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Stephanie Meadow shoots up 56 places in world rankings thanks to joint best LPGA Tour finish

Jordanstown girl Meadow scoops £80,000 prize in Florida sunshine


Flying high: Stephanie Meadow lines up a putt on her way to a third-place finish in Florida

Flying high: Stephanie Meadow lines up a putt on her way to a third-place finish in Florida

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Flying high: Stephanie Meadow lines up a putt on her way to a third-place finish in Florida

Stephanie Meadow is up to her highest world ranking since 2015 after securing her joint best LPGA Tour finish yet.

The Jordanstown star came in third place at the Pelican Women's Championship in Florida, finishing up five shots behind winner Sei Young Kim and falling behind second placed Ally McDonald with a bogey at her last hole.

It marks Meadow's best finish since her astounding third-place finish at the 2014 US Open on her Tour debut.

And it accelerate a recent rise back up the Women's World Golf Rankings. Having begun the year at 246th, Meadow starts this week at 126th, up 56 places from last week.

It's the highest she has been since July 2015 and is the culmination of a positive year, Meadow having made 10 cuts in 12 LPGA Tour events in 2020.

Twenty-eight-year-old Meadow claimed $105,778 (almost £80,000) for the third-place finish as Slieve Russell's Leona Maguire closed with a four-over 74 to finish tied 53rd on seven-over and earn $4,789.

Meanwhile, Shane Lowry mixed eight birdies with three bogeys and a double bogey in a 67 to finish tied 50th on six-under in the RSM Classic at Sea Island.

Graeme McDowell prouduced a second successive two-under par round to finish tied for 59th place on two-under.

Kevin Kisner shot 63 to force a playoff with overnight leader Robert Streb, who shot 68, on 19-under but lost at the second extra hole when Streb hit a 169 yard approach stone dead for a tap in birdie.

On the European Tour, an emotional Joachim B Hansen claimed his maiden win in the Joburg Open at Randpark.

The Dane made three birdies in five holes on the back nine, carding a bogey-free four-under 67 to win by two shots on 19-under par.

Hansen went into the final round one shot behind Wilco Nienaber, but while the South African made three consecutive birdies from the fourth to ease three clear, the Dane birdied the 10th, 12th and 14th to draw level, then parred in as Nienaber bogeyed the last two holes to shoot 70.

"I'm just pleased to get it done after a few near misses," Hansen said.

"It was a fun battle out there with Wilco. I kept the head calm and we stuck to the plan in terms of where we wanted to hit our drives and approaches.

"I kept pushing. It started slowly but suddenly the birdies came on the back nine.

"The putt on 10 set something going, then I had a good save on 11 and a good up and down on 12. But I think the par save I made on 13 was also key and kept me going in that stretch."

Hansen won €161,944 as Clandeboye's Jonathan Caldwell took his season's earnings to a total of €135,575 (£121,000) as he closed with a one-under 70 to tie for 35th (€6,396) on four-under.

On the Challenge Tour, Ondrej Lieser (29) became the first Czech player to win the Road to Mallorca Rankings as he secured his second title in as many starts at the Challenge Tour Grand Final.

He closed with a three-under 68 to win by a shot on 11-under from Sweden's Christofer Blomstrand, Germany's Alexander Knappe and Spain's Santiago Tarrio.

Belfast Telegraph