Former New South Wales Amateur champion Austin Bautista will make his Korn Ferry Tour debut this week after recording nine birdies to top Monday qualifying for this week’s Wichita Open in Kansas.
Now residing in Altadena, California, Bautista’s brilliant 8-under 64 continues a recent run of scintillating form that culminated with a victory at the Temecula Creek Championship on the California-based Golden State Tour last month.
In addition to the Golden State Tour Bautista has been grinding on other American pay-for-play tours such as the APT Tour and Outlaw Tour but this week gets to mix with other PGA TOUR hopefuls in Wichita.
Since turning professional in 2017 Bautista’s best results are two top-15 finishes on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, a tie for 12th at the 2017 Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open and tied for 11th at the 2018 Rebel Sport Masters in New Zealand.
The addition of Bautista takes the Australian representation to five this week along with Kiwi pair Steven Alker and Nick Voke, Voke looking to build on his top-10 finish at last week’s Evans Scholars Invitational.
Four Australasian players are backing up from last week’s brutal US Open at Winged Foot with the highest-placed Australian Lucas Herbert one of three players returning to the European Tour for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at the Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort.
Matt Jones is the only Aussie combatant from Winged Foot playing the PGA TOUR’s Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic, a final round 67 launching the New South Welshman inside the top 20 in this event a year ago.
Aaron Baddeley returns to the site of his tie for seventh in 2019 along with Rhein Gibson and veterans John Senden and Cameron Percy, who have been paired together for the opening two rounds.
Round 1 tee times (AEST)
Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship
Corales Golf Club, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
9.20pm John Senden, Cameron Percy, Branden Grace
9.30pm* Tim Wilkinson, David Lingmerth, DJ Trahan
10.20pm Rhein Gibson, Thomas Detry, Luke Graboyes
1.40am Matt Jones, Beau Hossler, Peter Uihlein
2.30am Aaron Baddeley, John Rollins, Henrik Norlander
Defending champion: Graeme McDowell
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Top Aussie prediction: Aaron Baddeley
TV schedule: Live 5am-8am Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday on Fox Sports 503
Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort, Ballymena, Northern Ireland
5.10pm Wade Ormsby, Ashun Wu, Edoardo Molinari
5.40pm Michael Campbell, Adri Arnaus, Andrea Pavan
6.15pm Ryan Fox, Wilco Nienaber, Nicolas Colsaerts
6.15pm Lucas Herbert, Shane Lowry, George Coetzee
7.30pm Jason Scrivener, Julien Guerrier, Richard Bland
7.40pm Jake McLeod, Benjamin Poke, Yikeun Chang
7.50pm Maverick Antcliff, Jonathan Caldwell, Lee Slattery
9.30pm Scott Hend, Tom McKibbin, Sebastian Soderberg
10.10pm Min Woo Lee, Marcus Kinhult, Joël Stalter
11.15pm Zach Murray, Dale Whitnell, Robin Sciot-Siegrist
Defending champion: Jon Rahm
Past Aussie winners: Brett Rumford (2004)
Top Aussie prediction: Lucas Herbert
TV schedule: Live 10pm-3am Thursday and Friday; Live 10.30pm-3am Saturday and Sunday on Fox Sports 503
Korn Ferry Tour
Wichita Open Supporting Wichita’s Youth
Crestview Country Club, Wichita, Kansas
10.50pm* Jamie Arnold, Sam Saunders, Tyson Alexander
11.30pm* Harrison Endycott, Cameron Young, Chandler Blanchet
3.40am* Steven Alker, Nicholas Lindheim, Brandon Harkins
4.20am* Brett Drewitt, Mark Hensby, TJ Vogel
5am* Nick Voke, Max Rottluff, KK Limbhasut
5.10am* Ryan Ruffels, Theo Humphrey, James Nicholas
5.30am Austin Bautista, Landon Lyons, Spencer Soosman
Defending champion: Henrik Norlander
Past Aussie winners: Bradley Hughes (2004), Mathew Goggin (2011)
Top Aussie prediction: Brett Drewitt