Former Hong Kong Open champion, Sam Brazel, comfortably through
The PGA Tour of Australasia has just completed its Final Stage of Qualifying School for the 2021 / 2022 season, 72 holes having been used to determine those who gain the right to play the Australasian Tour in the new season.
With Covid 19 having impacted on the scheduling of events and the tour school carried over from last December, the Open Course at Moonah Links played host over the last few days to an event which provides an all-important milestone for many wishing to ply their trade in the professional ranks.
The winner was Victorian Will Heffernan who completed the demanding Peter Thomson designed layout on the Mornington Peninsula at 5 under par, one shot ahead of Queensland’s Aaron Wilkin, NSW’s John Lyras and Victorian David Micheluzzi.
2020 Australian Amateur Champion, Jediah Morgan, from Queensland and Lismore’s Sam Brazel, tied for 5th.
Heffernan, who earned his 2020 Asian Tour card by finishing runner-up at that school early last year before Covid disrupted proceedings, will now have access to all events on the PGA Tour of Australasia over the next twelve months and, potentially, turn around a career which, for a range of reasons, has failed to build continuity since turning professional more than two years ago.
Some 35 players gained full status and another 15 or so earned partial status on the PGA Tour of Australasia.
Perhaps highlighting the demands and roller coaster of professional golf is that players such as European Tour players, Sam Brazel and Jason Norris had to go through the process although both have comfortably gained the right to play the Australasian Tour once again.
The winner of Qualifying School will gain Tournament Exemption Category 9 for the duration of the 2021/22 season. This category is the equivalent of winning a Tier 2 Tournament with less than $400,000 on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
Players then ranked up to 30 will be placed in Exemption Category 13 for the duration of the 2021/22 season.
While not guaranteed It is envisaged players in this category will gain a start in all events with prizemoney of lower than $400,000 as well as having a strong chance of gaining a start in a number of the larger prize money tournaments. (the higher up the category the better the chance). This category is included in the mid-year category re-rank of which the player’s performance in the first half of the season will determine their position for the remainder of the year.
Players finishing in positions 31-50 will be eligible to become Full Tournament Members of the PGA of Australia for the 2021/22 season, however, they will not hold an exemption category.
This will deem them eligible to enter Pro-Am events throughout Australia as well as pre-qualifying for ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Tournaments.