Michael Hendry completed another outstanding week on the Japan Tour with a T3 finish in the Taiheiyo Masters, one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit.  Also in Japan, Gareth Paddison and Harry Bateman have made it through to Final Stage qualifying in December, with Brad Shilton narrowly missing out.

Ryan Fox had a tough week in South Africa, finishing well back in the Nedbank Challenge at Sun City.

Josh Geary is in the top third of the field after two rounds of the gruelling six round marathon that makes up final stage European Tour qualifying in Spain.

Danny Lee and Tim Wilkinson both made the cut in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico, with Danny finishing strongly for a T25 finish, but a long way behind the front runners for most of the tournament, Patton Kizzire and Rickie Fowler.

Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters

Michael Hendry was in contention throughout this event, but in the end couldn’t match the stunning 65 final round posted by Japan Tour OOM leader Satoshi Kodaira, who pulled away for a -18 finish,  three shots clear of runner up Yusaku Miyazato, with Hendry and Seungsu Han a shot further back on -14.

Michael played solidly throughout, with only 5 bogeys all week.  He was particularly effective on the par 5s, where he was 11 under over the four rounds.

The result was another big cheque: $NZ 145k, moving Hendry to 15# on the Tour’s Money List, with 2017 earnings of $NZ 640k.

Meanwhile in Stage 3 Q School at Golf 5 Country Sunny Field (!), Gareth Paddison (T4, -13) and Harry Bateman (T13, -9) got through comfortably to Final Stage Japan Tour qualifying.  Brad Shilton (T30, -5) was the unlucky one of the New Zealand trio, finishing just one shot away from the qualifying mark.

Paddison and Bateman will be back in Japan for the 108 hole finale in three weeks’ time.

European Tour

The Nedbank Challenge proved to be exactly that for most of the field, with the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City living up to its reputation as a tough venue for “South Africa’s Major”.

Local boy Branden Grace came through the pack with a final round 66 to take out his 8th European Tour title on -11 by one shot from 3rd round leader Scott Jamieson (Scotland), with Victor Dubuisson (France) a further shot back in 3rd place.  

Ryan Fox started with a couple of up and down rounds, and was then progressing nicely up the leaderboard in Round 3, reaching the turn in 33.  However, the wheels came off big time with a horrendous 9 on the par 5 14th hole, followed by a double on the next, to rack up a back nine of 44.

In the final round, Ryan birdied both holes, thus improving by 8 shots from his Saturday effort!!  It all added up to a round of 72, a final tally of +6 for a T52 finish.

Final Stage European Q School is taking place at the Lumine Golf Club in Spain – the name sounds similar to a well known dental franchise here, and by the end of the week many of the players will feel like they have been through a long and painful experience.  Josh Geary has opened up with two par rounds, and although that leaves him 3 shots away from the current top 25, there is plenty of time to improve, and he is still well in contention.

You can follow the scoring through the European Tour’s home page: www.europeantour.com

PGA Tour

Danny Lee looks to be hellbent on breaking the PGA Tour’s record for the most birdies in a season, coupled with the most bogeys (and worse).  His opening round of 70 contained 8 birdies, 3 bogeys and a triple, recalling his exploits in Malaysia a few weeks ago.

Things calmed down somewhat from there, with Danny saving his best for last with a 7 birdie 66 to move up 27 places to a T25 finish on -7.

By contrast, Tim Wilkinson played steadily, but a T55 (-2) finish was his reward, a long way behind winner Patton Kizzire, who held off Rickie Fowler to win by a shot on -19, with Korea’s Si Woo Kim 3rd on -15.


Other News

Amateur Nick Voke missed out by 2 shots getting through to final stage Web.Com qualifying, finishing T23 on -3 at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas.

Fraser Wilkin continued his solid form on the China Tour with a T23 finish on +12 in the Jiangsu Open, with a final round 70 rescuing his fortunes after an 80 and a 77.  The course was clearly playing super tough, with Callum Tarren’s (England) winning score a comparatively high -3.

Finally, Peter Fowler – back in Australia after a lucrative European campaign – finished tied with David Merriman in the Legends Tour’s richest one day event – the David Mercer Seniors Classic at Killara GC.  His 69 (3 under) won him just over $A 10k, a nice day’s work.  Martin Pettigrew was also at Killara, and finished T6 on even par.