Hua Hin, Thailand: Golfers dreaming of stamping their mark on the Asian Tour will face their first hurdle when they tee up in this week’s Asian Tour Qualifying School Stage One, Section A.
More than 430 players from around the world have signed up for the First Stage of Qualifying School presented by Sports Authority of Thailand, with Section A taking place at the Imperial Lakeview Golf Club in Hua Hin and Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club in Khon Kaen, Thailand.
Section B of the First Stage will continue next week at Imperial Lakeview and Springfield Royal Country Club in Hua Hin.
After four rounds, the top 22% of the starting field at each course will qualify for the Final Stage at Springfield Royal and Imperial Lakeview from January 21-24 where the top-40 finishers and ties will earn playing privileges on the Asian Tour in 2015.
Those who compete in the Qualifying School will enjoy playing rights on the Asian Development Tour (ADT).
A total of 131 players are already exempted into the Final Stage where they will be joined by those who successfully negotiate past the First Stage.
For the First Stage, Korea has the highest number of participants with 43 entries followed by Australia (38), United States (33), Japan (32), Thailand (28), England (19), New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden (9 each), Spain (8), Finland and Taiwan (7 each), Canada (6), Germany, India, Singapore and France (5 each), Scotland and Philippines (3 each), Austria, Denmark and Ireland (2 each).
Estonia, Bangladesh, Turkey and Indonesia will each have one representative in the field.
Over the years, the Asian Tour Qualifying School has been a springboard to success for many of the region’s recognisable names.
This year’s Qualifying School hopefuls will be looking to emulate the success of past graduates such as newly-crowned 2014 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion David Lipsky of the United States, who topped the class in 2012, as well as Thais Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Korean Noh Seung-yul.