A baker’s dozen of Australasians have added their names to the 2018 Asian Tour playing roster, with 11 Australians and two New Zealanders finishing among the top-35 at the 90 hole Q-School over the weekend.
Former Fiji International winner Steven Jeffress and reigning Northern Territory PGA champion Travis Smyth were the best of the qualifiers, the pair sharing third place at the Rayong Green Valley course in Thailand at 11-under for the five rounds.
Oliver Goss and Maverick Antcliff and New Zealand’s Gareth Paddison and Ben Campbell also finished in the top-10 while Jack Wilson and David Gleeson were among the last to earn playing rights at T34.
Josh Younger, Ash Hall, Matthew Stieger, Andrew Martin and James Marchesani were the other five to earn cards.
More than 240 golfers from around the world contested the Qualifying School with a cut to the top-140 and ties made after two rounds.
A second cut after 72 holes saw the leading 70 and ties continue with 19 Australasians earning their place in the final round.
Michael Choi, Kieran Pratt, Jake McLeod, Dale Williamson, Michael Wright and New Zealand’s Woonchul Na all played the final round but missed out on the top-35.
Callan O’Reilly, Darren Beck, Mitchell Brown, Jarryd Felton, Nathan Mann and Dale Brandt-Richards missed the 72-hole cut while Cory Crawford, Deyen Lawson, Peter Stojanovski, Jacob Boyce and Troy Moses missed the 36-hole cut.
It was an impressive performance from several of the Australasians including Travis Smyth who opened with a disappointing 75 to be T188 after 18 holes but played superb golf the rest of the week to finish just three shots behind the winner.
Steven Jeffress didn’t shoot more than 70 in any of the five rounds while former Western Australian Open champion Oliver Goss stormed home with a final round 67 to vault into the top 10.
Maverick Antcliff, who impressed with several solid performances on the China Tour in 2017, again showed he will be one to watch in 2018 after leading into the final round.
While his 71 to close the tournament was his worst score of the week his confidence will have been boosted by a top-10 finish as he prepares for a promising year ahead.
Veteran Ash Hall was a model of consistency in posting scores of 71-70-70-70-70 and after several years of struggle will be thankful for the opportunity to again play an international Tour full time.
Rising star James Marchesani will have two Tours to choose from in 2018 after a final round 65 saw him grab one of the last cards.
The 27-year-old also has privileges on the PGA TOUR China after winning the Clearwater Bay Classic in November.
Jack Wilson and David Gleeson will both be feeling relieved after late bogeys made for a long wait to see if they had qualified.
Wilson dropped a shot at the 17th while Gleeson made bogey at 18 but with 2-under totals for the 90 holes both scraped in on the number.
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