Sean Dale’s failure to win a PGA Tour card last year paved the way for him to win one of the world’s premier amateur events. The student at North Florida University won the Jones Cup by virtue of returning the lowest final round.
The 23-year-old returned a closing 3-under-par 69 at the Ocean Forest Golf Club in Sea Island, Georgia to come from four shots behind Cory Whitsett to win. His 3-under-par total of 213 gave him a two-shot victory over Whitsett and Alex Carpenter.
Dale, a four-time collegiate winner, missed out on the chance of PGA Tour card last year when he failed to advance from second stage. The Jones Cup was his first tournament since that disappointment. He climbs 51 places on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking to 33rd. Whitsett improves his top 50 status by moving six spots to 42nd. Carpenter jumps 175 places to world number 366.
Joel Stalter and Michael Kim improve their rankings this week after sharing the spoils in the Arizona Intercollegiate at Vistoso Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona. They finished joint first on 204, 9-under-par, three shots ahead of France’s Julien Brun, Germany’s Max Rottluff and James Erkenbeck of the United States.
Kim moves inside the world top 20, climbing eight places to 20th. Stalter breaks into the world top 100, moving 31 spots to 72nd. Brun goes to world number four, a move of three places. Rottluff climbs 31 spots to world number 113, while Erkenbeck moves to 85th from his previous spot at world number 98.
Beau Hossler of the United States is the only other player this week to break into the top 20. He improves six places to 17th.
Spanish amateur Clara Baena moves into the top 20 of this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking thanks to victory in the Portuguese Amateur Championship.
The 17-year-old won with scores of 71, 68 and 70 for a 7-under-par total of 209 after fog reduced the tournament to 54-holes at Montado Golf Resort, Setubal on the Costa Azul. Baena won by two strokes from strong German player Karolin Lampert and Finland’s Matilda Castren. Lampert’s compatriots Vicki Troeltsch and Quirine Eijkenboom finished joint fourth.
Baena climbs 10 places this week to world number 20. Lampert moves up two spots to 12th. Castren jumps 71 places to 217th. Eijkenboom creeps up one spot inside the top 20 to 18th, while Troeltsch leaps 302 spots to 294th.
New Zealand’s Lita Guo climbs 81 places this week to world number 204 following victory in the LawnMaster Ladies Classic. Rounds of 70, 68, 71 and 73 gave the 17-year-old a 14-under-par total of 282, good enough for a 6-shot victory over Julianne Alvarez at Manawatu Golf Club in Manawatu, New Zealand. Alvarez remains 34th, the third best New Zealand woman amateur behind world number one Lydia Ko and world number 23 Mun Chin Keh.
Baena is the only player to move into this week’s top 20. There are no movers into the top 50, while Spain’s Ha Rang Lee is the only player to break into this week’s world top 100. She climbs 63 places to world number 82.Ko meanwhile takes a break from amateur golf this week to play in the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open, her 12th event as a professional. Ko prepared for New Zealand’s national championship by finishing runner-up in her title defence of the NSW Open. Ko finished two shots behind Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall.