Brian O'Donovan clinches PGA Tour China card
 Brian O'Donovan

Brian O'Donovan

Cork's Brian O'Donovan can start asking his Mission Hills Shenzen employers for time off after he clinched his PGA TOUR China card at Mission Hills Haikou on Hainan Island on Sunday.

After learning the game at Bandon Golf Club, he trained at Douglas Golf Club and headed for China to find his fortune as a teaching professional.

After following an opening 68 with a pair of one-over 73s, he was a shot outside the all-important top 15 heading into the final round but didn't give up and was one-under for the final round with two holes to play when he bogeyed the 17th to fall outside the top 15 who were awarded cards.

 Brian O'Donovan in action at the PGA TOUR China Qualifying Tournament at Mission Hills Haikou

Brian O'Donovan in action at the PGA TOUR China Qualifying Tournament at Mission Hills Haikou

But the 30-year-old dug deep and birdied the par-five 18th for a level par 72 to finish in a three-way tie for 12th on two-under-par 286, clinching full playing rights for 2018.

The 6'5" American Joseph Winslow closed with a 69 to top the qualifiers by four shots on 12-under 276 from compatriot Ryann Ree as Korea's Myunghwa Hong came through a four-way playoff for the 15th and final place.

Noel Murray, formerly with American Golf in Ireland, finishing 99th on 312 after a closing 81.

After a one-year hiatus, PGA TOUR Series-China resumes in March with a 14-tournament schedule that starts with the Chengdu Championship at Luxehills International Country Club (March 15-18) and the Chongqing Championship at Poly Golf Club (March 22-25). 

Every tournament will offer RMB 1.5 million, a 25-percent increase over purse levels from 2016 with the top-five money winners awarded places on the Web.com Tour and the chance to make it to the PGA TOUR.

O'Donovan's claim to fame before Sunday was shooting a 13-under-par 59 in the Mission Hills Day/Night Golf Tournament on the Annika Course at Dongguan, Mission Hills on the 27 June 2015, less than two years after his arrival in China.

“It was nearly the perfect round of golf," he said. "Almost every shot I hit came off just like I planned and I felt as though I could hit any shot I wanted and know that it would go where I wanted it to.”

He took up the game at the age of four, learning from his father Donie.

The father and son duo went on to help Bandon win the Irish Senior Cup in 2010.

 Brian O'Donovan (front row, middle) with his PGA Tour China card

Brian O'Donovan (front row, middle) with his PGA Tour China card

PGA TOUR China, Qualifying Tournament 2, Mission Hills Haikou (Par 72), Hainan

Scores

1 WINSLOW Joseph (USA) -12 276  70 69 68 69
2 REE Ryann (USA)  -8 280    
3 TECHAKANOKBOON Kevin (USA) -7 281    
4 MUNSON Brett (USA) -6 282    
5= HSU Haosheng  (Chinese Taipei) -5 283    
5= HARROLD William (Eng) -5 283
5= SPEIRS Jesse (USA) -5 283
8= QUEK Quincy (Sing) -4 284
8= NEGRI Matthew (USA) -4 284
10= LEE Chiehpo (Chinese Taipei) -3 285
10= GO Lloyd Jefferson (Phil) (A) -3 285
12= O'DONOVAN Brian (IRL) -2 286 68 73 73 72
12= KIM Taeho (KOR) (A) -2  286
12= PALADINO Cody (USA) -2 286
15= HONG Myunghwa (KOR)  -1 287 (After 4 man playoff for 1 spot)

99= MURRAY Noel (IRL) +24 312 75 80 76 81