Guangzhou to host qualifiers for PGA Tour’s China series
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 Web.com 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, Web.com 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 Web.com 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.