HIGH FLYING TANI GRADUATES IN STYLE AT THE ASIAN TOUR QUALIFYING SCHOOL FINAL STAGE
Starting from 12thFebruary, a total of 238 players teed up in the Final Stage played at the Imperial Lakeview Golf Club and Springfield Royal Country Club in the first two rounds of the Asian Tour Qualifying School while Springfield Royal hosted the final two days.
Japan’s Akinori Tani won the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage after Lam Chih Bing of Singapore surrendered in the play-off on Saturday.
Tani, a two-time winner in Japan, shot a one-under-par 70 but the story of the day belonged to Lam, who returned with the day’s lowest score of 64 at the Springfield Royal Country Club.
Knowing that he had done enough to earn a Tour card, Lam decided to forfeit the play-off without hitting a single shot as he rushed home to celebrate the birthday of his daughter, who turns two on Sunday.
“The goal was to finish inside the top-40 and once I knew that I made it, I had to rush to catch my flight so I can spend time with my family, especially my daughter whose birthday is on Sunday. It really means a lot to me that I have earned a Tour card again,” said Lam, who is the Chairman of the Asian Tour Tournament Players Committee.
Thailand’s wonder-boy Poom Saksansin was a qualifier with a final round of 73 and a total 279.
“I’m so happy I earned my Asian Tour card because this is a big Tour and I want to be a part of it. I hope I can get more experience here and become a good golfer.
Qualifying School is very difficult and you must be very focussed and serious. You really need to plan your shots well and do not make too many mistakes. It was quite stressful this week but I’m happy I made it. I turned professional this year and the reason why I did it is because I want to earn money by myself and not always ask from my father or mother!
I don’t have too many goals this year but the main goal is to keep my card. To be honest, I do not want to return to Qualifying School and go through this again!”
All Qualifying School entrants were eligible to compete on the burgeoning Asian Development Tour (ADT), which has become a career pathway for professionals to hone their skills and gain experience before entering into the premier Asian Tour.
Leading final round scores:
274 – Akinori TANI (JPN) 72 67 65 70
274 – LAM Chih Bing (SIN) 68 69 73 64
275 – Lee Tae-hee (KOR) 71 70 69 65, SHIN Hyuk-chul (KOR) 69 71 68 67, Nicholas CULLEN (AUS) 69 67 71 68
276 – Paul PETERSON (USA) 66 68 72 70
277 – Hamza AMIN (PAK) 69 72 69 67, Dimitrios PAPADATOS (AUS) 71 69 68 69, KIM Tae Woo (KOR) 70 69 69 69, Jarin TODD (USA) 67 67 71 72, Lionel WEBER (FRA) 71 68 66 72, Seb GROS (FRA) 68 67 68 74
278 – Alex KANG (USA) 70 70 70 68, Ryan YIP (CAN) 71 67 70 70, Martin ROMINGER (SUI) 66 69 72 71, Naomi OHTA (JPN) 70 67 69 72, Nathan HOLMAN (AUS) 63 72 67 76