Former New South Wales Amateur champion Austin Bautista has taken another step towards a permanent place on the European Tour and risen more than 1,000 places in the Official World Golf Rankings courtesy of a top-10 finish at the Austrian Golf Open.
Fresh from proposing to his partner Chiara just two weeks ago and with two wins on US soil already to his name in 2021, Bautista was issued an invitation to tee it up at Diamond Country Club and took full advantage.
Bouncing back from an opening round of 74 to shoot 67 in Round 2 to make the cut, Bautista birdied the 15th and 16th holes in a final round of 3-under 69 to finish tied for seventh in just his second start on Europe’s main tour.
As a result, the Bonnie Doon Golf Club member has played his way into the field for this week’s Gran Canaria Lopesan Open in Spain and risen to a career high of 841st in the world rankings, a rise of 1,066 spots on the week prior.
It was a positive return to Europe for Gold Coast-based Deyen Lawson who matched Bautista’s round of 69 in the final round to finish tied for 33rd with Queenslander Maverick Antcliff the third and final Aussie to make the cut, ending the week tied for 53rd.
The best round of his flourishing PGA TOUR career had Cameron Smith well placed after Round 1 of the RBC Heritage tournament at Harbour Town Golf Links but the 2020 Masters runner-up had to settle for a tie for ninth in South Carolina.
Smith’s 9-under 62 on day one placed him at the top of the leaderboard through 18 holes but heading into the final round on Sunday he was sitting just inside the top 30.
Top-10 at The Masters a week earlier, Smith rediscovered some of that Round 1 form to post the second-best round of the final day – a bogey-free 5-under 66 – to rise 18 places and squeeze inside the top 10.
It was another very solid week also for Cameron Davis whose tie for 25th saw him rise five places in the FedEx Cup points race to be 63rd.
A second round of 65 propelled Aaron Baddeley to a tie for fifth at the Korn Ferry Tour’s MGM Championship in Las Vegas while Hannah Green’s tie for 12th was the best of the Aussies as Kiwi Lydia Ko claimed the LPGA Tour’s Lotte Championship in Hawaii.
Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
T9 Cameron Smith 62-71-74-66—273 $US186,375
T25 Cameron Davis 69-69-70-68—276 $52,274
MC Danny Lee 68-73—141
Austrian Golf Open
Diamond CC, Atzenbrugg, Austria
T7 Austin Bautista 74-67-71-69—281 €20,940
T33 Deyen Lawson 77-70-71-69—287 €6,725
T53 Maverick Antcliff 72-74-71-73—290 €4,042
MC Jake McLeod 81-81—162
Kapolei Golf Club, Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii
1 Lydia Ko 67-63-65-65—260 $US300,000
T12 Hannah Green 70-67-66-68—271 $31,197
T27 Su Oh 73-68-66-67—274 $16,152
MC Minjee Lee 71-71—142
MC Gabriela Ruffels 70-72—142
MC Katherine Kirk 69-74—143
MC Sarah Jane Smith 75-70—145
Korn Ferry Tour
MGM Resorts Championship
Paiute Golf Resort (Sun Mountain Course), Las Vegas, Nevada
T5 Aaron Baddeley 71-65-73-70—279 $US20,100
T35 Harrison Endycott 75-66-70-73—284 $3,450
T52 Brett Coletta 69-72-72-75—288 $2,538
T69 Rhein Gibson 72-67-79-76—294 $2,334
MC Jamie Arnold 72-71—143
MC Steven Alker 72-71—143
MC Brett Drewitt 72-71—143
MC Ryan Ruffels 75-70—145
MC Curtis Luck 76-72—148
MC Robert Allenby 80-73—153
MC Nick Voke 82-72—154
Casino Del Sol Golf Classic
Sewailo Golf Club, Tucson, Arizona
T60 Robyn Choi 71-73-76-75—295 $690
T62 Hira Naveed 76-69-71-80—296 $670
MC Stephanie Na 74-74—148
MC Soo Jin Lee 76-75—151
MC Julienne Soo 79-73—152
Tiburon Golf Club, Naples, Florida
T32 Rod Pampling 76-70-69—215 $US10,560
T32 David McKenzie 69-69-77—215 $10,560
T44 Stephen Leaney 70-75-72—217 $5,600