Date: May 23, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Oh’s major pathway opens up

Melbourne’s Su Oh won much more than a runner-up finish at the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia today.

She won certainty – and some major championship bookings.

Oh, who will wake up on Monday to her 20th birthday, pocketed almost $US120,000 after her blistering 65 to close one behind Ariya Jutanugarn.

And that deposit will mean everything for the Golf Australia rookie squad member who’s been relying on pre-qualifying and re-ranks to populate her diary after earning only limited LPGA Tour starts via her Q-school ranking last December.

But Oh has now vaulted from 81st to 32nd on the money list after banking five cheques in six Tour events this season, effectively giving her full playing status through 2016 and almost certainly her 2017 card to boot.

Last year, $US130,000 was good enough to finish inside the critical top 80 to keep or earn their cards – and Oh has now ticked past $US170,000 this season.

Recent good form was enough to give Oh a full book of starts up to the Women’s US Open in July (barring the Portland Classic).

But she’ll now be able to pick and choose her path through the remainder of the season – including major championships.

Oh won her sectional qualifier to reach the US Open last week in Texas, but now will get automatic starts at the Women’s British Open and Evian Championship, too.

And then there’s the International Crown coming up in Chicago where Oh is desperate to join Minjee Lee and Karrie Webb to be part of Australia’s four-woman team.

“I’m really happy to have had my first top 10 on Tour, especially coming into a long stretch of tournaments,” Oh said.

“And with International Crown coming up, I’m trying to confirm my position in the Australian team (currently fourth).

“I’m just looking forward to more golf knowing that I can get into tournaments.”

Oh finished T14 at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and T47 at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii, moving her up the priority list in the first reshuffle and gaining entry into the Tour’s next three events.

“At the start of the year, I was like, I’ll probably get in two or three events, but now I’m trying to see what to do just going off my ranking. But International Crown, I really want to play it.

“We talk, and yeah, I was speaking to Karrie, and she’s already huge about it, and I just want to play a team event with her before – I don’t know when she’ll retire, but it would be pretty cool to play with her,” Oh said.

“It’s on my list.”

Oh said her confidence was soaring heading into the busy schedule.

“A lot of confidence. I keep having to do like one day at a time because I can’t look ahead – like I booked my flights (for) next week like two days ago, so I just can’t book anything in advance.

“So this will be awesome.”