida
Won by Collin Morikawa (USA) at -18 by three strokes
T11 Cameron Smith, 68-66-77-67—278
T18 Jason Day, 71-69-69-72—281
T28 Min Woo Lee, 74-71-66-72—283
T39 Marc Leishman, 72-70-74-71—287
T41 Jason Scrivener, 75-68-70-75—288
T52 Wade Ormsby, 68-74-78-72—292
T54 Adam Scott, 72-72-72-77—293
T61 Brad Kennedy, 81-73-69-73—296
70 Lucas Herbert, 77-77-74-74—302
Puerto Rico Open
Grand Reserve Country Club, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Won by Branden Grace (SA) at -19 by one stroke
T7 Cameron Percy, 67-69-67-71—274
T22 Greg Chalmers, 66-68-76-68—278
T27 Tim Wilkinson, 69-68-74-68—279
T30 Aaron Baddeley, 70-70-71-69—280
75 John Senden, 70-72-76-73—291
MC Mark Hensby, 75-69—144
MC Rhein Gibson, 72-74—146
MC Robert Allenby, 81-77—158
Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, Orlando, Florida
Won by Nelly Korda (USA) at -16 by three strokes
T2 Lydia Ko, 65-69-72-69—275
T5 Sarah Kemp, 70-69-70-69—278
T36 Gabriela Ruffels, 73-70-71-72—286
MC Katherine Kirk, 72-76—148
MC Sarah Jane Smith, 75-76—151
Omni Tucson National, Tucson, Arizona
Won by Kevin Sutherland (USA) at -15 by two strokes
T58 Rod Pampling, 73-75-76—224