Danny Lee set to claim New Zealand No 1 rank

14:41, Aug 26 2014

Danny Lee looks set to improve his world ranking and bank balance as well as overtake Tim Wilkinson as New Zealand's No 1 player, after another solid round in the PGA Tour's playoffs.

Lee, the world No 259, shot a one-under 70 yesterday in the tour's first playoffs event, The Barclays, in New Jersey and was in a tie for 16th at the 54-hole mark of the $9.52m tournament.

He has done enough to improve his ranking into the top 100 and he should move to the next stage of the FedEx Cup playoffs, the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston.

That is also a $9.52m event but for only the top 100 players on the tour. With Wilkinson being cut after yesterday's third round 72, his season is over.

The Manawatu left-hander, ranked No 246, started the playoffs ranked 114th.

Both Lee and Wilkinson had already retained their PGA Tour playing rights for next season after finishing the regular season inside the top 125. They will be joined next season by Hamilton's Steven Alker who qualified through the second tier Web.com Tour.

Lee mixed four birdies with three bogeys in New Jersey yesterday, but it could have been much better had he not bombed the 572m par-five 13th.

Lee was just 45m short of the green for two, but took a bogey six.

He flubbed his third into the bunker, went over the back of the green with his fourth into another bunker before getting up and down for a costly bogey on a hole plenty of players were picking up shots on.

He was to start today's round four shots off the lead held by Jason Day and Jim Furyk.

Meanwhile, Alker shot a six-under 65 on the Web.com Tour's Portland Open in North Plains, Oregon to move into a tie for 10th.

Alker recorded nine birdies and three bogeys in his round and was five shots off the lead.


Fairfax Media