The blue-collar kid from Lennox Head, Australia, did himself a huge favor with a Round Three win over Italo Ferreira. Kennedy began the year as an injury replacement surfer, after narrowly missing the qualifying cut in 2015. He quickly made the most of his opportunity, finishing 3rd in the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast which helped earn him a more stable position on Tour this season.
On Friday, Kennedy's victory over Ferreira helped him dig-into his current No. 18 position, solidly into the re-qualification range. He's now turning his sights on fellow rookie Caio Ibelli, the only man standing between him and the Rookie of the Year honor. He spoke about it with Rosy Hodge.