23 Jan 2023 | Professional golf |
Thompson triumphant at Asian Tour Q School
by PGA of Australia
South Australian Jack Thompson has graduated to a world tour for the first time in his career after coming out on top at the Final Stage of Asian Tour Qualifying School in Thailand.
Tied with countryman John Lyras at the start of the fifth and final round, Thompson closed with a round of five-under 66 and a 22-under total for the 90-hole marathon.
Lyras also earned promotion to the global stage by finishing two shots back in a tie for second with China’s Bai Zhengkai, posting three-under 68 in the final round.
A member of the Golf Australia Rookie Squad and already a winner on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, Thompson secured the final spot on offer at Section C of First Stage to advance to Final Stage.
He was tracking for one of the 35 2023 Tour cards on offer when he opened with rounds of 68-70 to begin his week at Lake View Resort and Golf Club in Hua Hin and then surged up the leaderboard with rounds of 65-64-66.
Given a wrist injury incurred at the Victorian PGA Championship in November, Thompson was understandably thrilled to come out on top after 13 rounds of pressure-packed golf.
“This is great, I guess it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Thompson, the 2021 Gippsland Super 6 champion.
“It has been a long week. I have been here for a fair few days now. It’s a relief and it’s just nice to win.
“There is always concern coming into an event if you can do it or not. I hadn’t really had the best prep coming in. I had hurt my wrist playing a shot in the Vic PGA last year so I could only hit a bucket of balls in three weeks.
“It slowly got better and better. Swinging the first qualifier I had no idea, then the next round I worked it out and it carried on from there. I am just super stoked.”
A total of 35 players out of 77 starters today secured right of passage onto the Asian Tour this year with the final two cards decided by a nine-man playoff.
It took just one hole to finalise with two-time Gippsland Super 6 champion Tom Power Horan and England’s Ben Jones both making birdie at the first playoff hole.
A total of five Australians secured Asian Tour cards and Thompson said the strong Aussie presence contributed to his level of comfort.
“I have tried a few Q Schools before and missed out so it’s really nice to have somewhere to play overseas now,” said Thompson.
“I had a great group of Aussie guys here this week and that really helped.”
The other Aussies to earn Asian Tour cards were Doug Klein (69) and Jack Murdoch (67) along with Kiwi Nick Voke (64).
Lyras has recorded three top-six finishes on the PGA Tour of Australasia in the past 12 months and was hit with a sense of relief upon playing his way onto an international tour.
“It’s been a goal of mine to get a card overseas for a few years now, and to finally get that done there’s a bit of relief there for sure. It’s very exciting,” said Lyras.
“I probably looked better than I felt, you know. I was trying to win the golf tournament. I did everything I could, and the putts just didn’t go in and it was one of those days.
“I feel like those days are character building. We learn so much from them, where you pressed a few decisions here and there. A few little processes that could have maybe changed here or there.
“But ultimately for someone like myself, who hasn’t really been in contention that much at any golf tournament, days like these are the ones that will hopefully spur me on to keep gaining more experience and get more comfortable in that environment.”
The hard luck stories of the Aussies were Aaron Wilkin (69) and Dimitrios Papadatos (70) who both missed the playoff for the final two cards by just one stroke.
Asian Tour Final Stage Qualifying School results 1 Jack Thompson 68-70-65-64-66—333 T2 John Lyras 65-69-67-66-68—335 T13 Nick Voke (NZ) 66-73-67-73-64—343 T13 Doug Klein 72-65-68-69-69—343 T26 Jack Murdoch 71-70-69-69-67—346 T34 Tom Power Horan 70-73-70-67-67—347 T43 Aaron Wilkin 69-65-75-70-69—348 T43 Dimitrios Papadatos 74-68-67-69-70—348 T43 Denzel Ieremia (NZ) 69-66-70-75-68—348 T53 Hayden Hopewell 68-71-70-69-71—349 T58 Dylan Perry 71-69-71-70-69—350 T70 Louis Dobbelaar 69-69-70-71-75—354 T74 Kevin Chun (NZ) 71-73-70-67-74—355 T88 Deyen Lawson 68-72-73-70—283 T88 Kade McBride 72-71-69-71—283 T95 Connor McKinney 68-74-70-72—284 T95 Peter Wilson 69-68-72-75—284 T95 Charlie Dann 71-73-74-66—284 MC Brett Rumford 71-74—145 MC Aaron Pike 72-73—145 MC Doeun An 71-75—146 MC James Hydes (NZ, a) 76-71—147 MC Austin Bautista 74-74—148 MC David Gleeson 84-83—167 DQ Sam Brazel 75
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