Su Oh recorded the fourth runner-up finish of her LPGA Tour career and fellow Victorian Marc Leishman flirted with a seventh PGA Tour title on another strong week for Aussies around the globe.
With the third round cancelled due to rain, the LPGA Tour’s Cambia Portland Classic became a 54-hole shootout, Oh starting the third and final round four shots back in pursuit of her breakthrough win on Tour.
Without a top-10 finish since her tie for sixth at the 2020 ISPS HANDA Vic Open, Oh’s round of three-under 69 was bettered by only three players on Sunday but it wasn’t enough to rein in two-time Major champion Jin Young Ko, her round of 69 delivering a comfortable four-stroke margin of victory.
Runner-up at the Kingsmill Championship in her rookie season in 2016 and twice again in 2019 at the Meijer LPGA Classic and ISPS HANDA Vic Open, Oh started her final round on the wrong foot with a bogey at the par-5 first.
Birdies at the par-3 fourth and par-4 seventh got her back into red figures before the halfway mark but it was not until late in her round that she was able to narrow the margin further with birdies at the 16th and 17th holes.
There was a missed opportunity to edge even closer at the par-5 finishing hole but the 25-year-old is expected to re-enter the top-100 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings as a result of yet another near miss.
Katherine Kirk’s tie for 26th equalled her best result since May, thanks in no small part to an ace at the par-3 12th in Friday’s second round.
Like Oh, Leishman started the final round of the Fortinet Championship in California well back but surged to the outright lead as he reached seven-under for his round and 15-under total at the par-4 14th.
Third-round leader Maverick McNealy soon re-joined Leishman at the top of the leaderboard who was unable to advance his score any further despite birdie opportunities at each of his final three holes.
“I didn’t really have a number in mind, to be honest. You just have to hit good shots out there,” said Leishman, who began the day tied for 26th before finishing in a share of fourth spot, four shots behind eventual champion Max Homa.
“If you’re not hitting good shots, there’s bogeys to be made. Obviously to be six-under through 11 was to plan. Then just the last three holes, a little bit disappointed with that.
“Birdie opportunities on all three holes and wasn’t able to make any. That would have been nice to put a little bit more pressure on him.”
Ruing two double bogeys in his Friday round of 71, Leishman needed just 19 putts through his first 14 holes to take possession of the lead, a hot flatstick a nice way to start the new PGA Tour season.
“When I hit that putt on 13, it looked like it was going in, just shaved the edge. Then made a good one on 14,” Leishman reflected.
“When you start making putts like that, it’s fun. It’s fun to play golf like that because you don’t feel you have to attack too much. You can hit it to 20 feet and feel like you can make it, which takes a lot of pressure off your iron game.
“Hit a few loose shots early on in the week, but for the most part it was a solid week.
“It’s nice to get in the hunt, get the juices flowing. I love that, that’s why we do it.”
For the second week in a row Rod Pampling was in the mix on the Champions Tour before ultimately finishing two shots out of the Sanford International playoff won by Darren Clarke, fellow Australian John Senden and Steven Alker also recording top-10 finishes.
Cambia Portland Classic
T2: Su Oh
T26: Katherine Kirk
T57: Hannah Green
MC: Gabriela Ruffels, Sarah Jane Smith
T4: Marc Leishman
T36: Aaron Baddeley
T64: Cameron Percy
MC: Lucas Herbert, Brett Drewitt
Japan Golf Tour
T13: Dylan Perry
T16: Todd Sinnott
T32: Anthony Quayle
T38: Andrew Evans
T47: Scott Strange
MC: David Bransdon
T27: Maverick Antcliff
MC: Jake McLeod, Elvis Smylie, Deyen Lawson
Ladies European Tour
Lacoste Ladies Open de France
T54: Stephanie Kyriacou
T64: Whitney Hillier
Korean PGA Tour
2021 DGB Financial Group Irvine Open
T12: Junseok Lee
T42: Wonjoon Lee
T57: Kevin Chun
Hopps Open de Provence
66: Dimitrios Papadatos
MC: Blake Windred
T55: Robyn Choi
MC: Stephanie Na, Julianne Alvarez, Julienne Soo, Soo Jin Lee
LET Access Series
Lavaux Ladies Open
T28: Amy Walsh
MC: Kristalle Blum
T4: Rod Pampling
T7: John Senden
T11: David McKenzie
T49: Mark Hensby
T65: Robert Allenby