Hendry into last 16 in ISPS Handa Matchplay

Michael Hendry has made it through to the last 16 in the Japan Tour’s richest tournament, the ISPS Handa Matchplay, after a hard fought victory over Won Joon Lee (Australaia) yesterday.

In other news, Lydia Ko will be looking to break her form slump in the latest LPGA event, and Ryan Fox is back on the campaign trail in the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.  The PGA and Web.Com Tours have a recess week, before their respective playoff series resume next week.

Japan Tour

Michael Hendry is setting himself up for another lucrative week after battling his way through to the last 16 in the ISPS Handa Matchplay at the Hamano Golf Club in Chiba Prefecture.  He prevailed over Won Joon Lee on the final green to win 1 up.

This tournament actually started in August, with 96 players playing two knockout rounds to produce a field of 24, who were then joined by the top 8 ranked players on the Japan Tour to make a field of 32 for the final phase of the tournament this week.  Michael had a couple of very tight matches in the preliminary phase, winning his first 1up, and the second at the 20th.

Hendry now plays Rikuya Hoshino of Japan for a place in the quarter finals.  Given that he has a World Ranking over 600 places higher than Hoshino, he would have to fancy his chances, but nothing is certain in 18 hole matchplay…..

European Tour

Ryan Fox will have appreciated a couple of weeks off from a hectic touring schedule, and should be refreshed and motivated for the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre in Switzerland, looking to consolidate or improve his current ranking of 21# on the Race to Dubai.  His main problem may be adapting his power game to a course which is already relatively short at 6,200 metres, and will play about 10% shorter than that, being at an altitude of 1,500 metres.

There are several driveable par 4s, and Ryan has shown his ability to make the odd eagle or two at these in the past.  You can catch some of the early action on SS53 from 9.30pm tonight, and through the weekend.

On the Senior Tour, Peter Fowler and Greg Turner are both playing in the Senior Italian Open, at Golf Club Udine in Fagagna.  Greg has shown his liking for Italy in the past, having won an Italian Open there in the 1990s, and Chook Fowler is in great form at the moment.

The Alps Tour moves to Golf de Preisch on the France/Luxembourg border, for the Citadelle Trophy.  Shaun Jones tees it up again here.


Lydia is back after a month where she has probably played less tournament golf than she has in recent memory.  As a minimum, she will be looking to play all four rounds, looking ahead to the final Major, the Evian Masters next week.  She will have plenty of opportunity to benchmark herself against some form players, being grouped with last week’s winner Stacy Lewis, and Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist.  This week’s event is the Indy Women in Tech Championship, at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Club in Indiana.

Stacy created the biggest golf story earlier in the week, with her decision (despite not having won on Tour for 3 years) to donate her entire prize money ($NZ 270,000) to Houston flood relief.  With PWC and Marathon Oil chipping in as well, that grew to a total of over $2.0 million.

On the Symetra Tour, Liv Cheng finished T34 last week, and plays again tomorrow in the Garden City Charity Classic, in Buffalo Dunes, Kansas.  All the best to Liv, who needs some good results over the next month to gain that coveted LPGA Card for 2018.

PGA Tour

As mentioned above, both Tours have a week off this week, but there was plenty of action earlier on with Justin Thomas’s 5th PGA Tour title in 2017, taking out the Dell Technologies Championship on -17, by 3 shots from his mate Jordan Spieth.  Mark Leishman, who set the final round alight by going out in  6 under 30, faded on the back nine but still came a very creditable 3rd.

Danny Lee has also been thrown a lifeline: after appearing to be out of the Top 70 to advance to next week’s BMW Championship, the results of those also on the cusp were such as to get him into 69th position, so his season is not over yet…..