The final Major of 2017: the Evian Championship, will be the main focus this weekend, followed closely by the BMW Championship in the FedEx Cup.  There’ll also be plenty of interest in the KLM Dutch Open, given Ryan Fox’s recent form, and in the Web.Com playoff series as the pressure mounts for Steven Alker and Tim Wilkinson.  In addition, New Zealand golfers are in action in China, and in European Tour Stage 1 Q-School.

Evian Championship

Obviously this tournament has huge significance for Lydia Ko: her victory here in 2015 gave her Major 1#, with only Tom Morris Jr being a younger first time Major winner so far.  However, a lot of water has flown under the bridge since then, and most commentators don’t have her in their top five picks.  The NZ TAB has her on the 6th line of betting, alongside her 1st Round playing companions Brooke Henderson (Canada) and In-Kyung Kim (Korea) (who has not played since winning the Ricoh Women’s British Open back in July).

Lydia’s form still looks respectable, if not quite up to the standard of recent times: last week’s runner-up result in Indiana was her 8th Top 10 finish for the season.  She certainly has form at Evian Resort Club course, having demolished it with a last round 63 back in 2015.

Coverage is available from 9.00pm tonight on Sky’s pop-up channels 56 & 57.

On the Symetra Tour, Liv Cheng is again in action looking for a top result in the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout in Arizona.  There are only three tournaments left this season, for Liv to lift her current 25# ranking into the Top 10, for a 2018 LPGA Tour card.

European Tour: KLM Dutch Open/ Q-School

The KLM Dutch Open is the precursor to a huge end to the European Tour season, with over $NZ 80 million on offer between now and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in November.  Ryan Fox will fancy his chances of getting some of that, given his performance so far in an outstanding rookie year on the Tour.

The Dutch Open could be a tasty snack to start, with € 1.5 million in prize money, on the appropriately named Dutch Course at Spijk.  This is a new course, originally opened in 2011, and nominated for the 2018 Ryder Cup, but losing out to Le National near Paris.  It measures 6,384 metres and plays to a par of 71.  The course is actually 3 metres below sea level – not unique in the Netherlands, but here’s hoping they keep the cork in the dyke in case of rain….

Meanwhile in Kelso, Scotland, four other New Zealanders are looking to follow in Ryan’s footsteps, and have thrown their hat in the ring for Stage 1 European Tour Q-School, along with 890 other hopefuls at various venues over the next couple of weeks.

Hayden Beard, Kieran Muir, Luke Toomey and Shaun Jones are playing at the Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course, but were all struggling at the halfway mark.  Beard and Muir were T42 on +2, Toomey T53 on +3, and Jones T78, +7.  The top 20 and ties get through to the next stage: at this point -1 and better are in that bracket, so a bit of work ahead for the lads to make it on through.

PGA Tour/Web.Com Tour

Danny Lee has scraped into the field for the BMW Championship at Conway Farms GC, in Lake Forest, Illinois, ranked 69# out of the 70 playing.  The good news is he won’t have to worry about the cut this weekend: everyone plays all four rounds.  The bad news is that Danny will need to finish top 3 or better to have a chance of making the Tour Championship, as he did in 2015. Nevertheless, with the pressure of the cut out of the way he has the opportunity to play attacking golf from the outset.

He will also know how the scoring is going: Lee is in the last group of the day along with Anirban Lahiri of India, who is one of Nick Price’s captain’s choices for the President’s Cup at the end of the month.

Dustin Johnson is the defending champion in the BMW Championship.

It’s a crucial week for Tim Wilkinson and Steven Alker in Idaho, in the Albertson’s Boise Open at the Hillcrest Country Club.  They need to get more runs on the board in the playoff series, and it would be great if this happened now rather than having to face yet more pressure in the next two weeks.  Scott Hend (Australia) is also chasing a PGA Tour card, and is obviously in great form to do that if he can build on his recent results on the European Tour.


Other News

Michael Hendry is having a week off from the Japan Tour, as it moves to Hokkaido for the ANA Open.  Brendan Jones will be defending his title here, and 2016 NZ PGA champion Brad Kennedy is also in the field.

The China Tour continues this week with the Beijing Classic, featuring Josh Geary, Daniel Pearce and Fraser Wilkin.


Special Offer to Friends of the PGA from our official Accommodation supplier Ramada


The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) has partnered with Ramada Hotels and Resorts to be the official accommodation supplier to the PGA for the next three years.

Under the partnership, PGA members are able to book accommodation at all existing Ramada properties throughout New Zealand at a preferred rate. This offer has now been extended to the Friends of the PGA, and all you need to do is follow the three easy steps below.


Step 1 / to make a booking, visit

Step 2 / to make a reservation, just press book direct to access our room availability screen

Step 3 / input promo code (the promo code for the PGA) Code: PGANZ