Singapore: The Asian Tour will return to Thailand for its annual Qualifying School with aspiring professionals from across the globe attempting to earn their Tour cards for the 2018 season over a two-week period in January.
The 2018 Qualifying School will be conducted over two stages of stroke play. The First Stage will be played over 72 holes on four different courses. The Final Stage will see the top-35 players and ties after 90 holes earn playing rights on the Asian Tour for 2018.
The First Qualifying Stage will be played from January 3-6 at the Rayong Green Valley Country Club, St Andrews 2000 and the Silky Oak Country Club in Rayong, as well as Windsor Park & Golf Club (Course A & B) in Bangkok.
At the First Stage, the starting field will play two rounds before the field is cut to the leading 80 players and ties. They will play a further two rounds.
The number of players qualifying for the Final Stage will be announced during tournament week. Players tied for the final qualifying place score will proceed to the Final Stage, which will be played at Rayong Green Valley County Club and St Andrews 2000 from January 10-14.
The Final Stage is scheduled to be played over five rounds. A maximum field of 264 players will play two rounds and the field will be cut to the leading 140 players and ties, who will then play another two rounds.
After 72 holes, the field will be cut to the leading 70 players and ties who will then proceed to the fifth and final round held at Rayong Green Valley Country Club. At the conclusion of 90 holes, the top 35 players and ties will be ranked accordingly for the 2018 season.
Players who compete in the 2018 Qualifying School will be eligible to play on the Asian Development Tour.
Qualifying School hopefuls will be looking to emulate the success of Australian Todd Sinnott, who won his maiden title in just his second start on the Asian Tour, two weeks after he was runner-up at the Qualifying School in January.
Asian Tour CEO Josh Burack said: “More than 550 players participated in our Qualifying School this year. We expect response to be overwhelming again, especially as the Asian Tour schedule has been growing. The competition for the top 35 spots and ties is going to be intense but the rewards will be massive for successful entrants who earn a card to play on the Asian Tour in 2018.”
The Asian Tour Qualifying School has proven to be the springboard for success for many of the region’s biggest names, including Thais Thongchai Jaidee, a three-time Order of Merit champion, and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Asian’s number one in 2013.
Korean Noh Seung-yul, who won the Merit list in 2010, also came through the gruelling test at the Qualifying School in 2008. American David Lipsky, who topped the class in 2012, has now won twice on the Asian Tour and once on the European Tour.
Other graduates who have gone on to become Tour champions include Indians Shiv Kapur and Arjun Atwal, Japan’s Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Malaysian Ben Leong, Australian Scott Hend, Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh, Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg and Koreans Wang Jeung-hun and Lee Soo-min.
Seoul, Korea: Oh Sang-jun, a prominent figure in golf in South Korea for more than two decades, has been appointed as a Senior Advisor to the Asian Golf Industry Federation.