Friday, December 28, 2018

Zach Murray of Australia
Zach Murray of Australia
*The image must be credited to the Asian Tour and used in conjunction with this release only. Click on the image to download the hi-res version.
Hua Hin, Thailand, December 28: Australia’s Zach Murray edged closer to another dream start in his early professional career by carding a four-under-par 67 to head into the weekend rounds in prime position together with Thailand’s Poom Pattaropong at the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage on Friday.
The 21-year-old Australian turned professional only last month and is already enjoying an early boost to his fledgling career as he leads the field with his three-day total of 14-under-par 199 at the Lakeview Resort and Golf Club.
China’s Xiao Bowen, who was among the leading 140 players and ties to progress after the first two rounds, remained firmly in control of regaining his playing rights on the Asian Tour when he returned with a 66 to take fifth place.
Having made to make the early exit at Qualifying School earlier this year, American Jeremy Wendelken will get another shot of securing his Tour card as he heads into the next round in a share of seventh place with his 203 total.
A further cut for the final round will be made after the fourth round where only the leading 70 players and ties will feature on Sunday.
At the conclusion of 90 holes, the leading 35 players and ties will be ranked accordingly for the 2019 season.
Did you know?
·       Zach Murray won the Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open (an event on the PGA Tour of Australasia) as an amateur golfer.
·       He made his professional debut at the Australian Open in November 2018.
·       Murray was ranked as high as 19th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
·       Xiao Bowen is the third Chinese golfer to win on the Asian Tour after Zhang Lianwei and Liang Wenchong.
·       He won the Asian Golf Championship in 2017 after beating Australian Bryden Macpherson on the second playoff hole.
·       Hailing from Shandong, Xiao, a self-taught golfer, found himself teaching golf in Beijing at the age of 20 in 2010. He turned professional in 2012.
·       After failing to make the grade at the 2018 Qualifying School, Jeremy Wendelken remained in Asia and played on the Asian Development Tour (ADT).
·       He qualified for the Final Stage, but could not progress to the fifth round.
·       Wendelken had two top-10s in 14 starts on the ADT this year. He was eighth at the PGM Sabah Championship and tied-eighth at the PGM UMW Championship.
Players’ Quotes
Zach Murray (Aus) – Third round 67 (-4), Total 199 (-14)
I’m playing solid for the last three days. I came into this event with a pretty steady form, as I was playing well in Australia. I’ve got my best mate on my bag. We often joked around, and that made playing here quite stress-free. I got a bit tired towards the end of the day today and hit a couple of bad shots, but I got away with it. Everything is running smoothly at the moment. I only turned professional a month ago. I had a few good results this year. I got into the round of 16 at the U.S. Amateur Championship and two months ago, I won a professional event as an amateur – the Western Australia Open. I turned professional for the Australian Open. Earning a Tour card for the 2019 season will be fantastic. I’m pleased to be leading the event after three rounds. There are two more rounds to go, so let’s see how it goes. I’m thoroughly enjoying my time here.
Jeremy Wendelken (Usa) – Third round 70 (-1), Total 203 (-10)
I was solid from tee to green. My wedge play is very sharp right now. I qualified for the Final Stage after playing in Stage 1 last week. It’s mentally and physically tiring, but I have to keep going. I played in the ADT this year and I like it here, which was I’ve decided to stay here and try to earn a Tour card. I turned professional and moved down to Scottsdale, Arizona. I didn’t do too well in the United States. One of my college teammates, Jarin Todd, recommended me to come over here and give it a try. I made it to the Final Stage at the 2018 Qualifying School, but couldn’t progress to the final round. I’m in a decent position now, so I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing.
Xiao Bowen (Chn) – Third round 66 (-5), Total 201 (-12)
There are still two more rounds to go and anything can happen. I’m just trying to stay grounded and be patient. It will mean a lot to me if I can regain my Tour card on the Asian Tour. I have many good memories of the Tour and I’ve gained a lot of experience. I really want to go back and play on the Tour again and that’s why I’m very determined to do well this week. My putting has been very good today and hopefully, I will continue to putt well tomorrow.
Leading scores after round 3 of the The Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage 2019 being played at the par 71, 6888 Yards AandB course (am - denotes amateur):
199 - Zach MURRAY (AUS) 68-64-67, Poom PATTAROPONG (THA) 67-64-68.
200 - Tomoharu OTSUKI (JPN) 69-65-66, Christoffer BAUMANN (SWE) 64-68-68.
201 - XIAO Bowen (CHN) 64-71-66.
202 - Austen TRUSLOW (USA) 67-66-69.
203 - Ben GEYER (USA) 68-68-67, Jeremy WENDELKEN (USA) 67-66-70.
204 - Kisang LEE (SKOR) 72-70-62, Gunn CHAROENKUL (THA) 69-68-67, Jeff BERKSHIRE (USA) 70-67-67, Kade MCBRIDE (AUS) 70-69-65, Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) 67-67-70, Clyde MONDILLA (PHI) 71-68-65, Mikumu HORIKAWA (JPN) 72-68-64, Jobim CARLOS (PHI) 68-66-70, Sean KELLY (USA) 65-69-70, Dale BRANDT-RICHARDS (AUS) 72-68-64.
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