Graduates shine on big stage

Thu 26 Nov 2015

Graduates shine on big stage

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Sentosa, Singapore, November 26: Qualifying School graduates have been making great progress on the Asian Tour since making the grade in January.
Almost a year since earning their Tour cards at Qualifying School in Thailand, young stalwarts such as Thailand’s Danthai Boonma and South Africa’s Shaun Norris have continued to soar with flying colours with their career breakthroughs on the region’s premier Tour.
Danthai, placed 22nd on the Order of Merit following a season's haul of US$142,738, underlined his credentials as one of Asia’s most promising young talents following his triumph at the inaugural World Classic Championship at Laguna National a fortnight ago.
Shaun Norris of South Africa Shaun Norris of South Africa
Victory was no easy feat for the young Thai especially on the World Classic course which is dubbed as ‘Asia’s toughest test.
The 19-year-old also emerged as one of only two players to have broken par after four days of punishing and tense battle with the region’s heavyweights at the Asian Tour event.
“It was a very big win for me in Singapore. It was also my first win since I turned professional and I’m glad it came on the Asian Tour,” said Danthai following his victory where he emerged as one of only two players to have broken par after four days of punishing and tense battle with the region’s heavyweights.
With that victory in Singapore, Danthai also joined Norris in the winner’s circle, winning a tournament each in their rookie year on the Asian Tour.
The South African had earlier claimed a dream victory at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in October and was clearly ecstatic with his achievement. He sits in 37th position with total earnings of US$109,353.
“We always try to better ourselves in golf. The goal is to travel the world and compete against other players. The quality on the Asian Tour is phenomenal. The players are so good. For me to accomplish what I have done is just great,” said Norris.
Chinese Taipei’s Lee Chieh-po has also created an impression with his commendable results this season.
While he has yet to win, a tied-third finish at last week’s Resorts World Manila Masters was enough to convince him that his time will come.
“This is my best finish on the Asian Tour so far. If I continue to play my best, I’m confident I’ll win one day,” said Lee.
Korean rookie Soomin Lee also secured two top-three finishes in Bangladesh and Hong Kong which played a pivotal role in moving up to 21st place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Aspiring professionals will have the opportunity to follow the footsteps of Danthai when the 2016 Qualifying School returns to Thailand in January.
The Qualifying School will be held over two stages – the First Stage and Final Stage – where the top-40 finishers and ties will subsequently earn playing rights on the region’s premier Tour in 2016.
Lee Chieh-po of Chinese Taipei Lee Chieh-po of Chinese Taipei
The First Stage will be conducted at the Imperial Lakeview Golf Club and Springfield Royal Country Club in Hua Hin from January 6 to 9, 2016.
Both venues will also host the all-important Final Stage from January 13 to 16 where players will fight for top-40 finishes.
Players who wish to receive the 2016 Qualifying School Entry Form should email to Q-School2015@asiantour.com.
The Entry Form can also be downloaded from the home page of www.asiantour.com
Closing date for entries is December 16, 2015.
Players who compete in the 2016 Qualifying School will also be eligible to play on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), which is the pathway to the Asian Tour.
The ADT also offers Official World Golf Ranking points, which is regarded as a huge boost for the development of the game in Asia and also for Asian players fighting to qualify for the Olympic Games in 2016.
About the Asian Tour
Soomin Lee of Korea Soomin Lee of Korea
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), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Srixon (Official Ball), 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