PGA Tour of Australasia pathway starts at Q School - PGA of Australia

PGA Tour of Australasia pathway starts at Q School

More than 100 hopefuls from 10 countries begin their quest for status on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia when First Stage of Qualifying School tees off at Moonah Links Resort on Wednesday.

All players will complete 54 holes over the next three days for the right to advance to Final Stage next week – where 25 players exempt from First Stage await – where the ultimate goal is to earn a full card for the upcoming 2022/2023 season.

The exact number of spots available at Final Stage will be determined once play has commenced on Wednesday with approximately 25 per cent of the field expected to progress.

While the field is dominated by up-and-coming Aussie professionals, top amateurs and some familiar names seeking to play their way back onto the Tour, there is also a sprinkling of international talent spread throughout the field.

Players from the United States, Czech Republic, England, India, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Laos will line up alongside Aussies and Kiwis for the right to advance and potentially earn playing privileges for the exciting summer of golf ahead.

Due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19 the past two years, many of the playing categories have carried over from the previous season, making this year’s Q School one of the most hotly contested in many years.

“It’s clear from the quality of the players who have entered First Stage and the sheer number that this year’s Qualifying School is going to be one of the toughest yet,” said PGA of Australia Tournaments Director Australasia, Nick Dastey.

“With the return of the Australian and New Zealand Opens to the schedule and the co-sanctioning with the DP World Tour of both the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship, we’re looking at a summer of golf to rival any we have seen for the past decade.

“In speaking with our leading players overseas, we know many are planning on returning to Australia at the end of the year so anyone who can play their way into our tournaments will tee it up in world-class events.

“The hope is that this is just the beginning of their journey towards success on the world stage.”

One player who knows the platform provided by Q School all too well is Jed Morgan (pictured at Moonah Links last year).

The 2019 Australian Amateur champion contested Final Stage at Moonah Links last April as an amateur, finishing fifth to earn status on Tour.

Twelve months later he has won the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship in record fashion and taken out the Order of Merit to earn exemptions into the US Open, The Open Championship and a card on the DP World Tour.

“Q School might feel like a long way from the PGA TOUR but Jed has shown in the past year just how quickly careers can be launched,” said Dastey.

“Last April he was an amateur without status on any professional tour and he has since played in his first major with his second at The Open Championship at the home of golf only a couple of weeks away.

“He has also played on the PGA TOUR and has a card on the DP World Tour for next year.

“We very much see the PGA Tour of Australasia as the pathway for our players to progress onto the world stage and Jed is the perfect example of how that is possible, starting at Q School.”

Both First and Final Stage of Qualifying School will be played over the Moonah Links Open Course designed by Peter Thomson, Ross Perrett and Mike Wolveridge.

A starter at the 2005 Open Championship at St Andrews, Martin Doyle is among the familiar names at First Stage along with 2014 Asia-Pacific Amateur champion Antonio Murdaca, Paul Spargo and Paul Donahoo.

Those who have already submitted entries for Final Stage include two-time DP World Tour winner Scott Strange, 2018 Vic Open champion Simon Hawkes and three-time Asian Tour winner David Gleeson.

The leading 15 players and those tied for 15th position at Final Stage will be eligible to become Full Members (Tournament) of the PGA of Australia for the following year and will be placed in a Tournament Exemption Category.

Click here for tee times and scores.

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