Korean Chang's cream of the crop #ATQS

Sat 16 Jan 2016

Korean Chang's cream of the crop #ATQS

  • SHARE
Hua Hin, Thailand, January 16: Young talent Yikeun Chang of Korea topped the class when he closed with a four-under-par 67 to claim a one-shot victory at the Asian Tour Qualifying School presented by Sports Authority of Thailand on Saturday.
The 22-year-old Chang, who marked his card with six birdies against two bogeys for a winning total of 13-under-par 271, were among the 41 players to secure their Tour cards for the new season at the par-71 Springfield Royal Country Club.
Yikuen Chang of Korea Yikuen Chang of Korea
American Dodge Kemmer settled one shot back in second after soaring with an eagle on the last for a closing 65 while Raphael De Sousa of Switzerland took third on 273 following a 67. Six other players, including former PGA Tour player David Lutterus of Australia, shared fourth place on 274.
Asian Development Tour (ADT) winners Masaru Takahashi of Japan and Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang also finished inside top-40 and ties, with the cut set at 281, to earn their playing rights on the region’s premier Tour in 2016.
Chang, who came through the first stage last week, was beaming with joy after enjoying a successful two-week run in what was his first attempt at the Qualifying School.
“I am feeling really excited. It’s a great way to start off the year. I am really looking forward to playing on the Asian Tour soon. It’s been a great run. I have been hitting the ball good and I putted well too. I think I did very well this week given the tough conditions,” said Chang, who turned professional in 2013.
Raphael De Sousa Raphael De Sousa
Sweden’s Malcom Kokocinski, who finished tied-fourth after carding a 65, credited his past experience of playing in the Qualifying School for his successful attempt this time round.
“It was very good day out on the golf course. I was just being patient. It’s been a tough week. I just try to play better each day. I am glad I managed to get my card now after missing out for the last two years. I guess I learnt from my experience from the last two years,” said Kokocinski, who fired seven birdies against a lone bogey.
“Playing on the ADT has helped a lot. I like playing on the ADT. It’s a very good platform for you to hone your skills. I managed to get into a few Asian Tour events last year as well. I am prepared for a good year ahead,” added the 24-year-old Swedish.
Masaru made up for the disappointment of missing the mark for the past five years after returning with the day’s best score of 63 to earn his well-deserved Asian Tour card.
Malcom Kokocinski of Sweden Malcom Kokocinski of Sweden
He had agonizingly missed out on his 2016 Asian Tour card after finishing sixth on the 2015 ADT Order of Merit, where the top-five players earned playing rights on the Asian Tour in the new season.
“I am really thrilled. I didn’t expect to play so well today. I sank a lot of putts. I had a superb round. My mind was set on securing the Tour card before I came here for the Qualifying School. I really wanted to get it and I think I deserved it. I played nicely all week. I am looking to play on the Asian Tour soon,” said the 29-year-old Japanese, who needed only 26 putts.
All Qualifying School entrants will be eligible to compete on the burgeoning ADT, which was inaugurated in 2010 as a gateway to the premier Asian Tour. The secondary circuit staged a record total of 28 tournaments in the 2014 season.
Ends.
Masaru Takahashi of Japan Masaru Takahashi of Japan
Leading fourth round scores:
271 - Yikeun CHANG (KOR) 63 70 71 67
272 - Dodge KEMMER (USA) 68 71 68 65
273 - Raphael DE SOUSA (SUI) 69 69 68 67
274 - Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE) 68 70 71 65, Victor OSTERBY (DEN) 70 67 70 67, David LUTTERUS (AUS) 71 70 65 68, Sebastian HEISELE (GER) 68 67 70 69, Scott VINCENT (ZIM) 70 68 67 69, Tom JOHNSON (USA) 65 67 71 71
275 - Kevin MCLISTER (USA) 64 66 74 71
276 - Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) 69 70 74 63, Seunghyun CHOI (KOR) 72 65 72 67, Michael WRIGHT (AUS) 66 67 72 71, Chikkarangappa S. (IND) 67 64 72 73
277 - CHAN Shih-chang (TPE) 70 71 70 66, Jobim CARLOS (A) (PHI) 69 68 70 70, Soonsang HONG (KOR) 70 70 67 70
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.