Minjee Lee, Hannah Green, Lucas Herbert, Cameron Percy, Mark Hensby and Rod Pampling all produced top-ten finishes across their respective tours on an impressive weekend for Australian golf.
Lee was the pick of the bunch as she stormed home to claim a share of second place in her first event of the LPGA season at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore yesterday.
The world number seven shot a remarkable nine-under par final round of 63 – which included eleven birdies – to finish two shots behind world number one Jin Young Ko at 15-under.
Her final round was the best of the tournament at Sentosa Golf Club’s Tanjong Course and she took full advantage of the friendly conditions and the momentum that came from playing in front of crowds again.
“It was so much more cooler than any of the other days that we played. So that little bit of cloud cover makes the biggest difference around here,” Lee said.
“I think just everybody’s itching to get out. And just having some support out on the golf course out on the golf course.
“I think we really lacked that human touch part of being a professional athlete and the galleries. I think it’s really nice. That way we can give a little bit of us to them; they can give a little bit of them to us.”
Lee has been back home in Perth during her more than three month break from tournament golf and enjoyed her time training and catching up with family and friends, but she was thrilled to get the competitive juices flowing again.
“It’s been a while. But I have been hitting it really well. So it’s the first week back, so knocking a little bit of the rust off. But it is really nice to have a really low on in there,” Lee said.
Fellow West Australian Hannah Green continued her great form from her Vic Open and TPS Murray River victories with a tied sixth finish at 13-under.
Green also came home strong with a six-under par final round, but she was left to rue her two-over par opening round which left her with too much ground to make up.
“Yes, I feel like just getting used to the conditions again, being in humidity, it kind of shocks your body a little bit. But I would have loved to have had a different first round, see what happened,” Green said.
“But I’m just happy that I was able to kind of bounce back from that and give myself opportunities and try and be in contention.”
At 13th Beach and Cobram-Barooga, Green was not shy about her ambitions for the season and she was no different after yesterday’s final round.
“I’d love to be in the top 10 in the world, and I don’t see why I can’t win out here. I feel like I didn’t play my best golf, and I ended up almost in the top 10, or in the top 10, I guess,” she said.
“So, yeah, hopefully this is just the start of a really good 2022 season.”
At the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, Lucas Herbert continued the Australian trend for the week of saving their best for the final round with a round of the day 68 playing alongside Adam Scott.
Herbert’s four-under par round came in stifling heat at Bay Hill and it catapulted him into a tie for seventh at two-under – three shots behind winner Scottie Scheffler.
“I’m pretty proud of myself for today’s round. It was very, very hot out there. Obviously, you can watch it on TV, and everyone’s going to see it. There’s no room to hit bad shots out there. You get pretty heavily punished if you get it offline or get your yardage into the green or whatnot,” Herbert said.
“Very, very proud of the way I played out there. Really proud to hopefully finish in the top ten in my first time here at Bay Hill. Yeah, it’s been a bit of a slow start to the year, so it’s good to sort of get a nice result in, hopefully build on some confidence going forward.”
It was not the first time Herbert had played with Scott as the pair played a number of rounds together on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast when the pandemic shut down the global tours and they returned home.
“We almost kind of started our own tour. 100 bucks in each Friday to all the courses around in the local area. It was pretty good,” Herbert said of their rounds at Peregian Springs, Twin Waters, Beerwah, Noosa Springs and Pelican Waters.
“We were playing with like amateurs that were up there at the time, veteran Tour pros, Tour pros that are sort of trying to make it on Tour, and guys like Scotty. We had a really nice mix. It was so casual and so laid back. I thought it was great.
“We kind of had handicaps. So like Scotty was plus 6. I was plus 5. Some of the other guys would get a few shots here and there too. Actually, Pete Senior played one day, and they gave him scratch. That was a disgrace because he’s not a scratch handicap. He should have been plus 4.”
The PGA Tour was also in action at the Puerto Rico Open and Australian duo Cameron Percy and Mark Hensby finished in a share of seventh at 11-under.
Like Lee, Green and Herbert, Percy produced a stunning final round – a six-under par 66 – that included seven birdies as he surged 29 places up the leaderboard to mirror his tie for seventh at the same event last year.
