Andrew Evans – file photo PGA of Australia

NSW golfer Andrew Evans turns 36 in a few days’ time, but his birthday may well have come early after finishing atop the Japan Tour Qualifying School this week.

Evans has played both the Japan Golf Tour and the secondary tour in that country this season although there has not been a lot to show for his commitment during these difficult times for international golfers.

He did show recent improvement when finishing 4th at the secondary tour’s final event six weeks ago but that aside it has been a frustrating season in Japan – until now that is.

By gaining access to such a lucrative tour with such a high ranking in 2022, however, his fortunes have taken a significant turn. By finishing 1st this week he avoids the re re-ranking process which occurs at various stages to allow current form to determine a player’s status rather than his showing at Q-School.

Despite winning the Queensland Open on the Sunshine Coast earlier this year, Evans is perhaps best known until now for his runner-up finish to Peter Senior at the 2015 Australian Masters in Melbourne, boxing well above his weight at the time.

Evans was already all but assured assured of gaining status when heading into the final round of the 72-hole event at the Tom Watson Golf Course in the southern Japan city of Miyazaki.

He would, though, secure not only his card but a guarantee of the best possible status for 2022 by recording a final round of 65 to head the qualifiers by one.

It will essentially provide Evans with access to all events on the Japan Golf Tour next year and although he has played the Japan Tour previously, the level of status he will now enjoy means he can plan his schedule with the surety of knowing what events he can play.

He will join Australian players such as Anthony Quayle, Dylan Perry, Brendan Jones and Brad Kennedy and New Zealander Mike Hendry on a tour which will hopefully be less impacted for international players than has been the case of late.

Andrew Evans en route to a runner-up finish at the 2015 Australian Masters.