Rayong, Thailand: Lee Seung-taek closed with a second straight four-under-par 67 to claim a one-shot victory at the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage presented by Sports Authority of Thailand.
The 22-year-old Korean, playing at the Asian Tour Qualifying School for the first time, fired three birdies in his final four holes to top the 243-man field with a five-day total of 14-under-par 341 at the Rayong Green Valley Country Club.
Lee is among the 44 players, including former winners Australian David Gleeson, Indian Himmat Rai, Thais Thammanoon Sriroj and Udorn Duangdecha, who secured their Tour cards for the new season after finishing inside top-35 and ties following the 90-hole battle.
“It’s been a great week for me,” said Lee. “I have a good friend, Kim Giw-han, who is playing on Tour so I am looking forward to joining him. I am thrilled to earn a spot at the SMBC Singapore Open. I am very excited because it’s a big tournament.”
Overnight co-leader Sorachut Hansapiban of Thailand stumbled with a bogey on the last to sign for a 68 and finished second on his own. The 27-year-old took solace with his runner-up finish as he finally earned his Tour card after missing out in his last two attempts.
American Kurt Kitayama gave himself the perfect 25th birthday present when he closed with a 66 to finish three shots back in third place alongside Thai Jakraphan Premsirigorn (66) and Australians Travis Smyth (68) and Steven Jeffress (70).
The 2018 Asian Tour Qualifying School Final stage saw 243 hopefuls from more than 30 countries vying for their Asian Tour playing rights. The first cut was made after 36 holes and a total of 153 players made it into the third and fourth round.
A further cut was made after 72 holes and 78 players progressed into the fifth and final round where 44 players from 12 countries secured their Tour cards for the 2018 season after making the cut-off mark, set at two-under-par 353.
Players who missed the grade are eligible to play on the Asian Development Tour (ADT). The top-five finishers on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will be awarded with playing rights on the Asian Tour for the following season.