Aussies on Tour: Smith, Lee building as majors season looms - PGA of Australia

Aussies on Tour: Smith, Lee building as majors season looms

With their first majors of the year looming, Cam Smith and Minjee Lee are trending in the right direction.

Smith, the 2022 Open champion, was beaten in a playoff by Mexico’s Abraham Ancer in the latest LIV Golf event in Hong Kong, his best result for 2024 with the trip to Augusta National now just a month away.

After rescuing a par thanks to a great approach shot on his final hole, Smith finished alongside Ancer and England’s Paul Casey at 13-under after three rounds, highlighted by a 6-under 64 on day two.

Ancer birdied the playoff hole, while his opponents had to settle for a bogey.

“It was a step in the right direction this week,” said Smith, who had started the final day six strokes back.

“Played some really patient golf over the weekend. A lot different than the first few weeks.”

Smith came into Hong Kong with a previous season best of T8 in his opening event of the year.

In China, Minjee Lee was in contention throughout the Blue Bay LPGA tournament, eventually finishing in a tie for fourth at 13-under, six shots behind the winner, American Bailey Tardy.

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The world No.5, who won this event in 2016, led after a first-round 65 but gave up her advantage with a 72 on day two.

The first women’s major for 2024, the Chevron Championship, starts on April 18.

On the PGA TOUR, Cam Davis was the best-placed Australian at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, finishing in equal 18th after a closing round of 2-under 70 at Bay Hill improved his position by 13 places.

Only four players shot in the 60s on Sunday, led by a 66 from world No.1 Scottie Scheffler who triumphed by five shots.

Gabi Ruffels turned in a solid week in her second LPGA event of 2024 to end up T15.

On the secondary Epson Tour, Cassie Porter started her year in fine style, finishing third, just two shots out of a playoff, at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic.

Meanwhile, on the PGA TOUR Champions, Greg Chalmers produced a top 10 on debut, claiming a share of seventh at the Cologuard Classic, just four shots behind the winner, Joe Durant.

“I am so excited!! T7 gets me into the next event in a week..this has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my career,” Chalmers said on X/Twitter.


Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Florida

1          Scottie Scheffler         70-67-70-66–273        US$4,000,000

T18      Cam Davis                  72-70-74-70–286        $289,000

T36      Jason Day                   70-74-73-73–290        $88,375

T44      Min Woo Lee               69-73-76-73–291        $64,000

MC      Adam Scott 73-76

Puerto Rico Open

Grand Reserve Golf Club, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

1          Brice Garnett               66-66-68-69–269        US$720,000

T23      Aaron Baddeley           70-69-67-70–276        $32,333

T42      Harrison Endycott       69-71-68-70–278        $13,423

MC      Gareth Steyn (a)         71-73

MC      Geoff Ogilvy                71-75  


Blue Bay LPGA

Jian Lake Blue Bay Course, China

1          Bailey Tardy (USA)     68-70-66-65–269        US$330,000

T4        Minjee Lee                 65-72-70-68–275        $95,907

T15      Gabi Ruffels               72-71-68-70–281        $29,247

MC      Karis Davidson           72-75

MC      Robyn Choi                 75-73

DP World Tour

Jonsson Workwear Open

Glendower Golf Club, Edenvale, South Africa

1          Matteo Manassero      68-61-67-66–262        €255,000

T17      Jason Scrivener                     68-66-70-68–272    


LIV Golf

LIV Golf Hong Kong

Hong Kong Golf Club, Sheung Shui, Hong Kong

1          Abraham Ancer           63-62-72–197                         US$4,000,000

T2        Cam Smith                  67-64-66–197             $1.875,000

T2        Paul Casey (Eng         )           66-67-64–197             $1.875,000

(Ancer won on first playoff hole)

T15      Lucas Herbert             70-64-67–201             $278,750

T21      Matt Jones                  64-68-71–203             $204,286

T29      Marc Leishman                       68-68-69–205             $165,000

Champions Tour

Cologuard Classic

La Paloma Country Club, Tucson, Arizona

1 Joe Durant (USA)                67-66-67–200             US$330,000

T2 Steve Alker (NZ)                69-68-65–202             $161,333

T7 Greg Chalmers                  67-70-67–204             $59.086

T17 David Bransdon               66-70-70–206                         $32,065

T21 Steve Allen                                  71-68-68–207                         $23,833

T21 Mark Hensby                   71-66-70–207             $23,833

T27 Michael Wright                 72-69-67–208             $18,260

T32 John Senden                   71-67-71–209                         $14,850

T43 Richard Green                 75-67-69–211             $8800

T49 Rod Pampling                  70-70-72–212             $6380

T61 Stuart Appleby                 70-73-72–215             $3300

Korn Ferry Tour

Astara Chile Classic

Prince of Wales Country Club, Santiago, Chile

1          Taylor Dickson            68-67-70-66–271        US$180,000

T47      Curtis Luck                  65-75-70-71–281        $4310

MC      Rhein Gibson              75-66–141

MC      Brett Drewitt                72-70–142

MC      Charlie Hillier (NZ)      75-70–145

Epson Tour

Florida’s Natural Charity Classic

Country Club of Winter Haven, Winter Haven, Florida

1          Valery Plata (Col)       70-66-70–206             US$37,500

3          Cassie Porter             69-69-70–208             $17.092

MC      Amelia Garvey (NZ)    77-73

MC      Su Oh                          76-79

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