24 Feb 2020 | Professional golf |

Heff leads Aussie charge into Asia

by Mark Hayes

Will Heffernan eyes off an approach in Thailand.
Will Heffernan eyes off an approach in Thailand.

Five more Australians have punched their cards for the Asian Tour in 2020.

Led by Melbourne's Will Heffernan, who carded a spectacular closing 66 at Q-School in Hua Hin, Thailand, a mix of young and veteran Aussies were among the 35 graduates.

Only Korea (8) and Q-school host Thailand (6) had more advance from the original 458 entries that contended over two stages, with Scott Strange (WA), Ben Eccles (VIC), Cory Crawford (QLD) and Kevin Yuan (NSW) joining Heffernan, whose closing charge left him just one behind medallist Benjamin Follett-Smith, of Zimbabwe.

"I had a good round. It was pretty windy earlier, but I made some nice putts," Heffernan said.

"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 (after) ... I turned professional last year.

"I have been to a fair few qualifying schools over the last couple of years and I have gained some good experiences which helped this week.

"To get my Asian Tour card for this season just means a lot to me." Veteran Strange, 42, has twice won national open titles on the Asian Tour, dating back to Myanmar and the Philippines in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

"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," Strange said.

"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 today is only in his twenties. I think he wasn’t even born when I turned professional," he said with a laugh.

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