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Multiple top-10s for NZ golfers around globe

Momoka Kobori LET golf
Momoka Kobori finished in a share of second on the Ladies European Tour in South Africa. PHOTO: GOLF NZ

New Zealand golfers Momoka Kobori, Fiona Xu, Ryan Fox, Steven Alker and Danny Lee have produced top-10 finishes at tournaments in three different countries.

Kobori split the runner-up money in South Africa, Xu finished second, Fox and Alker tied for fourth in the US, and Lee in a share of ninth in Australia, while promising Kiwi Daniel Hillier finished tied for 11th in Japan.

Kobori finished at 10-under at the Ladies European Tour's South Africa Women's Open at the Erinvale Country and Golf Estate after shooting rounds of 69, 70, 68, and 71, finishing four shots behind Belgium’s Manon De Roey.

The joint-second finish was her best on the tour and top finish since her victory at the Women’s NSW Open last year, which sees her move up to 15th on the LET Order of Merit.

Xu also recorded her best finish on the Epson Tour since turning pro, finishing in solo second behind former New Zealand stroke play champion Juliana Hung.

Xu finished nine shots behind Hung after rounds of 68, 69, and 67 in California, finishing 12-under.

On the PGA Tour, Fox teamed up with fellow Presidents Cup hopeful Garrick Higgo (South Africa) at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans – a tournament where pairs play best-ball and foursomes format.

Fox and Higgo combined for rounds of 63, 72, and a couple of seven-under 65s over the weekend, finishing in a share of fourth at 23-under, just two shots back of Irishmen Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry, who beat Chad Ramey and Martin Trainer on the first playoff hole.

The pair shot the second-best round of the final day foursomes to jump 23 places up the leaderboard, submitting a valuable audition should they need a captain's pick for the Presidents Cup later in the year.

Alker also finished in a tie for fourth at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic on the PGA Tour Champions in Georgia, his third top-five finish alongside his victory earlier in the year.

The senior golf phenom was in contention for most of the final day after shooting 65 and 71 in the first two rounds to trail Stephen Ames by a stroke.

He remained a stroke behind with nine to play after going out in three-under, but three bogeys in his final four holes derailed any chance of a ninth career win on the tour.

Alker remains in the top spot in the Schwab Cup standings.

Lee was also in contention through 36 holes in LIV Golf’s popular Adelaide event, eventually finishing in a share of ninth individually, while his Iron Heads GC team finished sixth – their best finish of the season.

Lee shot 64, 67, and 71 to finish 14-under, four shots behind South African winner Brendan Steele, while Australia’s Ripper GC side took out the team's competition in a playoff over Stinger GC.

Meanwhile, Hillier resumed his DP World Tour season at the ISPS Handa Championship in Japan with an equal-11th finish.

Hillier carded consistent rounds of 68, 67, 67, and 68 at Taiheiyo Club, Gotemba Course, and rose 25 places on the DP World Tour Rankings into 120th.

Finally, Harry Hillier finished in a share of 18th on the PGA Tour Americas Peru Open, shooting 68, 70, and two 71s over the weekend.


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