By: Neal Maidment
WA’s Hayden Hopewell narrowly missed out on earning his Asian Tour card after five gruelling rounds of Qualifying School in Thailand.
With 233 players chasing only 35 cards, Q-School is always a test of any golfer’s mettle but Hopewell was well placed after 72 holes having comfortably survived the second and fourth-round cuts.
With one round remaining, Hopewell sat in T29th on -6 for the tournament. However, despite a strong finish to his round, Hopewell could only return a level-par 71 that saw him miss out on a nine-man play-off for the final two exemptions by two strokes.
Hopewell was joined in final qualifying by fellow Western Australian Connor McKinney, who competed strongly but missed the 72-hole cut. The two enjoyed glittering amateur careers and regularly played together for both WA and Australia before turning pro in December.
While there was disappointment for the WA duo, five Australians did earn their Asian Tour cards at Q-School, with South Australia’s Jack Thompson finishing in outright 1st place on -22. Thompson’s result was all the more impressive given that he’d needed a play-off to secure the 25th and final qualifying spot during the first stage of Q-School earlier this month.
The other Aussies gaining their cards were John Lyras, Jack Murdoch, Doug Klein and Tom Power Horan – the latter coming through the nine-man sudden death play-off.