Asian Tour Q-School: Kearney clinches ticket to Final Stage
 Asian Tour

Asian Tour

Royal Dublin's Niall Kearney was one of 112 players who advanced to the Final Stage of the 2018 Asian Tour Qualifying School, but there was no luck for Limerick's Tim Rice, Black Bush's Stephen McCarthy or Headfort's Rory McNamara at the First Stage in Thailand.

Kearney made three birdies and three bogeys in a closing 71 at Rayong Green Valley Country Club south of Bangkok and tied for 14th place at a venue where 43 qualified on three-over 287 or better.

Reigning Irish Professional champion Rice closed with a 75 at the same venue to finish 70th, eight shots outside the mark.

McCarthy signed off with a 76 and was 76th at St Andrews 2000, 13 shots outside the qualifying places while McNamara's one under 70 at Windsor Park & Golf Club left him 34th, eight shots shy of his ticket to the Final Stage.

The 112 qualifiers join 131 exempt players at the Final Stage which will be played over 90 holes (five rounds) at the Rayong Green Valley Country Club and the St. Andrews 2000 in Rayong from January 10-14.

 Niall Kearney

Niall Kearney

Thailand’s Tawit Polthai topped the field at the Windsor Park and Golf Club in Bangkok after closing with a second straight seven-under-par 64 to win by three shots on 16-under-par 268 total.

Australian Josh Younger claimed a wire-to-wire victory at the St. Andrews 2000 after signing for a second consecutive 70. He won by one shot over countryman Dale Brandt-Richards (69) and Korea’s Woojin Jung (69) with a four-day total of 272.

A total of 36 players survived the test at the St. Andrews 2000 after the cut was set at 288.

Over at the Rayong Green Valley Country Club, Seba Saavedra of Argentina emerged top of the class after closing with a flawless 64 highlighted by seven birdies to win by one over Cristobal Del Solar (67) of Chile on 266.

They were amongst the 44 players, which include all three Singaporean amateurs in the field, to progress to the final stage from the Rayong Green Valley Country Club after the cut was set at 287.

 Rayong Green Valley Country Club

Rayong Green Valley Country Club

At the Silky Oak Country Club in Rayong, American Ben Crancer closed with a 64 to win by one shot on 267. He leads 11 other players to the final stage after the cut was set at 282.

The final stage of the Qualifying School will see a total of 243 players play two rounds before the field is cut to the leading 140 players and ties, who will then play another two rounds across the two courses.

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 compete in the 2018 Qualifying School will also be eligible to play on the ADT, which has staged a total of 20 tournaments in 2017.  

The ADT, launched in 2010 as a gateway to the premier Asian Tour, will continue to offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points in 2018.

2018 Asian Tour Qualifying School First Stage

Silky Oak Country Club (Par 71), 12 qualified on -2 282 or better

Scores

1 Ben CRANCER (USA) 65 69 69 64 267 -17
2 Nick ARMAN (USA) 68 65 68 67 268 -16
3 Yuichiro NISHI (JPN) 74 69 63 68 274 -10 


St Andrews 2000 (Par 71), 36 qualified on +4 (288) or better

Scores

1 Josh YOUNGER (AUS) 64 68 70 70 272 -12
2 Dale BRANDT-RICHARDS (AUS) 66 70 68 69 273 -11
2 Woojin JUNG (KOR) 65 72 67 69 273 -11

Non-qualifiers

76 Stephen MCCARTHY (IRL) 74 74 77 76 301 +17


Rayong Green Valley Country Club (Par 71), 43 qualified on +3 287 or better

Scores

1 Seba SAAVEDRA (ARG) 68 68 66 64 266 -18
2 Cristobal DEL SOLAR (CHI) 68 66 66 67 267 -17
3 Jeffrey KANG (USA) 67 71 66 66 270 -14
14 Niall KEARNEY (IRL) 70 70 68 71 279 -5

Non-qualifiers

70 Tim RICE (IRL) 74 72 74 75 295 +11


Windsor Park & Golf Club (Par 71), 20 qualified on -3 (281) or better

Scores

1 Tawit POLTHAI (THA) 73 67 64 64 268 -16
2 Chirat JIRASUWAN (THA) 66 69 69 67 271 -13
3 Woonchul NA (NZL) 71 69 68 64 272 -12
3 Meechok PHANTHARAK (THA) 70 67 68 67 272 -12
3 Cory CRAWFORD (AUS) 67 71 67 67 272 -12 

Non-qualifiers

34 Rory MCNAMARA (IRL) 73 75 71 70 289 +5