Tamworth product Mark Hensby has earned a place in the 2023 US Senior Open field but his decision to retire at the end of the year makes his appearance uncertain.
Hensby finished outright third at the US Senior Open as Padraig Harrington held off a fast-finishing Steve Stricker (65) to claim his first senior major championship, a birdie at the par-4 15th providing the one shot that would prove the difference.
Tied for 10th at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, Hensby had to come through qualifying to earn a place at Saucon Valley Country Club, a path he won’t have to take again should he choose to play next year.
At the halfway point of the tournament Hensby took to Facebook to announce that 2022 would be his final year on tour, his US Senior Open consolation somewhat complicating matters.
“I’m not sure I’m going to play much golf after this year, so if I do, obviously it’s there,” Hensby said of his reward for finishing inside the top 10 and ties.
Owning a share of the lead after Round 1, Hensby produced one of the best rounds on Sunday, yet it could have been even better.
Nine shots adrift of Harrington at the start of the final round, Hensby had six birdies in his round of two-under 69, a double bogey at 14 followed by a bogey at 15 halting any charge he may have been hoping to mount.
“It got really tiring towards the end,” Hensby conceded.
“It’s difficult when you know you’re not going to have a chance to win. Play as aggressive as you can without being stupid.
“I hit it close, and I drove it particularly well most of the day, other than two drives in a row (at 14 and 15).
“If you drive it well here you can make some birdies because the pins, even though they’re tough, I had a lot of wedges in so I can get it close enough.”
As Hensby finished six shots back of Harrington, Minjee Lee put herself in position for a third major title and a second in succession at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
A three-putt on the 71st hole would prove crucial as Lee finished one back of Korea’s In Gee Chun in a week in which fellow Aussies Hannah Green and Stephanie Kyriacou also finished inside the top 10.
If Lee and Hensby finished just shy it was a breakthrough win for Kristalle Blum on the Ladies European Tour’s Access Series.
Blum finished one clear of New Zealand’s Momoka Kobori to claim the Golf Vlaanderen LETAS Trophy in Belgium and take an important step towards graduating to the LET proper in 2023.
Elsewhere around the world Kiwi Ryan Fox continued his sensational 2022 form by finishing third at the DP World Tour’s BMW International Open, Gabi Ruffels was tied for 10th at the Epson Tour’s Island Resort Championship and defending champion Junseok Lee gave a spirited difference of his Kolon Korea Open title, finishing in fifth spot just two shots from the winner.
US Senior Open
Saucon Valley Country Club, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Winner Padraig Harrington 71-65-66-72—274 $US720,000
3 Mark Hensby 67-73-71-69—280 $275,666
T11 Steven Alker 72-67-71-73—283
T13 Rod Pampling 73-70-70-71—284
T25 Stuart Appleby 76-69-71-72—288
T49 Richard Green 71-71-73-77—292
T51 John Senden 73-72-72-76—293
62 Gavin Coles 74-73-77-75—299
MC Robert Allenby 75-75—150
MC Michael Campbell 79-74—153
KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Maryland
Winner In Gee Chun 64-69-75-75—283 $US1.35m
T2 Minjee Lee 73-68-73-70—284 $718,826
T5 Hannah Green 71-69-72-75—287 $274,165.40
T10 Stephanie Kyriacou 72-72-72-72—288 $155,464.16
T40 Sarah Kemp 73-74-72-74—293 $42,957
T46 Lydia Ko 72-67-76-79—294
MC Katherine Kirk 74-76—150
MC Su Oh 75-75—150
MC Sarah Jane Smith 78-73—151
TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Connecticut
Winner Xander Schauffele 63-63-67-68—261 $US1.494m
T56 Cam Davis 65-66-73-74—278 $19,007
MC Marc Leishman 71-69—140
MC Brett Drewitt 69-72—141
MC Jason Day 74-71—145
WD Danny Lee
DP World Tour
BMW International Open
Golfclub München Eichenried, Munich, Germany
Winner Haotong Li 62-67-67-70—266 €340,000
3 Ryan Fox 66-64-71-67—268 €126,000
67 Wade Ormsby 68-72-78-72—290 €4,300
MC Zach Murray 71-71—142
MC Elvis Smylie 74-71—145
MC Scott Hend 76-78—154
WD Maverick Antcliff 78
Japan Golf Tour
Japan Players Championship
Nishinasuno Country Club, Tochigi
Winner Yuki Inamori 68-66-66-65—265 ¥10m
T47 David Bransdon 68-71-71-70—280 ¥145,200
T52 Andrew Evans 69-71-68-73—281 ¥125,500
MC Michael Hendry 74-67—141
MC Adam Bland 72-71—143MC Dylan Perry 73-71—144
Kolon The 64th Korea Open Golf Championship
Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, Korea
Winner Minkyu Kim 72-71-68-69—280 $US383,304.94
5 Junseok Lee 72-72-66-72—282 $35,775.13
T51 Wonjoon Lee 76-70-74-75—295 $4,224.87
MC Kevin Yuan 76-74—150
MC Cory Crawford 81-70—151
MC Kevin Chun 73-79—152
MC Ben Eccles 78-74—152
Korn Ferry Tour
Live and Work in Maine Open
Falmouth Country Club, Falmouth, Maine
Winner Pierceson Coody 69-62-67-66—264 $US135,000
T15 Curtis Luck 75-66-70-65—276 $10,623
MC Rhein Gibson 71-73—144
MC Nick Voke 71-74—145
MC Ryan Ruffels 75-76—151
Blot Open de Bretagne
Golf Blue Green de Pléneuf Val André, Pléneuf, France
Winner Alfie Plant 65-67-69-68—269 €40,000
T30 Jack Thompson 66-76-70-70—282 €1,875
Island Resort Championship
Sweetgrass Golf Club, Harris, Michigan
Winner Ssu-Chia Cheng 68-64-67—199 $US31,875
T10 Gabriela Ruffels 70-70-69—209 $3,667
T26 Amelia Garvey 68-67-77—212 $1,784
T45 Karis Davidson 67-73-74—214 $973
T54 Soo Jin Lee 71-68-76—215 $794
MC Robyn Choi 71-72—143
MC Grace Kim 69-74—143
MC Emily Mahar 68-76—144
MC Hira Naveed 73-73—146
MC Julienne Soo 73-73—146
MC Laura Hoskin 75-75—150
MC Stephanie Na 79-75—154
Ladies European Tour
Tipsport Czech Ladies Open
Beroun Golf Club, Czech Republic
Winner Jana Melichova (a) 68-65-69—202 ——
MC Amy Walsh 73-75—148
LET Access Series
Golf Vlaanderen LETAS Trophy
Millennium Golf, Belgium
Winner Kristalle Blum 69-67-75—211 €6,400
2 Momoka Kobori 71-73-68—212 €2,926.67
T40 Stefanie Hall 75-72-77—224 €504
PGA TOUR Latinoamerica
Bupa Tour Championship
PGA Riviera Maya, Tulum, Mexico
Winner Jesus Montenegro 68-71-71-72—282
T36 Denzel Ieremia 71-68-80-77—296