Younger tops first stage of Asian Tour Q-School

Young Aussie professional Josh Younger was one of the stars of qualifying events for the 2018 Asian Tour, topping his regional qualifying and joining 110 other players to advance to the final stage.

There they will join 131 others battling to make the lucrative Asian Tour after those players all received exemptions into the final stage which will be played over five rounds at the Rayong Green Valley Country Club and the St Andrews 2000 in Rayong this week.

Josh Younger Australia’s Josh Younger (Credit: OneAsia Tour)

Four courses around Thailand were used for the qualifying rounds and Younger will be hoping to continue an obvious affiliation with St Andrews 2000 where he fired back-to-back rounds of 70 for a one-shot win over another Australian hope in Dale Brandt-Richards and Korean Woojin Jung.

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.

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.

At the Silky Oak Country Club in Rayong, American Ben Crancer closed with a 64 to win by one shot on 267.

The leading 30 per cent of players at each venue head to this week’s gruelling final stage, which will see 242 players at the all-important Qualifying School.

They 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 ran 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.