Stephanie Meadow will need a big result at next week’s Pelican Women’s Championship if she is to make the CME Group Tour Championship despite a positive finish at the Toto Japan Classic.
The Jordanstown woman closed out with her best round of the week in Shiga as four birdies and a bogey led to a three-under 69, and at three-under-par for the tournament she finished in a share of 44th.
However, with only one event remaining in the regular season, Meadow is still ranked 81st in the Race to CME Globe and needs to break into the top-60 if she is to book her place in the field in Naples in two weeks’ time.
The 30-year-old does have a decent record at the Pelican, but in order to jump over 20 places in one week she will likely need at minimum a top-five finish, and it may even be that only a win will be sufficient.
She will take some momentum into her return to the States after a positive final round in Asia, the Galgorm touring pro starting on the back nine and racking up three birdies at the par-fives 13th and 18th, as well as one at the par-four 14th.
Her momentum stalled slightly with a bogey at the par-four second, but a closing birdie at the par-four seventh gave her a small boost that she will gladly carry into next week.
Meanwhile, it was an excellent week for another British player as Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh picked up her first LPGA Tour title as she claimed a comfortable four-shot victory in Japan.
The 29-year-old was sensational in her final round, starting the day one shot behind Momoko Ueda but being rewarded for an aggressive approach, seven birdies in a bogey-free 65 quickly establishing her as the winner, eventually triumphing on 20-under-par.
Japan’s Kana Nagai finished second on 16-under after a sparkling 65 of her own, with Sweden’s Linn Grant claiming third at 15-under thanks to a closing 67.
Overnight leader Ueda unfortunately picked the wrong time to slump to her only round outside the 60s, a two-over 74 dropping her back into a share of fifth at 12-under-par alongside Ayaka Furue.
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