Guangzhou to host qual­i­fiers for PGA Tour’s China se­ries

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - World - By CHINA DAILY

Foi­son Golf Club in Guangzhou will host three PGA Tour SeriesChina qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ments next year.

The cir­cuit, which acts as a gate­way to the North Amer­ica-based Tour, has also an­nounced it will stage a qual­i­fier out­side of China for the first time when it vis­its La­guna Phuket Golf Club in Thai­land.

Foi­son will host the China main­land qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment for Chi­nese pass­port hold­ers from Jan 22-25. En­tries for that event open on Dec 22.

The first global qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment will be con­tested at Foi­son from Feb 19-22, with the sec­ond from Feb 26-March 1.

The qual­i­fy­ing school will then head to Phuket, Thai­land from March 5-8.

En­tries for the three global qual­i­fiers open on Dec 26. How­ever, from Dec 21 en­try ap­pli­ca­tions will be ac­cepted from for­mer mem­bers of the PGA Tour Se­ries-China, Tour, PGA Tour Lati­noamer­ica and Mackenzie Tour–PGA Tour Canada.

“We have watched nu­mer­ous play­ers show up at the qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ments, and a year or two later they are play­ing on the Tour and the PGA Tour,” said PGA Tour Se­ries-China ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Greg Carlson.

“It’s at the qual­i­fiers where many of them are be­gin­ning their pro­fes­sional jour­neys, and we rec­og­nize the tal­ent that has come through our tour dur­ing its first four years.

“As we an­nounce these dates, it means an­other PGA Tour SeriesChina sea­son is just around the cor­ner, fea­tur­ing a mix of new play­ers who will emerge from these qual­i­fiers as well as those play­ers who are re­turn­ing.

“This is also a new chap­ter in the his­tory of the tour as we stage an event away from China for the first time. Play­ing in Thai­land will pro­vide play­ers with a new cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence while play­ing a tour­na­ment on a world-class golf course in one of the great re­sort cities in South­east Asia.”

Each of the 72-hole qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ments will fea­ture fields of 120 play­ers, with the winners earn­ing a full ex­emp­tion for the en­tire 2019 sea­son.

Those fin­ish­ing be­tween sec­ond and 12th will have full sta­tus through the tour’s first six events. Play­ers fin­ish­ing 13th to 35th and ties will have con­di­tional sta­tus through the first six events.

Af­ter the sixth tour­na­ment, there will be a reshuf­fle based on or­der of merit rank­ings, while the sea­son-end­ing event will judge eli­gi­bil­ity based on per­for­mances dur­ing the year.

The global qual­i­fiers carry an en­try fee of $1,500 but the China main­land qual­i­fier will cost 7,500 yuan (around $1,100) thanks to a dis­count of­fered by Foi­son.

The Guang­dong prov­ince club’s orig­i­nal 18 holes pre­vi­ously hosted the fi­nal event of the 2016 PGA Tour Se­ries-China sea­son — the Buick Open, won by China’s Zhang Huilin.

How­ever, the qual­i­fy­ing event will be played on Foi­son’s Dye course, de­signed by the renowned Cynthia Dye.

Ar­chi­tect Paul Jansen re­vamped La­guna Phuket in 2014, a course built among la­goons and ma­ture wood­land ar­eas.

The last big in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment staged there was the Asian De­vel­op­ment Tour’s 2017 Singha Phuket Open.

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