Q-School graduates shine in 2013

Thu 21 Nov 2013

Q-School graduates shine in 2013

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Kuala Lumpur, November 21: For many seasons, the Qualifying School presented by Sports Authority of Thailand has scripted the first chapter in many storied tales for the Asian Tour stars.
From Thongchai Jaidee’s unprecedented three Order of Merit victories to Siddikur’s rise from a forecaddie to a two-time Asian Tour winner, the Qualifying School has been the launch pad for many players’ careers.
Another big name who has risen into stardom is Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who earned playing rights on the Asian Tour when he finished tied ninth at the 2009 Qualifying School. Since then, the talented Thai has won two Asian Tour titles and currently holds the Order of Merit lead with earnings of US$1,117,074.
Many other players including Korea’s Noh Seung-yul has also tasted success since going through Qualifying School, a tournament which many say is the ‘toughest’ hurdle in a player’s career.
The lanky Korean won two Asian Tour titles since joining the Asian Tour in 2008 and his career took flight when he became the youngest Order of Merit winner at the age of 19 years and 204 days in 2010. He now plays regularly on the US PGA Tour.
The Asian Tour’s successful platform has lured many Asian and foreign talents to the region, so much so that in 2013, the Asian Tour received record entries of over 750 players to the Qualifying School.
Out of those entries, only the top-40 and ties earned elusive Asian Tour cards for the 2013 season which also marked to be the milestone 10th season for the region’s premier Tour.
Richard T. Lee of Canada, who finished second at the Qualifying School earlier this year in Thailand, has enjoyed a splendid season so far where he posted three top-10s including a runner-up result at the Solaire Open in the Philippines.
Carlos Pigem of Spain Carlos Pigem of Spain
With his battling performances, Lee has earned a cool haul of US$104,062 to put him in 29th position on the Order of Merit, which is enough for the 23-year-old to stay inside the top-60 on the final Merit list to earn full playing rights on the 2014 Asian Tour season.
Among the other 2013 Qualifying School graduates who have successfully retained their Asian Tour cards for next season include Sam Cyr (US$97,271) of the United States, Rahil Gangjee (US$95,530) of India and Carlos Pigem (US$80,647) of Spain.
Tour rookie Pigem, who turned professional in 2013, finished tied third at the inaugural Resorts World Manila Masters last week and he hopes that the result will spur him on to a first Asian Tour title.
“It has been a great year playing in Asia. I have a few more events coming up so hopefully I can maintain my good form till the end of the season,” smiled the 23-year-old Pigem.
Despite missing out on an Asian Tour card at Qualifying School earlier this year, Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand made full use of his limited playing opportunities to earn a spot among the elite Asian Tour cast next year with two top-five finishes.
Like Jazz, Bryce Easton of South Africa also sang the same tune as he overcame his disappointment at Qualifying School, where he finished one shot from the top-40 and ties, with a second place result at the Chiangmai Golf Classic.
They each earned more than US$80,000 this season which will likely keep them inside the top-60 at the end of the 2013 season.
“I’m glad I managed to keep my card. My game has been pretty consistent this season and if you continue playing consistently and make cuts in every event you play, you will pretty much be able to keep your card,” said Jazz.
In 2014, the Qualifying School First Stage will be staged over two sections, with Section A to be held at the Imperial Lakeview Golf Club and Royal Thai Army Sports Center, Suan Son Pradipat from January 29 to February 1.
Section B will be staged over three courses - the Imperial Lakeview Golf Club, Springfield Royal Country Club and Royal Thai Army Sports Center - from February 5 to 8.
The all-important Final Stage, where players will fight for top-40 finishes to earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour in 2014, will be held at the Springfield Royal Country Club and Imperial Lakeview Golf Club from February 12-15.
Players who wish to register for the 2014 Qualifying School can download the Entry Form at https://asiantourattachment.s3.amazonaws.com/2014-Asian-Tour-Q-School-Form.pdf Closing date for entries is January 8, 2014.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. 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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.