Hua Hin, Thailand, January 4: The Asian Tour Qualifying School presented by Sports Authority of Thailand has attracted a total of 629 entries as players from across the globe vie for playing rights on the 2016 Asian Tour season.
Ranging from over 40 countries, Korea contributes the highest number of players with 107 entries, followed by Thailand (84), United States (77), Japan (71), Australia (61), England (38), India (31), Chinese Taipei (19), Malaysia (17), Canada (12), South Africa (12), Sweden (11), Philippines (11), Singapore (10), New Zealand (10), Indonesia (8), Spain (7) and Scotland (6).
Other countries include Italy (5), China (5), France (5), Zimbabwe (5), Germany (4), Denmark (4), Finland (3), Sri Lanka (3), Austria (2), Ireland (2), Myanmar (2), Switzerland (2), Brunei (1), Columbia (1), Guam (1), Hong Kong (1), Kenya (1), Monaco (1), Pakistan (1), Wales (1), Uruguay (1), Vietnam (1), Venezuela (1) and Portugal (1).
The 2016 Asian Tour Qualifying School, sponsored by the Sports Authority of Thailand, will be held over a two-week run in Thailand with the First Stage starting from January 6 to 9 this week.
A total of 491 hopefuls will tee it up for the First Stage which will be conducted across four different courses, namely the Windsor Park Golf Club in Bangkok, Springfield Royal Country Club (Course C and B), Imperial Lakeview Golf Club (Course A and B) and Imperial Lakeview Golf Club (Course C and D) in Hua Hin.
The number of players from First Stage who will join 155 other players, who are already exempted in the all-important Final Stage, will only be decided when all players have teed off for the opening round on Wednesday.
The Final Stage will be held at the Imperial Lakeview and Springfield Royal from January 13 to 16 where the top-40 and ties after four rounds will earn their Tour cards for the 2016 season.
Amongst the notable names in the First Stage include James Byrne of Scotland, Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski, Thailand’s Annop Tangkamolprasert, England’s Chris Cannon, Australian Darren Tan and American Paul Harris.
The Asian Tour has released the first half of its 2016 Schedule, which consists of nine exciting tournaments to be held in Singapore, Malaysia, India, Australia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Thailand, along with the Asian Development Tour’s (ADT) provisional Schedule of 22 events.
Players who compete in the 2016 Qualifying School will also be eligible to play on the ADT, which has staged a record total of 28 tournaments in 2015. The ADT will continue to offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points which will be vital for players fighting to qualify for the Olympic Games later this year.
Over the years, the Asian Tour Qualifying School has proven to be the springboard for success for many of the region’s big names such as Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, a three-time Order of Merit champion, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Asia’s number one in 2013 and reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Anirban Lahiri of India.
Other graduates who have gone on to become Tour champions include American David Lipsky, Thailand’s Danthai Boonma, South African Shaun Norris, India’s Shiv Kapur and Arjun Atwal, Japan’s Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Malaysia’s Ben Leong, Australian Scott Hend and Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh, Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg and Berry Henson of the United States.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.