Hua Hin, Thailand: A gruelling test of golf is in store when the Asian Tour Qualifying School resumes its two-week run in Thailand, starting today.
A total of 478 players from 26 countries have entered the fray, armed with dreams of turning their golfing career into success under the most testing circumstances as only the top-35 and ties will earn playing rights for the 2020 Asian Tour season.
Fifteen out of 53 players have already progressed to the Final Stage from the First Qualifying Stage Section A, held last month at the Lake View Resort and Golf Club.
Another 261 players are expected to vie for their places over two courses for the Final Stage when the First Qualifying Stage Section B continues to be played over four rounds this week.
After 36 holes, the field at the two courses will be cut to the leading 80 and ties (including amateurs). They will play a further two rounds.
Successful players from the First Qualifying Stage A and B will then join 164 other players, who have already been exempted to the Final Stage, which will be contested over five rounds next week.
With the first half of the 2020 schedule already released, graduates from Qualifying School will have the opportunity to tee up in tournaments in Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Korea and Japan.
Players who compete in the 2020 Qualifying School will also be eligible to play on the Asian Development Tour, which offers Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.
“The Asian Tour Qualifying School has long been the springboard to success for many of the region’s promising players with the likes of Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana, Korea’s Chang Yik-eun and Indian Viraj Madappa earning their Tour cards and going on to clinch their breakthroughs on the Asian Tour,” said Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner and CEO of the Asian Tour, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“Making the grade from Qualifying School maybe tough, but once it has been achieved, the opportunities for both professionals and amateurs on the Asian Tour are going to be very rewarding,” he added.
Apart from established names like Thai Thongchai Jaidee, Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman and Australian Scott Hend, other graduates from Qualifying School include Australian Zach Murray, who won the 2019 New Zealand Open in what was his third start on Tour, as well as American John Catlin, who last year became just the 10th golfer in Tour history to win three times in a single season.