Australasians bid for Asian Tour cards
BY iseekgolf.com | Asian Tour | 2009 Asian Tour Q-School - Stage One | Preview | 06 Jan 2009
507 players from over 30 countries will compete in the Asian Tour’s Qualifying School presented by Sports Authority of Thailand beginning today with 88 Australians amongst the field.
The Australasian contingent is the largest at the Tour School with 76 Australians and five New Zealanders competing in this week’s first stage with the aim of joining the seven Australians who have already qualified for final stage to be held next week.
At stake for the hopefuls will be 40 Tour cards for the 2009 Asian Tour season.
Overall, Australia has the biggest representation in the Qualifying School with 83 players overall shooting for their Tour cards, followed by Korea, who have 64 players and Japan, who will have 58 players in the field.
A total of 50 Americans are also in the field while players from Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Brunei will also try their luck in Thailand. Players from China, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and India will be amongst those competing for 40 available Tour cards.
The First Stage will start on Tuesday over three venues – Lam Luk Ka Country Club, St Andrews 2000 and Rayong Green Valley Country Club – where a total of 416 players will attempt to qualify for the Final Stage, which will be held at St Andrews 2000 and Rayong Green Valley from January 13 to 17.
From each of the first stage venues, the top 20 per cent finishers after four rounds, which equates to the leading 29 players and ties from St Andrews and 27 players and ties from Rayong Green Valley and Lam Lu Ka respectively, will join an already exempted 91 players in the all-important Final Stage next week.
The top-40 finishers and ties at the Final Stage, which for the first time will be played over five rounds, will earn playing rights for the new season. The 2009 season will kick off with the Asian Tour International in Suwan Golf and Country Club in Bangkok from February 5 to 8.
Amongst the Aussie notable names who will compete in the Qualifying School are 2009 NSW PGA Champion Tim Wood, who finished 3rd on the 2008 Von Nida Tour Money List and 38th on the 2008 Australasian Tour Order of Merit after a career best T11 finish at the Australian Open.
Also competing is Victorian Matthew Griffin, who turned professional late last year, and whose credits include three top four results on the 2008 Von Nida Tour including a second place at the WA PGA Championship. Also lining up is 2008 SA PGA Championship winner Heath Reed and 2006 Australian Amateur Champion and newly turned pro Sydney’s Tim Stewart.
Aussies who have already qualified for Final Stage are: Chris Gaunt, Adam Groom, Gary Simpson, Jason King, Adam le Vesconte, Ashley Hall, Richard Moir.
Source – PGA Tour