"Think about this for a moment; 553 golfers went to Asian Tour School this year and just forty seven (8.5%) earned a card."
Of the more than 420 entries for first stage, the top twenty two percent from three qualifying courses in Thailand, just ninety seven golfers made it through to the final stage and a chance to play for pay on the Asian Tour.
One hundred and thirty one golfers were exempt from the first stage of qualifying and went straight to the final stage where they were joined by the ninety seven who were good enough to get through the grueling first stage qualification process. Of the 231 players in the field for the final stage just forty seven (20.3%) earned a card and the privilege of playing on the Asian Tour.
Think about this for a moment; 553 golfers went to Asian Tour School this year and just forty seven (8.5%) earned a card. No walk in the park right?
Well, let’s begin by discussing the 276 golfers who had to go through first stage this year and let’s look at the minimum playing standard required before you could move on to the final stage.
Golfers were split into four groups over two weeks and between three layouts.
For the first week Section A golfers competed at Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club, Khon Kaen, and the Imperial Lakeview Golf Club, in Hua Hin.
Week 1 - Section A Group
Just twenty five golfers competed at Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club, and nine out of the twenty five qualified on a score of six over par or better (294) over seventy two holes which meant that you needed to score 73.5 on average at this golf course to move through to the final stage. Eighty golfers competed at the Imperial Lakeview Golf Club, and the leading twenty two qualified and moved through to the next stage with a score of even par (288) or better over seventy two holes.
Week 2 - Section B Group
In the second week there were eighty three Section B contestants competing again at the Imperial Lakeview Golf Club in Hua Hin and the leading thirty one golfers qualified with a score of three over par (291) or better over seventy two holes which meant that the minimum playing standard required for this course was .75 under par per round, or a 71.25 average to make it through to last stage.
In the other Section B group eighty eight players teed it up at the Springfield Royal Country Club in Hua Hin and the leading thirty five qualified on five over par (293) or better over seventy two holes, and the minimum qualifying standard at this golf course was 1.25 over par per round or 73.25 or better each day over seventy two holes to move through to the next stage.
Over two weeks ninety seven golfers or thirty five percent of the 423 golfers qualified through the first stage of Asian Tour School qualifying.
In the final stage two hundred and thirty one golfers teed it up at two venues, Springfield Royal Country Club and Imperial Lakeview Golf Club in Hua Hin Thailand.
The cut after two rounds was one over par which quickly sliced the field of two hundred and thirty one golfers back to one hundred and two for the final two rounds.
Just 102 golfers left out of 553.
The Swedish professional golfer Daniel Chopra came out on top as medallist at Asian Tour School this year with a seventy two hole total of fifteen under par, and four shots clear of Finnish golfer Kalle Samooja on eleven under par.
Chopra is a very experienced campaigner and has played on a number of professional golf tours over the past twenty three years. He has twice won on the PGA Tour and has previously played on the European Tour and the Asian Tour.
To secure the last card you needed a four round total of one under par, and eleven golfers had this score and all tied for thirty seventh.
In the final analysis you can see that if you look at the qualifying scores per venue, the highest score you could shoot over seventy two holes was 1.5 over par on average per round, and the lowest average per round works out at .25 under par.
This is important to consider if you are preparing for any tour school in the future. You can see from our simple analysis that over eight rounds (144 holes) you need (at a minimum) to be capable of scoring around par to have the slightest chance of securing a tour card.
We look at the numbers produced at tour schools around the world every year and one thing is certain; you must be able to produce par or better over many rounds to have any chance at all of earning income playing professional tournament golf.
If you have not reached this level of scoring capability yet, keep working hard to lower your competitive average in tournaments because it's not nearly enough to just qualify to play on a professional golf tour, in the final analysis it is how much money is left over after expenses at the end of a season.
The lower your score average, the more money for the next season.
Lawrie Montague and David Milne - Pro Tour Golf College
The Professional Golf Tour Training College