PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s Kelly Tan (pic) is on course to qualify for the US Women’s Open following her record-breaking performance at the just-concluded KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
On Sunday, the 26-year-old Kelly narrowly missed out on the outright qualification by an agonising one shot after finishing just outside the top-10, but she still stands a good chance of qualifying through other avenues.
Kelly mixed two birdies with three bogeys for a one-over 71 to tie for 13th spot on a 281 total at the Aronimink Golf Club in Pennsylvania.
The feat was Kelly’s personal best and it is also the best ever result by a Malaysian golfer – men or women – in a Major golf tournament.
She surpassed Lim Siew Ai’s tied-18th finish in the same tournament which was then known as the McDonald’s LPGA Championship in 2007.
It could have been a double joy had she punched an early ticket to the US$5.5mil (RM22.76mil) Women’s US Open from Dec 10-13 by finishing a shot better to be placed joint-ninth.
Kelly as she can still make it through the LPGA Tour Official Money list.
The top-10 prize money earners, who have not already qualified as of Nov 11, will also get to play in the final Major event of the season that will be held at the Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas.
Thanks to her big effort over the weekend, Kelly picked up her biggest pay cheque of the season of US$63,820 (RM263,000) to shoot up from 56th to 39th culminating in a season tally of US$186,308 (RM771,000) in the money standings.
And that placed her in sixth spot among those who have yet to qualify for the Women’s Open.
“I’m confident that this result will help me to qualify for the US Open via the money list,” said a delighted Kelly.
“It’s not finalised yet until the completion of the next event in Georgia (LPGA Drive On Championship-Reynolds Lake Oconee from Oct 22-25), which is the last meet before the cut-off, but I believe I stand a good chance.
Kelly hoped that her outing in the midst of unforgiving Covid-19 pandemic would spur other Malaysians back home.
“A small positive result can be the light in dark times. I hope that the things I have done here can be an inspiration to all Malaysians during this tough year,” she said.
Kelly is also assured of making the top-60 cut for the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship from Dec 17-20 in Florida.
Her strong finish on Sunday propelled her from 38th to 33th in the latest points standings with just three more tournaments remaining in the regular season.