On tour

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Three touring pros from the Grand Strand are finalizing or considering their plans for the remainder of 2018.

Patrick Lundy of Little River will be playing on the GPro Tour, which just began its season and features events in the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia, then plans to play on the Mackenzie Tour — PGA Tour Canada.

The Mackenzie Tour has five qualifying schools through early May then begins its season on the first weekend in June.

Kristy McPherson AFP PHOTO

The schedules of Conway native Kristy McPherson and Murrells Inlet resident Zack Byrd are less established.


McPherson, 36, plans to play in the five or six LPGA events she will qualify for as a veteran tour member with more than $2 million in career earnings, which she expects to be between five and seven events.

She also plans to Monday qualify for some other events and play in some events on the LPGA’s feeder circuit, the Symetra Tour, where she played most of last season.

McPherson attempted to Monday qualify for the Kia Classic two weeks ago in Carlsbad, Calif., in a qualifier that featured 60 players vying for two spots and fell a couple shots shy.

She’s considering the Monday qualifier for the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship in San Francisco on April 23, in part because it is just before the first reshuffle of the season, when players who have earned money this season improve their status.

“If I were to qualify before the reshuffle it could change the whole year,” McPherson said.

The Symetra Tour has had one event in mid-March, and McPherson plans to play in the fourth event at the Links at Stoney Point in Greenwood, which features a $200,000 purse that is among the four largest on the tour this season and comes during an LPGA off week.

Byrd, 32, completed the 2017-18 season on the Sunshine Tour based in South Africa with a finish of 18th in the tour championship at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate on March 15.

He earned more than $23,500 in 12 events to place 46th on the tour order of merit and nearly win the tour’s rookie of the year honor, and he’ll have full Sunshine Tour status and an anticipated four European Tour starts this year.

But he said he may not play this season if a financial sponsor isn’t found.

The season starts in a couple weeks but Byrd does not plan to be there.

“Hopefully something works out in my favor, if not I will have to get a job,” Byrd said. “I don’t want to quit but with two kids I have to if something doesn’t change financially.”

The Strand is represented on the PGA Tour by Johnson and Roberto Diaz, a rookie who lived in Myrtle Beach for six years and still represents the Greg Norman Champions Golf Academy at Barefoot Resort. Diaz has earned $172,000 in 12 events this season and is 161st in FedExCup points.
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