Danny Lee. Photo by Getty
New Zealand No1 Danny Lee and Manawatu professional Tim
Wilkinson have made slow starts to the final stage of
qualifying for the PGA Tour in La Quinta, California.
Wilkinson, who finished 59th on the web.com Tour in 2012,
opened with a one under par 71 at the PGA West Stadium Course
to be in a share of 82nd place after round one.
The left-handed former PGA Tour pro had three birdies and two
bogeys as he tries to return to the game's most famous tour.
Meanwhile Lee, who finished 159th on the PGA Tour money list
to lose his card, was one shot further back in a share of
111th place after carding an even par 72 also at the Stadium
Course of PGA West.
Lee had an up and down round that included four birdies, two
bogeys and a double bogey.
Both players will rue bogeying their last hole of the day to
slip further off the pace. They are seven and eight shots
back from Steve LeBrun who opened with a superb eight under
par 64 to lead the tournament by one.
There are six rounds in the qualifying event with 172 players
competing for only 25 places on the PGA Tour in 2013.
Bristow off the pace in Florida
North Harbour professional Cathryn Bristow has also made a
slow start as she attempts to join the LPGA Tour in 2013.
Bristow, who won on the ALPG Tour in January, has carded a
four over par 76 at the Champions Course at the LPGA
International in Daytona Beach, Florida, to be in a share of
79th place after round one in the five-round event.
She is currently eight shots back from the trio of leaders
Americans Kathleen Ekey and Kim Welch and Thailand's Moriya
Jutanugarn who opened with rounds of four under par 68.
There is a field of 122 players hoping to earn a spot on the
2013 LPGA Tour at the LPGA final qualifying tournament.
The top-20 qualifiers earn category 12 status on the 2013
Tour while players who finish 21st through 45 and ties will
earn membership in category 17.
The final stage will cut to the low 70 players and ties after
72 holes. Those players making the cut will compete in the
final round on the Champions Course.
Bristow, who is currently five shots back from the qualifying
mark at one under par, has to go low in the next three rounds
to make the cut and then advance into the top 20 to secure
her place on the LPGA Tour next year.