Friday, January 15, 2010

One round to go in Thailand with 40 cards to be won

Lee Harper (76) has last-round mountain to climb

Lee Harper's hopes of winning an Asian Tour card slumped in today's third round of the Final Qualifying School at Hua Hin, Thailand. The former Scottish boys' match-play champion from Musselburgh, now attached to Archerfield Links, was going along nicely with opening rounds of 69 and 71 ... but he took 76 strokes in the third round to drop to a share of 82nd place on 216.
Only the leading 40 cards after Saturday's fourth and final round will gain playing rights for the 2010 Asian Tour.
After three rounds, the leading 40 and ties are on three-under-212 - England's Sam Osborne is one of them - which means that Lee Harper has to improve roughly from one over par to three under for the event over the course of the final round. Not an impossible task but a tall order for the Scot.
Scottish exile Ross Bain is still in contention for one of these precious cards after a 71 for 209 but Simon Dunn has slipped down to joint 45th place on 213 after a 74.

Dutchman Sluiter leading European at Asian Tour Q School

Hua Hin , Thailand: Katsumune Imai of Japan charged into the third round lead at the 2010 Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage today but hot on his heels is former Asian Tour winner, Artemio Murakami of the Philippines and Singapore ’s rising star Quincy Quek.
Imai, a two-time Japan Tour winner, fired a five-under-par 67 for a 13-under-par 202 total to lie one-stroke ahead of Tim Sluiter of the Netherlands who fired a closing eagle en route to a 69 for a 203 total at the Springfield Royal Country Club.
Murakami and Quek stayed in touch with the leader after battling to a 65 and 66 respectively to take a share of third position alongside Toni Karjalainen (67) of Finland and Japanese Azuma Yano (70) on 205.
Tran Le Duy Nhat of Vietnam put himself in prime position to make history on the Asian Tour after his round of 68 placed him in tied 28th position. The top 40 and ties will earn playing rights on the Asian Tour and no Vietnamese has earned a Tour card previously.
Bryan Saltus of the United States and Frenchman Jean Van De Velde, famous for finishing second in the 1999 Open at Carnoustie won by Paul Lawrie, will have a battle on their hands as they lie in tied 54th and 70th place respectively.
Imai was delighted to take the lead after sinking a birdie on the final hole. The Japanese, playing in his first Asian Tour Qualifying School , is hoping a victory this week will spur him on to more success in Asia .
“I was lucky with my birdie on the last hole as it gives me a one-stroke cushion tomorrow. Everything clicked for me so I got no complaints. There’s no playing safe tomorrow, I’m going to try and win it,” said Imai.
Quek, an individual and team medalist winner in the Putra Cup during his amateur days, posted a remarkable eight birdies against one double bogey on the 15th hole to charge up the leaderboard.
“It helps when you are in a good position after three rounds as it puts a bit of pressure off. I’m pretty comfortable with the way I’m playing. I don’t feel much pressure this week. Game wise I have matured since my amateur days and that has definitely helped,” said the 22-year-old.
Playing from the back nine, Murakami, winner of the 2007 Iskandar Johor O pen , fired a remarkable seven birdies but it was a chip in save for par on the 16th hole which was the turning point for him.
“Everything was solid. My tee to green was excellent. I have been struggling with my putting the entire season but sometimes you get a good day and today were one of those good days,” said Murakami.
Tran, who played on a mini professional tour in the United States as an amateur for two years, got off to a bright start. He posted an early birdie followed by an eagle three on the second hole where he sank his 20 foot putt from the edge of the green.
“You can always say that ‘I could have done this or that’ but four-under is a good score. I wasn’t really nervous because I had a three-stroke advantage going into my last few holes and that kept me composed,” said the 20-year-old Tran who turned professional in 2008.
Saltus, the 2007 Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open champion, mixed his card with four birdies against two bogeys for a fighting chance to break into the top 40.
“I know where I need to be and if I play decent tomorrow, I will be fine. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself and next to Jean (Van De Velde), I probably got the most experience here so I’m really feeling at home,” said Saltus who failed to retain his Tour card after finishing outside the top 65 on the Asian Tour Order of Merit last season.
Par 215 (2x72, 1x71)
202 Katsumune Imai (Jap) 65 70 67
203 Tim Sluiter (Net) 67 67 69
205 Quincy Quek (Sing) 71 68 66, Artemio Murakami (Phi) 67 73 65, Toni Karjalainen (Fin) 72 66 67, Azuma Yano (Jap) 69 66 70
206 Guido Van Der Valk (Net) 70 70 66 Baek Seuk-Hyun (Kor) 70 68 68
207 Sean Shahi (US) 70 70 67, Kunal Bhasin (Aus) 68 71 68, Mark Foster (Eng) 65 75 67, David Johnson (US) 70 67 70, Han Seung-su (Kor) 65 71 71
208 Ben Fox (US) 70 69 69, Brad Smith (Aus) 71 66 71
209 Marvin Dumandan (Phi) 70 70 69, Ross Bain (Sco) 68 70 71, Peter Cooke (Aus) 69 72 68.
210 Richard Karlberg (Swe) 71 69 70, Chiang Chen-Chih (Taip) (am) 71 67 71, Alexander Rocha (Braz) 69 70 71, Eltoro Sjoholm (Swe) 70 70 70, Pasi Purhonen (Fion) 70 69 71, Matthew Rosenfeld (US) 70 71 69, Peter Karmis (SAf) 67 74 69, Aljmai Tarmizee (Malaysia) 75 67 68, Creighton Honeck (US) 69 73 68 (jt 19th).
Selected scores:
212 Sam Osborne (Eng) 66 72 74 (jt 35th).
213 Scott Arnold (Aus) 70 75 68, Simon Dunn (Sco) 68 71 74 (jt 45th).
214 Richard Wallis (Eng) 73 71 70, Rohan Blizard (Aus) 72 71 71 (jt 54th).
215 Jean Van de Velde (Fra) 72 73 70 (jt 70th).
216 Lee Harper (Sco) 69 71 76 (jt 82nd).
217 Peter Wilson (Eng) 75 70 72 (jt 90th).



Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google