Ultimate test awaits hopefuls #ATQSchool

Tue 10 Jan 2017

Ultimate test awaits hopefuls #ATQSchool


#ATQSchool Preview: What they said    #ATQSchool Photo Album

Bangkok, January 10:

A total of 223 hopefuls will vie for the much-sought after Asian Tour cards when the all-important Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage presented by the Sports Authority of Thailand starts on Wednesday.
The Suvarnabhumi Golf and Country Club will be the host venue where final stage will be played over four rounds. After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the leading 80 players and ties who will then play a further two rounds.  At the conclusion of 72 holes, the leading 35 players and ties will be ranked accordingly for the 2017 Asian Tour season.

Richard Green of Australia

Richard Green of Australia
Players from 30 countries will tee up at the Suvarnabhumi Golf and Country Club and they include nationalities from as far as Venezuela, Poland, Colombia and the United States.

Among the notable entrants are Australia’s Richard Green, England’s Steve Lewton, India’s C. Muniyappa and Malaysia’s Ben Leong. Together with former Tour winners that include Australia’s Rick Kulacz and David Gleeson, India’s Himmat Rai as well as Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij, Udorn Duangdecha and Chawalit Plaphol, this year’s Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage will present one of the toughest tests to aspiring professionals seeking their playing rights on the region’s premier Tour for the 2017 season.

Leong is coming into the week with a rich vein of form, having won five consecutive events on the domestic circuit while Green is looking for a return to competitive golf at the highest level after missing out on his playing rights in Europe by the slightest of margins last season. Lewton, who won his Asian Tour title at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters in 2014, is already bracing himself for a stressful week while Muniyappa is hoping to make up for lost time by regaining his status on the Asian Tour.

Quote of the day:
"I heard about the strategic alliance the Asian Tour has with the European Tour and that could be a way of getting back into Europe" - Richard Green.

Other interesting preview facts:

  • There are a total of 12 Asian Tour winners playing in the Final Stage this week. They are Udorn Duangdecha of Thailand, Ben Leong of Malaysia, David Gleeson of Australia, Marcus Both of Australia, Daniel Chopra of Sweden, Chris Rodgers of England, C. Muniyappa of India, Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand, Himmat Rai of India, Steve Lewton of England, Rick Kulacz Australia and Chawalit Plaphol of Thailand.
  • Among the Asian Tour winners in the field Chawalit Plaphol has won the most times with four titles. Marcus Both and David Gleeson have won three while Daniel Chopra is a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR and Richard Green is a three-time
European Tour winner.  

  • Daniel Chopra (2015), Ben Leong (2006 & 2007), Chris Rodgers (2006) and Yikeun Chang (2015) of Korea have all won Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage before.
  • Interestingly, when Ben Leong won the Qualifying School in 2007, reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Scott Hend of Australia finished second.
  • Thailand will have the most number of players in the Final Stage as a total of 38 players vie for playing rights on the Asian Tour season in 2017 followed by Korea (26), Australia (19), Japan (17) and India (16).
  • The 2017 Asian Tour Qualifying School attracted over 500 entries where Tour hopefuls will vie for their playing rights on the region’s premier Tour.
  • The Asian Tour Qualifying School comprised of two stages – the First Stage and Final Stage.
  • The First stage, which included two sections, Section A and B, was played at the Windsor Park and Golf Club (Course A and B) and Suvarnabhumi Golf and Country Club (West and North courses) from December 28 to 31, 2016 and January 4 to 7, 2017.
  •  85 players made the cut and progressed to the Final Stage which will be played at the Suvarnabhumi Golf and Country Club this week.