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Leaney survives playoff for Champions Tour status

Leaney now has access to the rich PGA Tour Champions (Photo: Henry Peters)
West Australian Stephen Leaney has qualified for the right to play the PGA Tour Champions in 2019 by finishing in a share of 4th place in the 72 hole qualifier in Tampa this morning.

Leaney survived a four man playoff for two spots with only the leading five gaining exempt status, making par at the 4th extra hole to secure the final spot.

Leaney was the only one of seven Australasians who competed for the much sought after  rights to play on the lucrative tour to earn one of the fully exempt cards made available to those finishing 5th or better.

Leaney played the PGA Tour for several years in the mid 2000’s after finishing runner-up to Jim Furyk at the US Open in 2003 and has remained competitive by playing well in events on the PGA Tour of Australasia where he won the 2017 WA Open and finished 4th in two Tier Two events in recent weeks.

Leaney, who turns 50 in March, won four European and eight PGA Tour of Australasia events during his lengthy career but the highlight came at the 2003 US open at Olympia Fields in Chicago.

Peter Lonard finished 13th this week but will rue a triple bogey at his 10th hole of round two when just one shot out of the lead in the event. He dropped three more shots on the way in that day which in the final analysis proved the difference between earning and not earning a fully exempt card.

He followed that up with another 74 in round three but bounced back with a final round 68 to earn the right to at least attempt qualifying for events should he so choose. 

Of the other Australasians, Grant Waite finished 38th, Craig Parry 47th, Michael Long 50th, Gavin Coles 69th and Martin Pettigrew 71st.

 

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