By: Neal Maidment | Image credit: Australian Golf Media
Western Australian duo Hayden Hopewell and Connor McKinney are on track to secure playing rights on the Asian Tour after coming through the first stage of Q-School at the Blue Canyon Country Club in Thailand.
Hopewell (pictured above), who turned pro in December after a glittering amateur career, hit four rounds in the 60s to finish T1st alongside Korea’s Jaewoong Eom on 13 under par. Despite a wobble in Round 3 with a three-over-par 75, McKinney – the reigning Australian Amateur champion, who also switched to the pro ranks in December – closed with a superb 66 to claim T14th at -6.
The WA pair were joined in qualifying by fellow Aussies Kade McBride (QLD), Deyen Lawson (VIC, the current WA Open champion), and Jack Thompson (SA), who claimed the 25th and final qualification spot in a play-off with Japan’s Genki Okada.
All five progress to Asian Tour Final Qualifying, which takes place over five rounds from January 18-22. The top 140 (and ties) after 36 holes will progress to rounds three and four. The top 70 players (and ties) after 72 holes will play in the pivotal final round, where only the top 35 will earn their cards for the 2023 season. You’ll be able to follow live scores here.