Choi leads Aussies at One Asia Q School
BY OneAsia | 07 Feb 2013
KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia, Feb 7 – Japan’s Akinori Tani (right) fired a sizzling three-under-par 68 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead after three rounds of OneAsia’s Q-School at Sutera Harbour Golf & Country Club in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
Tani, 38, one of the most experienced players in the field, is seven under around the testing 6,440-metre (6,867-yard) seaside course and just 18 holes away from securing a start in all OneAsia’s million dollar tournaments in 2013.
Korean Won Doo-kyun shot a tournament-best 65 to grab second place at six under, while Huang Tao (67) of Chinese-Taipei is two strokes further back.
28 year old Michael Choi is the leading Australasian in a share of 6th position after a third round of 70.
Daniel Fox and New Zealander Nick Gillespie are next best in 12th position.
Nearly 200 players from around the world signed up for Q-School this year. Ten spots went to the top finishers at last week’s qualifier at Industry Hills Golf Club in Los Angeles, California, and 14 await the participants at Sutera Harbour.
The winners of either leg of Q-School are guaranteed starts at all OneAsia’s tournaments in 2013, while those who finish second and third will likely start most events. Positions are then accorded proportionally between the Malaysian and U.S. Q-Schools.
Overnight leader Tani, who was born in Taipei but now hails from near Osaka, lost his card after finishing 79th on the Japan Golf Tour Organisation’s (JGTO) Order of Merit last year and is looking for a new tour to supplement the exemptions he will get at home.
With OneAsia and the JGTO joining forces to co-sanction the season-opening Thailand Open next month — as well as the Indonesia PGA Championship — the burgeoning partnership is a perfect match for Tani.
“Oh yes, it would be really good for me to get my OneAsia card as I could play all their tournaments,” said Tani, aware that prize money from the two co-sanctioned events count for both tours’ Orders of Merit.
At the other end of the experience spectrum, second placed Won (left), 19, is still looking to establish his career after turning professional last year and missing out at Korea Q-School.
He looked anything but a novice, however, as he shot seven birdies and a lone bogey for the tournament’s lowest round on Thursday.
Tao, 22, made the most of a sponsor’s invitation to finish a creditable 35th in his only OneAsia start at last season’s Nanshan China Masters, but is also desperate for a permanent place on tour.
Discuss this article in our forums