Muskerry’s Niall Turner can’t wait to test his eastern promise against world No 1 Lee Westwood.
The Team Ireland star, 27, grabbed his Asian Tour card at the Qualifying School in Thailand over the weekend. And he’s already looking forward to rubbing shoulders with the Ryder Cup star when they meet in the Indonesian Masters in April.
Turner said: “It feels brilliant to get my card and Westwood is playing in my third event, so it will be cool to tee it up next to him. I’m really looking forward to coming year and I’d just like to thank the Team Ireland Golf Trust for backing me.”
Turner began with rounds of 73 and 70 but closed with a second successive 69 at Springfield Royal Country Club to finish tied for 33rd on seven under par as 43 players earned their playing rights for 2011 on six under or better.
“I played great for the two weeks I was over,” said Turner, who had to pre-qualify. “I got off to my usual slow start but managed to get it going and pull through in the end.”
A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Turner is practising in Arizona but plans to base himself in Ireland between his stints on the Asian Tour.
“My goal is to get off to great start and win early so I can get into all co-sanctioned events and get my European Tour card,” he said.
He wasn’t the only European to make it through. Scotland’s Ross Bain tied for second behind Brazilian Lucas Lee with England’s Andrew Raitt and Pierre Henri Soero of France tied for fifth.
Sweden’s Peter Gustafsson (T12), Finns Kalle Samooja and Joonas Granberg (T16) and English pair Miles Tunnicliff and Simon Griffiths (T25) also qualified.
Check out the 2011 Asian Tour schedule here.