Weekend Preview 8th June

A relatively quiet week, with no Japan Tour event and Lydia Ko not playing, as part of her planned break.  A miscalculation by the LPGA administration sees her still at 1# going into this week, but with Ariya Jutanugarn starting in the Manulife LPGA Classic in Canada, that must surely change.

The focus will however be on Ryan Fox in Austria for the latest European Tour event, and the NZ PGA Tour contingent in Memphis for the FedEx St Jude Classic.

We also update the official World Golf rankings for our leading players, which has Danny Lee moving back into the World Top 100, and Michael Hendry also within striking distance of a similar ranking.

European Tour

Ryan Fox gets an excellent chance to build on his good performance in the Nordea Masters last week, when he tees it up tonight in the Lyoness Open, being played at the Diamond Country Club near Vienna, Austria.  The field is not especially strong, but does feature Ryder Cup player Chris Wood and Austria’s own Bernd Wiesberger, both of whom are playing in next week’s US Open at Erin Hills.

Another player bound to draw a big gallery is Miguel-Angel Jimenez, who had a hand in the redesign of some of the holes at Diamond CC.  Traditionally a score of around -20 is needed to win this event, although with the rough grown in and the fairways and greens hard and fast that may be problematical this week.

It would be great if Ryan could finish up in the same group as the old matador at some stage….

FedEx St Jude Classic

The Tour moves to Memphis, Tennessee, for the final event before the US Open, and the final chance to get a New Zealand player into the field for 2017’s 2nd Major.

Danny Lee and Tim Wilkinson both missed out in regional qualifying earlier in the week, but are both in the field at TPC Southwind, along with Steven Alker.

At 6,500 metres (par 70), the course is not long by Tour standards, but features plenty of water, with lakes or creeks in front of many greens.

The back nine is likely to be key, and watch out for the 146 metre par 3 11th, which has an island green Sawgrass-style, the 215 metre par 3  14th, which requires a carry all the  way over water, and the 450 metre par 4 17th.

World Golf Rankings

The latest rankings for New Zealand players currently sitting inside the Top 1,000 are:

96#    Danny Lee

114#  Michael Hendry

168#  Ryan Fox

355#  Tim Wilkinson

463#  Daniel Pearce

469#  Ben Campbell

641#  Steven Alker

677#  Josh Geary

884#  Gareth Paddison

885#  Michael Long

948#  Brad Shilton