Sentosa, Singapore, December 27: More than 550 players from across the globe have signed up for the Asian Tour Qualifying School as they aim to secure playing rights on the 2017 Asian Tour season.
A total of 404 hopefuls will tee it up for the First Stage which will be conducted over two weeks at the Windsor Park Golf Club and Suvarnabhumi Golf & Country Club in Bangkok.
The Qualifying School First Stage Section A will start on Wednesday while Section B will be played from January 4 to 7, 2017. The all-important final stage will be held at Suvarnabhumi from January 11 to 14, 2017 where the top-40 and ties after four rounds will earn their Tour cards.
The number of players from First Stage who will join 144 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.
Amongst the notable names in the Qualifying School include Asian Tour champions Marcus Both, David Gleeson, Steve Lewton, Himmat Rai, Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Ben Leong, Daniel Chopra and Arnond Vongvanij.
Richard Green, a three-time European Tour champion, Indian talent Honey Baisoya, Indonesia’s Danny Masrin, Low Khai Jei of Malaysia and Vietnam’s Michael Tran are also in the field.
Players who compete in the 2017 Qualifying School will also be eligible to play on the ADT which offers Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.
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 Scott Hend of Australia.
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, Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh, Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg and Berry Henson of the United States.