Three British golfers were among 40 players to enjoy success at this year’s Asian Tour Q School which climaxed on January, 20, 2012.
Steve Lewton of Bedfordshire finished tied 6th, Guy Woodman of Berkshire was tied 20th and James Byrne of Scotland ended tied 28th.
Lewton had the best last round of the three to maintain a position in the top 10 that he had held after round three, but Woodman – who led the field after two days – dropped from tied 5th and needed a last-hole birdie to ensure a strong finish at the four-day event in Thailand. Byrne was solid with a last-day par 72.
Not so lucky were four other Englishmen Chris Rogers, Dale Marmion, Jake Shepherd and Simon Griffiths who all missed out. The top 40 players and ties get full Asian Tour privileges in 2012 and also included Sweden’s Jarmo Sandelin, who managed tied 37th.
Woodman had been the early star of the tournament after opening with a 64 on Wednesday while Lewton had his best round on Friday with a 66 and Byrne was steady throughout the four days.
All three have never won a Tour Card before and, for Woodman in particular, it was a belated dream come true at the age of 34. “I missed out here by one shot last year and this time I knew I was at a crossroads in my career. If I’d failed, I would’ve probably given up the Tours and gone back to teaching.”
Some high profile Europeans failed to gain cards including Miles Tunnicliff and Oskar Henningsson. Overall, third-round leader Dodge Kemmer of America (who played extensively this year on the EuroPro Tour) finished second behind the winner, fellow countryman David Lipsky.
This year’s Asian Tour Q School had a truly international feel to it including 47 players from England and 42 from America. Over two dozen countries were represented. This Q School differs from those in Europe and America because the Final Stage is much larger – over 300 golfers – with cuts after the second and third rounds. The Final Stage tournament took place at the Imperial Lakeview and Springfield Royal Golf Clubs in Thailand.
Ross Biddiscombe is the author of two Q School books, both feature journeymen players including Guy Woodman. For further details, go to golfontheedge.co.uk