Niall Turner might have to worry about money but one can only imagine that his playing partner Prince Hakeem Jefri of Brunei will be have a little less pressure on his shoulders when the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage gets underway on Wednesday. Niall Kearney, the other Irishman in action, would probably agree.
The 39-year old prince, whose uncle is the billionaire Sultan of Brunei, is the son of the Sultan’s brother, Prince Jefri.
In case you missed it, Prince Jefri is allegedly to have lost $14.8 Billion of Brunei money (see Jeff Seal’s 2011 Vanity Fair piece “The Prince Who Blew Through Billions”when he served as its finance minister, from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s.
Naturally, the subject of the family’s financial fortunes didn’t crop up when Asian Tour TV caught up with Prince Hakeem in Thailand this week.
According to a Reuters report:
The 39-year-old, who was his country’s first Olympian when he took part in skeet shooting at the 1996 Games in Atlanta, will need to finish tied 40th or better to become the first Brunei golfer on tour.
The Prince, who took up golf having watched his grandfather - the former Sultan of Brunei - play, only turned professional last year after getting his handicap down to zero.
“I’m very realistic with my goals and being here for the first time, I’ll just take whatever comes my way,” he told AsianTour.com
The Prince was exempt from Stage One and went straight to the Final Stage at the Imperial Lakeview Golf Club and Springfield Royal Country Club in Thailand where the top-40 and ties will earn tour cards for the 2103 Asian Tour season.
Tuner will begin his quest for his Asian Tour card alongside the Prince and Malaysia’s Iain Steel at Springfield Royal Country Club with Dubliner Kearney in the group ahead. (Tee-times)