Heff-y lifting: Will finds Q School success in Asia


Victorian Will Heffernan can shed the pain of recent Q School heartbreak after leading a group of five Australians to earn their 2020 Asian Tour cards at Qualifying School in Thailand on Sunday.

Contested over 90 holes, eight Aussies were among the top 75 to advance to Sunday’s fifth and final round with Heffernan, Scott Strange, Cory Crawford, Ben Eccles and Kevin Yuan all finishing in the top 35 to secure an international schedule this year.

There was disappointment for Andrew Martin who finished one shot shy of the number required with Rick Kulacz and Dale Brandt-Richards a further shot back in a tie for 40th.

A member of the victorius Victorian team at the 2018 Interstate Series, Heffernan has seen teammates such as Zach Murray and David Micheluzzi make strong early impressions on the professional game as he has fought to secure playing opportunities both in Australia and abroad.

Attending Asian Tour Q School for the third time, Heffernan had to first come through First Stage of Q School – book-ending nine rounds in the space of two weeks with rounds of 77 and 66 – and believes previous Q School disappointments proved important in finishing runner-up to South African Benjamin Follett-Smith.

“I have been to a fair few of Qualifying Schools over the last couple of years and I have gained some good experiences which helped this week,” Heffernan told Asian Tour Media following his 5-under 66 consisting of six birdies and the lone bogey.

“To get my Asian Tour card for this season just means a lot to me.

“It was pretty windy earlier but I made some nice putts.

“It’s been a really enjoyable week. I’ve been playing quite a bit in Asia now and I think I’ve gotten used to the temperature. I feel more prepared this year.”

The last of Scott Strange’s two Asian Tour wins came 14 years ago and as the 42-year-old eyes off a busier schedule in 2020 has noticed a significant change in the playing depth now found in Asia.

“I have been playing in Japan over the last few years and I thought I would try and get my Asian Tour card and give myself an opportunity to play more this season,” said Strange, who shot an even-par round of 71 to finish tied for ninth.

“The playing standards on the Asian Tour have gotten better over the years.

“That’s where it’s going to go. Everything gets better. There are so many kids out here now. The boy I played with (in the third round) is only in his 20s. I think he wasn’t even born when I turned professional.

“When I first came out here, the average age was about 30.”

Asian Tour

Qualifying School Final Stage

Lake View Resort and Golf Club, Hua Hin, Thailand

2              Will Heffernan 71-66-70-68-66—341

T9           Scott Strange     69-69-66-70-71—345

T17         Ben Eccles           70-72-68-68-69—347

T17         Cory Crawford   71-71-66-70-69—347

T23         Kevin Yuan         68-72-69-72-67—348

T36         Andrew Martin 71-69-74-67-69—350

T40         Taewook Koh     70-73-66-70-72—351

T40         Rick Kulacz          73-68-69-69-72—351

T40         Dale Brandt-Richards      68-72-68-72-71—351

T72         Campbell Rawson            68-69-75-70—282

T84         Blake Collyer      71-72-67-73—283

T84         Jack Lane-Weston   70-72-69-72—283

T84         Daniel Gale         74-70-68-71—283

MC         John Lyras           75-72—147

MC         Matthew Lisk     75-75—150

MC         David Gleeson   75-76—151


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