By Tony Webeck
Sarah Kemp has taken a crucial step towards keeping her LPGA Tour card with a top-10 finish at the Kroger Queen City Championship in Cincinnati.
Ranked No.100 on the Race to CME Globe standings prior to Round 1, Kemp spoke of the pressure associated with riding the tightrope of Tour security.
With eight events left in the season, Kemp’s tie for eighth at Kenwood Country Club moves her to 88th in the season-long points race with some breathing room in the top-100 cut-off that determines who keeps full status for the following year.
“This is huge,” Kemp admitted.
“I was 100 on CME, so I won’t be anymore, which is great. It’s a little pressure taken off going into the last few events.
“It’s exactly what I needed to do and I did it, so it was great.”
Kemp earned her first individual top-10 finish of the year with a closing round of even par 72 on Sunday, 10 shots back of American victor Ally Ewing.
It came a week after a missed cut which failed to shake her belief that a good result was not far off.
“I played pretty good last week and missed the cut by two,” Kemp added.
“It’s a funny game. I stayed really patient this week and didn’t panic by missing the cut last week. I rolled it great and they just didn’t go in; this week some did.
“I’ve been lingering around the 90 to 100 for quite a while. I’ve been playing OK but I knew I needed a good finish coming in.
“Top 10 is just awesome to start finishing out the year. Really cool.”
As Min Woo Lee sought to repeat his extraordinary second round of 10-under 62 it was Hend who made the most progress in Sunday’s final round.
Despite a double bogey at nine, Hend turned in two-under and then picked up shots at 10, 17 and 18 for a closing five-under 67 and a tie for 32nd as Shane Lowry completed a bogey-free week for a one-shot win.
Incredibly, the other four Australians who made the cut all finished on the same score, eight-under 208, for a share of 42nd.
Travis Smyth also closed with a 67 to be the highest-placed Australian at the Shinhan Donghae Open with Stuart Appleby’s tie for 41st the best of the Aussies at the Champions Tour’s Ascension Charity Classic in Missouri.
Kroger City Queen Championship
Kenwood Country Club (Kendale Cse), Cincinnati, Ohio
Winner Ally Ewing 69-64-67-66—266 $US262,500
8 Sarah Kemp 66-68-70-72—276 $43,589
T24 Hannah Green 70-70-72-70—282 $15,028
MC Minjee Lee 76-69—145
MC Sarah Jane Smith 77-69—146
MC Karis Davidson 76-71—147
DP World Tour
BMW PGA Championship
Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey, England
Event reduced to 54 holes following passing of Queen Elizabeth II
Winner Shane Lowry 66-68-65—199 €1,351,105.60
T32 Scott Hend 70-70-67—207 €56,428.53
T42 Maverick Antcliff 69-69-70—208 €41,327.94
T42 Min Woo Lee 76-62-70—208 €41,327.94
T42 Adam Scott 69-70-69—208 €41,327.94
T42 Jason Scrivener 66-69-73—208 €41,327.94
MC Lucas Herbert 69-72—141
MC Wade Ormsby 74-72—146
WD Ryan Fox 73
Japan Golf Tour/Asian Tour/Korean PGA
The 38th Shinhan Donghae Open
KOMA Country Club, Nara Prefecture, Japan
Winner Kazuki Higa 66-63-70-65—264 ¥23,864,400
T32 Travis Smyth 67-70-68-67—272 ¥967,834
T38 Brad Kennedy 66-68-71-68—273 ¥827,299
MC Junseok Lee 69-71—140
MC Won Joon Lee 74-66—140
MC Todd Sinnott 72-70—142
MC Ben Campbell 72-70—142
MC Brendan Jones 70-72—142
MC Jake Higginbottom 74-72—146
MC Daniel Fox 75-72—147
Ascension Charity Classic
Norwood Hills Country Club, St Louis, Missouri
Winner Padraig Harrington 65-66-68—199
T5 Steven Alker 66-68-69—203
T41 Stuart Appleby 70-68-74—212
T51 Rod Pampling 68-70-75—213
T57 David McKenzie 67-72-75—214