Aspiring professionals will have the opportunity to earn their Asian Tour cards when the 2016 Qualifying School returns to Hua Hin and Cha-Am over a two-week this month.
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. The First Stage will be conducted at the Imperial Lakeview Golf Club and Springfield Royal Country Club 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 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. Over the years, the Asian Tour Qualifying School has proven to be the springboard for success for many of the region’s biggest names such as Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee who is a three-time Order of Merit champion, and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Asia’s number one in 2013. Korea’s Seungyul Noh, who won the Merit list in 2010, also came through the grueling test at Qualifying School in 2008. Other graduates who have gone on to become Tour champions include Korea’s Charlie Wi, India’s Shiv Kapur and Arjun Atwal, England’s Simon Dyson, Japan’s Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Malaysia’s Ben Leong, Australian Scott Hend and Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh, Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg and Berry Henson of the United States.
Asian Tour Chairman Kyi Hla Han said the 2016 Qualifying School will provide entrants with a stiff test and is expecting another strong turnout in Thailand. “We expect a strong response from international and regional golfers for our 2016 Qualifying School as players will vie for playing opportunities on the Asian Tour and Asian Development Tour. “Historically, the Qualifying School has provided the pathway for aspiring golfers to become champions on the Asian Tour and beyond. We look forward to welcoming many more of such talents at our Qualifying School next January,” said Han.