Hensby’s final round 69 also pushed him into the top ten of a tournament for the first time since 2015.
Rod Pampling rounded out the Australian top-ten finishes with a tied tenth result at the Champions Tour’s Hoag Classic in California.
Pampling produced a very consistent week with rounds of 69, 70, and 70 to finish four-under, but he was 11 shots back from winner Retief Goosen.
Todd Sinnott was the best of the Australians at the Asian Tour’s International Series Thailand shooting 17-under to end the week tied 16th.
HSBC Women’s World Championship
Sentosa Golf Club (Tanjong Cse), Singapore
Winner Jin Young Ko 69-67-69-66-271 $255,000
T2 Minjee Lee 71-69-70-63-273 $138,747
T6 Hannah Green 74-69-66-66-275 $50,923
T23 Lydia Ko (NZ) 69-72-72-67-281 $17,464
T26 Su Oh 69-70-71-72-282 $14,428
T56 Sarah Kemp 75-71-73-73-292 $5,019
Arnold Palmer Invitational
Bay Hill Club and Lodge, Orlando, Florida
Winner Scottie Scheffler 70-73-68-72-283 $2,160,000
T7 Lucas Herbert 73-71-74-68-286 $405,000
T26 Adam Scott 68-76-74-74-292 $96,600
T52 Matt Jones 70-75-76-75-296 $29,400
T61 Danny Lee (NZ) 73-74-77-74-298 $26,760
T68 Marc Leishman 70-73-78-78-299 $25,080
MC Cam Davis 75-76-151
MC Min Woo Lee 75-82-157
Puerto Rico Open
Grand Reserve Golf Club, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Winner Ryan Brehm 66-67-68-67-268 $666,000
T7 Cameron Percy 72-68-71-66-277 $97,256.25
T7 Mark Hensby 70-67-71-69-277 $97,256.25
T28 Aaron Baddeley 67-72-69-72-280 $25,345
T41 Greg Chalmers 68-71-70-74-283 $13,151.45
T50 Brett Drewitt 71-71-73-69-284 $9,316.60
DP World Tour
Magical Kenya Open
Muthaiga Golf Club, Nairobi, Kenya
Winner Ashun Wu 69-68-66-65-268 €297,500
65 Blake Windred 71-68-74-74-287 €3,937.50
International Series Thailand
Black Mountain Golf Club, Prachaubkhirikhan, Thailand
Winner Sihwan Kim 62-72-65-63-262 $270,000
T16 Todd Sinnott 66-68-68-69-271 $18,300
T32 Denzel Ieremia (NZ) 66-72-69-66-273 $11,116.67
T32 Wade Ormsby 67-70-66-70-273 $11,116.67
T46 Andrew Dodt 69-68-69-69-275 $7,950
T46 Ben Campbell (NZ) 65-68-68-74-275 $7,950
T56 Josh Younger 68-70-71-69-278 $5,550
T56 Kevin Yuan 70-67-71-70-278 $5,550
T62 Andrew Martin 71-66-68-76-281 $4,725
MC Jake Higginbottom 69-70-139
MC Scott Strange 68-72-140
MC Scott Hend 69-71-140
MC Cory Crawford 69-74-143
MC Ben Eccles 72-73-145
MC Daniel Fox 74-74-148
MC Will Heffernan 76-72-148
RTD Travis Smyth 73
Florida’s Natural Charity Classic
Country Club of Winter Haven, Winter Haven, Florida
Winner Kum Kang Park 70-67-70-207
T28 Amelia Garvey (NZ) 73-73-72-218
T28 Gabriela Ruffels 74-71-73-218
T56 Soo Jin Lee 72-72-79-224
MC Hira Naveed 77-77-154
Newport Beach Country Club, Newport Beach, California
Winner Retief Goosen 68-67-63-198 $300,000
T10 Rod Pampling 69-70-70-209 $52,000
T52 Stuart Appelby 69-75-72-216 $5,400
T69 Stephen Leaney 71-76-75-222 $1,880
75 David McKenzie 79-71-75-225 $1,240