Tall American secures four-stroke victory as seven Americans, two each from South Korea and Chinese Taipei, and players from Singapore, Philippines, England and Ireland secure full cards at the second International Qualifying Tournament at Mission Hills Haikou
HAIKOU, HAINAN, CHINA—Big-hitting American Joseph Winslow shot a closing 3-under 69 to secure a four-stroke victory over compatriot Ryann Ree (70) at the PGA TOUR Series-China International Qualifying Tournament No. 2, the second of two successive 72-hole qualifiers at Mission Hills Haikou.
Winslow finished 12-under over the 7,147-yard Sandbelt Trails Course, while Ree was followed by fellow Americans Kevin Techakanokboon (69), at 7-under, and Brett Munson (70) at 6-under. Jesse Speirs (fifth), Matthew Negri (ninth) and Cody Paladino (14th) rounded out the seven Americans in the top-15.
Chinese Taipei’s Haosheng Hsu and Chiehpo “Max” Lee finished sixth and 10th, respectively. Other qualifiers included England’s William Harrold (seventh), Singapore’s Quincy Quek (eighth), Philippine amateur Lloyd Jefferson Go (11th) and Ireland’s Brian O’Donovan (12th), a Mission Hills Shenzhen teaching pro.
Korean Taeho Kim (13th) was later joined by countryman Myunghwa Hong after the latter won a four-way playoff with a birdie at the first extra hole to secure the 15th full card.
Players from Canada, Australia, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Argentina, Japan and New Zealand were among those who finished in the top 40 to earn conditional status.
Winslow, 25, was the star of the event after sharing the lead after 36 holes and posting a three-stroke lead over Ree after day three.
However, the 23-year-old San Diego State University graduate opened with four birdies to draw level with Winslow, who birdied one. Winslow then fell behind after a bogey at No. 5 but regained the lead when Ree double-bogeyed No. 6.
Winslow took the chance to pounce, the 6-foot-5 slugger powering ahead with birdies at Nos. 8, 9 and 10 and made up for a bogey at No. 11 with another birdie at No. 14 before cruising home with four pars.
“I feel pretty good. That was a successful week. I played really solid for four rounds. I came into this week feeling good about my game, and it was nice to go out there and execute the shots,” said Winslow.
“Ryann put some pressure on me right away there in the first few holes. He made four birdies in a row and I bogeyed the fifth to lose my lead, but I just told myself to keep playing my game, stay mentally tough out there and that’s exactly what happened.”
At last month’s PGA TOUR Latinoamerica qualifier in Bogota, Colombia, a closing 80 dropped Winslow from solo second to 17th, securing only conditional status on that Tour. He believes he has learned from that lesson.
“It was especially good to get some revenge from the Latinoamerica Q-School. The thing I’m most proud of is that the adjustments I wanted to make based on what happened in Bogota worked well,” said Winslow, who played 12 events on last year’s PGA TOUR Latinoamerica—his best finish a tie for ninth at the 64 Aberto do Brasil in October.
“That confirms that when I get into this position, which I anticipate being in more often, I know how to get it done on the final day. I’m really proud of that. I just like the way that I stayed focused on one shot at a time today, didn’t get ahead of myself and just kept grinding,” Winslow added.
Quek, who has played on the Asian Tour, shot weekend rounds of 68 and 67 to regain his card, a week after young Singaporeans Joshua Shou and Jesse Yap secured conditional status at the same venue.
“It’s been a good couple of rounds to get back my card. I’m really happy knowing I have 14 events this year,” said the 30-year-old, who played the Tour in 2014 and 2015.
“Back in 2014, I got conditional status in China and played most events (20 of the 24 tournaments in 2014 and 2015). I’m really happy Joshua and Jesse got conditional status, especially since they just turned pro. It’s great that PGA TOUR China is back, and I’m looking forward to a great season.”
Arie Irawan, 27, was aiming to become the first Malaysian to hold a full card on PGA TOUR Series-China and eventually finished 24th after a 76 left him even-par overall.
“I guess I’m relieved. If I can get plenty of starts, I’ll be happy. I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t get full membership, but if I get enough starts, then I’m ecstatic,” said Irawan, a former Asian Tour player and two-time winner on the Asian Development Tour.
“The course conditions on PGA TOUR China, the way it sets up, suits my game. The goal would now be to get into the top five (on the Order of Merit), so I’ve got to really prepare myself for the tournaments I get into.”
This week’s field comprised 120 players from 21 countries and regions, with 25 different nationalities represented over the two back-to-back qualifiers at Mission Hills Haikou. The Mainland China Qualifying Tournament for China passport holders will be held at Wolong Lake Golf Club in Liuzhou City in Guangxi from February 27-March 2 (Tuesday-Friday).
After a one-year hiatus, PGA TOUR Series-China will resume next month with a 14-tournament schedule that starts with the Chengdu Championship at Luxehills International Country Club (March 15-18) and the Chongqing Championship at Poly Golf Club (March 22-25). Every tournament will offer RMB 1.5 million, a 25-percent increase over purse levels from 2016.
The PGA TOUR established PGA TOUR Series-China in 2014 as its third international developmental tour, following in the footsteps of PGA TOUR Latinoamerica and the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada. Since its inception, PGA TOUR Series-China players have received Official World Golf Ranking points for top finishes at official tournaments.
Full Members: International Qualifying Tournament No. 2, Mission Hills Haikou (Sandbelt Trails)
U.S.A. (7): Joseph Winslow (1st), Ryann Ree (2nd), Kevin Techakanokboon (3rd), Brett Munson (4th), Jesse Speirs (5th), Mathew Negri (9th), Cody Paladino (14th)
Chinese Taipei (2): Haosheng Hsu (6th), Chiehpo Lee (10th)
South Korea (2): Taeho Kim (13th), Myunghwa Hong (15th)
Ireland (1): Brian O’Donovan (12th)
Singapore (1): Quincy Quek (8th)
Philippines (1): Lloyd Jefferson Go (A) (11th)
U.K. (1): William Harrold (7th)
Full Members: International Qualifying Tournament No. 1, Mission Hills Haikou (Sandbelt Trails)
U.S.A. (4): Jeffrey Kang (1st), Alex Kim (6th), Trevor Sluman (7th), Kurt Kitayama (12th)
Australia (4): Lucas Herbert (2nd), Kevin Yuan (3rd), D.J. Loypur (8th), Andrew Schonewille (15th)
Japan (2): Taihei Sato (4th), Koki Ishihara (14th)
Canada (1): Richard Jung (9th)
Italy (1): Aron Zemmer (10th)
New Zealand (1): Luke Toomey (11th)
South Korea (1): Daejin Jeong (13th)
Sweden (1): Oskar Arvidsson (5th)
International Qualifying Tournament Winners
Year Tournament Winner Score Site
2014 No. 1 David Lutterus -11 CTS Tycoon GC (D&Y)
2014 No. 2 Alex Hawley -9 Mission Hills Haikou (Sandbelt Trails)
2015 No. 1 Justin Shin -9 CTS Tycoon GC (D&Y)
2015 No. 2 Kyle Souza -4 CTS Tycoon GC (D&Y)
2016 No. 1 Sungpil Park -5 Kunming Wind Valley Club
2016 No. 2 Bio Kim -7 Kunming Wind Valley Club
2017 No. 1 Jeffrey Kang -13 Mission Hills Haikou (Sandbelt Trails)
2017 No. 2 Joseph Winslow -12 Mission Hills Haikou (Sandbelt Trails)
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Please credit: PGA TOUR Series-China/Zhuang Liu