Aug 28, 2017: The Asian Tour will return to Thailand for its annual Qualifying School next January, with aspiring professionals from across the globe attempting to earn their Tour cards for the 2018 season over a two-week period.
The 2018 Qualifying School will be conducted over two stages of stroke play – the First Stage which will be played over 72 holes on four different courses and the Final Stage, which will see the top-35 players and ties after 90 holes earn playing rights on the Asian Tour for 2018.
The First Qualifying Stage will be played from January 3 to 6 at the Rayong Green Valley Country Club, the St. Andrews 2000 and the Silky Oak Country Club located in Rayong, as well as the Windsor Park & Golf Club (Course A & B) in Bangkok.
Applicants are allowed to indicate their preferred venue for the First Stage, which will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis and subjected to availability. The starting field will play two rounds before the field is cut to the leading 80 players and ties, who will play a further two rounds.
The number of players qualifying for the Final Stage will be announced during the tournament week. Players tied for the final qualifying place score will proceed to the Final Stage, which will be played at the Rayong Green Valley County Club and the St. Andrews 2000 from January 10 to 14.
The Final Stage is scheduled to be played over five rounds. A maximum field of about 264 players will play two rounds and the field will be cut to the leading 140 players and ties, who will then play another two rounds.
After 72 holes, the field will be cut to the leading 70 players and ties who will then proceed to the fifth and final round held at the Rayong Green Valley Country Club. At the conclusion of 90 holes, the top 35 players and ties will be ranked accordingly for the 2018 season.
Players who wish to receive the 2018 Qualifying School Entry Form should email to Q-School2018@asiantour.com.
The Entry Form can also be downloaded from the home page of www.asiantour.com. Closing date for entries is December 20, 2017.
Players who compete in the 2018 Qualifying School will also be eligible to play on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), which is the gateway to the premier 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.
Qualifying School hopefuls will be looking to emulate the success of Australian Todd Sinnott, who won his maiden title in just his second start on the Asian Tour, two weeks after he came in runner-up at the Qualifying School in January.
Asian Tour CEO Josh Burack is confident the 2018 Qualifying School will continue to be a success like previous years.
“More than 550 players participated in our Qualifying School earlier this year. We expect response to be overwhelming again, especially as the Asian Tour’s schedule has been growing. The competition for the top-35 spots and ties is going to be intense but the rewards will be massive for successful entrants who earn a card to play on the Asian Tour in 2018.
“The increasing number of applicants over the years is also a strong testament towards the Asian Tour’s stature in world golf. It shows that global players view the Asian Tour as a leading destination for their professional careers,” said Burack.
The Asian Tour Qualifying School has proven to be the springboard for success for many of the region’s biggest names such as Thai stars Thongchai Jaidee, a three-time Order of Merit champion, and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Asian’s number one in 2013.
Korea’s Seungyul Noh, who won the Merit list in 2010, also came through the grueling test at the Qualifying School in 2008. American David Lipsky, who topped the class in 2012, has now won twice on the Asian Tour and once on the European Tour.
Other graduates who have gone on to become Tour champions include India’s Shiv Kapur and Arjun Atwal, Japan’s Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Malaysia’s Ben Leong, Australian Scott Hend, Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh, Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg, Korean talents Jeunghun Wang and Soomin Lee.