Ban­don’s O’Dono­van wins China Tour card

Irish Examiner - County - - Sport - Niall O’Shea

BAN­DON golfer Brian O’Dono­van, who is now based in China, made a huge break­through on Sun­day when he won a tour card for the PGA China Tour.

Brian was com­pet­ing in the sec­ond qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment in the PGA backed China tour at the Mis­sion Hills Haikou course.

The for­mer Ban­don ama­teur opened on Fri­day with a 68 for a share of third place, and a solid sec­ond round saw him re­main in the top five.

How­ever, a one over par 73 on Satur­day saw him drop to 16th, one place out­side the qual­i­fy­ing places.

fter a shaky start on Sun­day morn­ing, he stead­ied and was one over par for his front nine.

Af­ter hov­er­ing around the qual­i­fy­ing mark he birdied the fi­nal hole to move to two un­der par over­all and safely in­side the top 15.

Now armed with a full tour card, Brian will qual­ify for the se­ries of 14 events, all based in China with the top five on the tour qual­i­fy­ing for the Web.com tour.

There’s a run of six events start­ing in May with the sec­ond half kick­ing off in late Au­gust af­ter a six-week break.

The Ban­don na­tive was a mem­ber of the very suc­cess­ful team from Ban­don Golf Club who won the Ir­ish Se­nior Cup na­tional ti­tle in 2010.

It was a fam­ily af­fair for the O’Dono­van’s, Brian’s Dad Donal was also on that team in Castle­bar when they won the most prized team com­pe­ti­tion in Ire­land.

Af­ter win­ning the top team even, Brian de­cided to pur­sue a full-time ca­reer in golf and en­rolled in the PGA pro­gramme.

Two years of study fol­lowed and Brian was based in Dou­glas Golf Club un­der Stephen Hayes while study­ing for his PGA qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Brian moved to China soon af­ter qual­i­fy­ing as a PGA Pro­fes­sional in late 2013.

While he hoped to re­main com­pet­i­tive on the lo­cal pro­fes­sional tours, a knees prob­lem ruled him out of com­pet­i­tive ac­tion for the best part of a year.

He re­turned to com­pet­i­tive ac­tion via the qual­i­fiers for the PGA China Tour events, while also con­tin­u­ing work de­velop as a teacher in the Mis­sion Hills Golf Academy.

Brian O’Dono­van dur­ing the fi­nal round of the PGA Tour China fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing event.

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