Haikou, Hainan, China: Big-hitting American Joseph Winslow shot a closing three-under 69 to secure a four-stroke victory over compatriot Ryann Ree (70) at the PGA Tour Series-China International Qualifying Tournament No 2, the second of two successive 72-hole qualifiers at Mission Hills Haikou.
Winslow finished on 12-under over the 7,147-yard Sandbelt Trails Course, while Ree was followed by fellow Americans Kevin Techakanokboon (69), at seven-under, and Brett Munson (70) at six-under. Jesse Speirs (fifth), Matthew Negri (ninth) and Cody Paladino (14th) rounded out the seven Americans in the top-15.
Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Hao-sheng and Max Lee Chie-hpo finished sixth and 10th, respectively. Other qualifiers included England’s William Harrold (seventh), Singapore’s Quincy Quek (eighth), Philippine amateur Lloyd Jefferson Go (11th) and Ireland’s Brian O’Donovan (12th), a Mission Hills Shenzhen teaching pro.
Korean Kim Tae-ho (13th) was later joined by countryman Hong Myung-hwa after the latter won a four-way play-off with a birdie at the first extra hole to secure the 15th full card.
Players from Canada, Australia, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Argentina, Japan and New Zealand were among those who finished in the top 40 to earn conditional status.
Winslow, 25, was the star of the event. He shared the lead after 36 holes and posted a three-stroke lead over Ree after day three.
However, the 23-year-old San Diego State University graduate opened with four birdies to draw level with Winslow, who birdied one. Winslow then fell behind after a bogey at five but regained the lead when Ree double-bogeyed six.
Winslow took the chance to pounce, the six-foot five-inch tall slugger powering ahead with birdies at eight, nine and 10 and made up for a bogey at 11 with another birdie at 14 before cruising home with four pars.
“I feel pretty good. That was a successful week. I played really solid for four rounds. I came into this week feeling good about my game, and it was nice to go out there and execute the shots,” said Winslow.
“Ryann put some pressure on me right away there in the first few holes. He made four birdies in a row and I bogeyed the fifth to lose my lead, but I just told myself to keep playing my game, stay mentally tough … and that’s exactly what happened.”
At last month’s PGA Tour Latinoamerica qualifier in Bogota, Colombia, a closing 80 dropped Winslow from solo second to 17th, securing only conditional status on that Tour. He believes he has learned from that lesson.
“It was especially good to get some revenge from the Latinoamerica Q-School. The thing I’m most proud of is that the adjustments I wanted to make based on what happened in Bogota worked well,” said Winslow, who played 12 events on last year’s PGA Tour Latinoamerica. His best finish was a tie for ninth at the 64 Aberto do Brasil in October.
“That confirms that when I get into this position, which I anticipate being in more often, I know how to get it done on the final day. I’m really proud of that. I just like the way that I stayed focused on one shot at a time today, didn’t get ahead of myself and just kept grinding,” Winslow added.
Quek, who has played on the Asian Tour, shot weekend rounds of 68 and 67 to regain his card, a week after young Singaporeans Joshua Shou and Jesse Yap secured conditional status at the same venue.
“It’s been a good couple of rounds to get back my card. I’m really happy knowing I have 14 events this year,” said the 30-year-old, who played the Tour in 2014 and 2015.
Arie Irawan, 27, was aiming to become the first Malaysian to hold a full card on PGA Tour Series-China and eventually finished 24th after a 76 left him even-par overall.
“I guess I’m relieved. If I can get plenty of starts, I’ll be happy. I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t get full membership, but if I get enough starts, then I’m ecstatic,” said Irawan, a former Asian Tour player and two-time winner on the Asian Development Tour.
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