Joseph Winslow and William Harrold overtake first-round leader Jacob Hung of Chinese Taipei, while players from Ireland, Argentina, Philippines, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia feature in the top 20 at the halfway stage of the second International Qualifying Tournament at Mission Hills Haikou
HAIKOU, HAINAN, CHINA—England’s William Harrold shot a 7-under-par 65 to share the 36-hole lead with towering American Joseph Winslow (69) at the PGA TOUR Series-China International Qualifying Tournament No. 2 at Mission Hills Haikou’s Sandbelt Trails Course.
Chinese Taipei’s Chunkang “Jacob” Hung (74), the first-round leader, was third at 4-under, one ahead of Ireland’s Brian O’Donovan (73), a Mission Hills Shenzhen teaching pro, and the American trio of Jesse Speirs (71), Cody Paladino (70) and Kevin Techakanokboon (70).
South Korea-based Argentine Martin Kim (69) is among a group at 2-under. Others in contention include Hong Kong’s Motin Yeung (72) and Japan’s Junya Kameshiro (68), in a tie for 13th at 1-under, while Malaysia’s Arie Irawan (69), moved to even-par and a share of 18th.
The top-15 finishers will earn full cards and the next 25 and ties will be conditionally exempt for a Series that rewards the top-five money winners with places on the Web.com Tour, the path to the PGA TOUR.
The 6-foot-5 Winslow carded his sixth birdie of the day at the par-5 18th to set the clubhouse lead. The 25-year-old bogeyed the par-5 first and doubled the par-4 17th, but in between birdied Nos. 3, 6, 7, 8 and 12 before closing his round with his 13th birdie in 36 holes.
The 25-year-old native of Kansas is on track to earn a full card on the Tour but will be mindful of last month’s PGA TOUR Latinoamerica qualifier in Bogota, Colombia, when he started the final day in second place before a closing 80 left him 17th and with only conditional status for 2018 on that circuit.
“I feel pretty good. I’ve had a couple of pretty solid rounds out there. Today was more gritty, while yesterday was pretty solid in general. it’s been fun, but I feel like my best golf is still ahead out here,” Winslow said.
“I just want to keep playing solid on the weekend, keep executing the strategy. I want to play the par-5s a little bit better and clean up a little bit of the slop. My wedge play today wasn’t quite as solid, so I’d like to clean that up a bit, stay focused and keep playing my game.”
Harrold, who shot an opening 64 in an Asian Tour event in Xiamen, China, at the end of last year, teed off on No. 10 and carded eight birdies, including three in a row, twice, from Nos. 11-13 and Nos. 7-9. The 29-year-old was delighted with the improvement from his opening 74.
“I’ve had three birdies in a row before, but I can’t remember doing it twice in a round,” said Harrold, who won a European Challenge Tour event in 2014 and has two victories on the Euro Pro Tour.
“I set myself up much better today and hit nice iron shots into good positions on the green. I also holed some good putts, and that’s not always easy on these greens, which have a lot of slopes. I putted nicely in the first round, but my swing wasn’t as good as today.”
The 5-foot-3 O’Donovan played with Winslow for the first two days and enjoyed the group, despite the big difference in height and length off the tee. The 30-year-old native of Ireland played his own game and kept himself in contention for Tour golf.
“Joseph’s hitting his second ball from a different place to me, places I don’t see on the golf course,” said the Irishman. “I remember I hit a really good drive on one hole, and he knocked a 3-wood about 30 yards past me. That was depressing, but it’s been good fun.”
Kim showed his pedigree, having played on the Korean Tour for three years and on the Japan Golf Tour last year, although he failed to retain his card.
The strongly built Argentine – whose grandparents moved from South Korea to Buenos Aires – is just three shots off the lead as seeks a PGA TOUR Series-China card and a path to the U.S.
“It was a good round, I think. Even when I made mistakes, I didn’t lose focus, so that’s why I could finish under-par today,” Kim said. “I’m here because I want to be on the PGA TOUR, so first I have to get my card.”
This week’s field comprises 120 players from 21 countries and regions including the U.S. (29 players), South Korea (27), Chinese Taipei (13), Australia (13), Japan (11) and U.K. (six).
After a one-year hiatus, PGA TOUR Series-China resumes in March 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 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).
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.
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)
Please credit: PGA TOUR Series-China/Zhuang Liu