Golf: Kiwi watch Fri Jul 1

Michael Hendry hits a shot during the Mizuno Open at JFE Setonaikai Golf Club. Photo / Getty Images
Michael Hendry hits a shot during the Mizuno Open at JFE Setonaikai Golf Club. Photo / Getty Images

PGA Tour

Danny Lee and Tim Wilkinson are both in action on the PGA Tour this week, but in completely different tournaments.

Lee will be teeing it up at the World Golf Championships, Bridgestone Invitational alongside only 65 other golfers. The world's top 50 ranked golfers and order of merit winners from around the globe are the only players eligible for this weekend. There is also no cut on the weekend which means every player gets paid, so this shapes up for a nice chance for Lee to add to his already large season earnings of $1,821,220 NZD.

With this comes a slightly weaker field for Tim Wilkinson to pounce on. The Barracuda Championship is the perfect chance for Wilkinson to build on what has become a successful season thus far for the 37 year old with 12 cuts made in 16 events. This will be played under a unique modified stableford points system which rewards aggressive play, so go big or go home!

However, last week the Quicken Loans National showed why golf is simply a very tough sport with Wilkinson missing his fourth cut of the season, but this event and field is the perfect chance for him to bounce back.

Japan Tour

Michael Hendry will look to continue his form once again on the Japan Tour as he starts to get a roll on. With two top five finishes and a second place in his past three tournaments, he will be one of the favourites leading into the Shigeo Nagashima Invitational which is in action now.

It is no secret the race for the Olympics is heating up and the 37 year old is well and truly in the mix as we near the July 12 cut-off date. Hendry must continue playing well and needs to win, if not come close, to really apply pressure on Ryan Fox who may have finally found form of his own after consecutive top ten's which included a runner up finish. Fox however has decided to take the week off after a long week on course.

Joining Hendry in Japan this week, the household name of David Smail. It has been a while between drinks for the New Zealand veteran, but he has mountains of experience on the Japan Tour, so he is still one to keep an eye on.

China Tour

Daniel Pearce, Josh Munn, Mat Perry and Campbell Rawson are once again the awesome foursome who are travelling China together and this week they compete at the Ping An Private Bank Wanda Open which is underway as we speak.

Pearce currently sits tenth on the order of merit standings and will be looking to continue that form after a couple of weeks off. As for the others, a result is certainly needed to spark their season into gear. But to have four Kiwi's in the race is always an exciting prospect for New Zealand golf fans and we look forward to watching their progress.

New Zealand Amateurs

Once again Chantelle Cassidy is in the action, this time at the English Women's Open Match Play Championship hosted by Holme Hall Golf Club.

The Championship consists of two 18-hole qualifying rounds played on the first day. The players returning the 16 lowest scores will qualify for match play leg. With entries limited to just 64 golfers, the field is full of quality players and this will be a massive test for the newly selected Espirito Santo New Zealand Representative.

Last week was a dramatic one for Cassidy who as we know created a small piece of history, when she sadly lost on the 25th sudden dealth hole in the second round of the Ladies Amateur Championship last week. From these experiences she would have learnt a huge amount and it will be interesting to see her put that into place this weekend.

- NZ Herald

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