KIWI PRO WATCH: KO RECORDS TOP 5 FINISH IN VIRGINIA

19/05/2014

World No.3 Lydia Ko has continued her dream rookie year as a professional on the LPGA Tour.

The 17-year-old has shot an even-par 71 in the final round of the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia to finish in a share of fifth place.

 

Ko, who won the Swinging Skirts in California in her last start on the LPGA Tour, carded rounds of 70, 68, 67 and 71 at the River Course of the Kingsmill Resort for an eight-under par total.

The former NZ Women’s Open Champion, who if she had won, would have jumped to No.1 on the Official World Rankings, finished five shots back from Lizette Salas.

The American won by four shots from Australian Sarah Jane Smith, former World No.1 Yani Tseng and American Lexi Thompson

Ko earned NZD$56,500 for her performance in Virginia and is projected to drop one place to fifth on The Race to the CME Globe Standings.

It is the former World No.1 amateur’s fourth top-five finish on the LPGA Tour this season, she also finished runner-up at the New Zealand Women’s Open on the LET and ALPG Tours.

The three-time winner on the LPGA Tour is looking for the ideal buildup in the next few weeks to the year’s second major championship, the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No.2 from June 19 - 22.

Meanwhile, Manawatu professional Tim Wilkinson has finished in a share of 22nd place at the Byron Nelson Championship on the PGA Tour.

The left hander carded a two-under par 68 in the final round to climb 10 places and finish 10 shots back from American Brendon Todd who secured his first win on the game’s most lucrative tour.

Wilkinson had rounds of 66, 71, 71 and 68 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas for his best finish since finishing tied 7th at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February.

The 35-year-old from Palmerston North is expected to climb 10 places on the Fed Ex Cup Standings from 132 to 122.

The top 125 players on the standings qualify for the first event of the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs, The Barclays on August 21 – 24.

Danny Lee, who missed the cut at the Byron Nelson after rounds of 69 and 77, is projected to drop 8 places on the Fed Ex Cup Standings to 96.

Meanwhile on the Web.Com Tour, Steve Alker has finished in a share of 60th place at the BMW Charity Pro-Am.

The Waikato pro is projected to climb 35 places on the Web.Com Order of Merit to a share of 60th place.

The top 25 players from the Web.com Tour money-list are assured of getting PGA Tour cards for the 2014 – 15 season.

Closer to home, Ryan Fox and Mark Brown enjoyed top 10 finishes at the SK Telecom Open on the OneAsia Tour.

Auckland professional Fox, who last week finished in a share of 10th place for his best result on the tour, backed that up with a tie for 17th and another decent pay day, NZD$13,750.

Fox had rounds of 74, 69, 73 and 70 at the Sky 72 Ocean Course to finish on a two-under par total, nine shots back from the champion, Korean Seung-hyuk Kim.

Also finishing on four-under par was Wellington professional Brown.

The former European Tour pro, who is the leading Kiwi on the OneAsia Order of Merit in 8th place, carded rounds of 76, 68, 71 and 71 to continue his momentum in Asia.

Brown has been consistent so far in 2014, finishing tied 24th at the Volvo China Open, tied 48th at the GS Caltex Maekyung Open and in a share of 17th at the SK Telecom Open.

Perth-based Kiwi Michael Long finished tied 57th while Josh Geary (77, 71) and Gareth Paddison (82, 74) missed the cut.

 

    OOM LEADERBOARD

    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Kobori, Kazuma 145.55
    2 Wood, Tyler 103.05
    3 Brown, Luke 95.93
    4 Lee, Jang Hyun 94.57
    5 McLean, Matthew 87.81
    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Chung, Darae 192.59
    2 Xu, Fiona 146.41
    3 Khoo, Caryn 142.44
    4 Lu, Vivian 131.84
    5 Dryland, Brittney 101.83