Kylie Walker card quest still alive

Kylie Walker: Hitting ball well. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Kylie Walker: Hitting ball well. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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Kylie Walker is just two shots off a card-winning position heading into the final two rounds of the LPGA Tour Qualifying School in Florida.

The 29-year-old from Glasgow stayed in the hunt to join Catriona Matthew on the top circuit in the women’s game next season with another gutsy effort at LPGA International in Daytona Beach.

Back on the Jones Course for her third round, Walker was two-under with three to play, dropped shots at the 16th and 17th but finished with a birdie.

“I’m happy with that,” said the two-time Ladies European Tour winner afterwards. “I feel three-under on that course (she had a 70 on it in the opening round) is job done and hopefully I can now have two good rounds to finish on the Hills Course.”

On 215, one-under, Walker is lying joint 39th and needs to climb into the top 20 after 90 holes to secure a full LPGA Tour card. Those finishing 21st to 45th will gain “conditional status”, which means they will gain entry to some 2016 events.

“I’m feeling really confident about my game and looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow,” she added. “I’m hitting the ball really nicely, giving myself a lot of chances for birdie and hopefully I can convert a few more and have a good low one over the weekend.”

Walker, who will round off her sixth full season on the LET in next week’s Dubai Ladies Masters, is bidding to make it third-time lucky in this test. “I would really like to get my card out here and give it a shot,” she said.

Aberdeen’s Gemma Dryburgh and Sally Watson from Elie both have work to do to make the final round by being among the leading 70 and ties. Dryburgh is tied for 87th on four-over after a 73 while Watson’s 74 left her in a share of 107th on six-over.

In Japan, Matthew and her LET team-mates finished the opening day of The Queens, a new team event, lying in third position. Matthew and Karine Icher from France finished all square against Korean LPGA pair Sung Hyun Park and Bo-Mee Lee in the opening fourballs.

However, the LPGA of Japan side led the way at Miyoshi Country Club on 12 points, followed by the Korean LPGA on seven, the LET on four with the Australian LPG last on zero.

On the men’s front, Russell Knox suffered his first off-day since winning the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai last month as he slipped from joint sixth overnight to a share of 22nd after the second round of the $6.5m Nedbank Golf Challenge. On one-over, the 30-year-old is 12 shots behind leader Henrik Stenson after the Swede stormed home in five-under 31 to take a one-shot advantage over South African Jaco Van Zyl (69).

It was a better second day for another Scot, Simon Yates, as a five-under-par 66 catapulted the Thai-based player up the leaderboard in the Ho Tram Open, an Asian Tour event being held at The Bluffs in Vietnam.

It was the joint-best effort of the day before play was suspended due to darkness following a delay caused by high winds and left Yates sitting seven off the clubhouse lead, held by Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei.