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The 1st Main Tournament of PGA TOUR China Series to kick off at Mission Hills Haikou in Mid-April

2014-04-03

The 1st PGA TOUR China Series to kick off at Mission Hills Haikou in Mid-April

Australia’s Alexander HAWLEY won the 2nd Qualifying Tournament at Mission Hills,
Five Chinese mainland golfers missed the cut

The PGA TOUR China Series have completed all four rounds in the second qualifying tournament at Mission Hills Haikou on March 21st. Australian golfer Alexander HAWLEY won the game with a total score of 279 (-9) Raymond - Beaufils ranked 2nd with a total score of 283 (-5), while South Korea's Todd Baek won the third place with a total score of 284 (-4). However, all five players from mainland China failed to make the cut.

Australian golfers bag the 1st and 2nd prizes

With five holes to play at the fourth round in the second qualifying tournament, Australian Alexander HAWLEY held a one-stroke lead over Ray BEAUFILS. However, he was not aware of his position on the scoreboard. “I had no idea,” Hawley said when asked if he knew his position on the scoreboard, “I was just trying to get the ball in the hole.” After birdieing No.5 and No.6 (he started from the No.10 hole in this round), he was already ahead in the game by 3 pars. He coasted from there, punctuating the next round with a birdie on the last hole to take a four-shot victory and earn the medal, making him successfully join David LUTTERUS, to become the 2nd championship winner in PGA TOUR China Series qualifying tournaments

Earlier this season, on the PGA Tour of Australasia, Hawley entered the final round of the Heritage Classic, with three shots off the lead. A final-round 82 ruined his chances as he dropped into a tie in the 15th. Hawley did not stumble similarly this time, as he shot 70 pars in the last round, which determined his victory. “It’s massive for my confidence,” said the Australian golfer. In the four-day tournament, he caught a total of 20 birdies and 11 bogeys, especially in the final round, and he still did an outstanding job even when temperature dropped sharply. He said, “I wanted to show myself that despite being my first time in China I could come up here and play well and feel comfortable playing on these sort of courses. So, yeah, it’s very satisfying.” He also admitted that due to his injury a year ago, he lost the status in the in PGA Tour of Australasia.

BEAUFILS also had the chance to win in this round, but, he was cruising along at 2-under for the day when he arrived at the par-3 16th hole. The ball had rolled away to place from where he couldn't play it. In fact, he couldn’t locate his ball off the tee, and that eventually led to four bogeys. After saving the par at 17th hole, the Australian golfer scored a birdie at the 18th finishing hole, and shot 73 pars in the end, ranking second individually. Beaufils woke up with neck pain on Friday morning, which was diagnosed to be nerve compression. “It was very tough today. I was in a fair bit of pain,” Beaufils explained. “I just hung in there and am very happy with my finish. It was a solid week. My goal was to finish in the top 20, and I finished in the top 20. So I’m very happy.”

The 1st PGA TOUR China Series to kick off at Mission Hills Haikou in Mid-April - Mainland Chinese golfers missed the cut

According to the rules, the top 20 players of the qualifying tournament can qualify for the PGA TOUR China Series with full cards. This includes 9 golfers from Australia and 8 from South Korea. Players ranking 21st to 40th will win half cards for the season.

Among all the five mainland Chinese players who have registered for the tournament, Tan Xueping and Zhou Tian quit the game after the second round, while Yan Baoqiang, Chen Weirong, and Wang Yucong completed the total four rounds. Among them, Yan Baoqiang achieved the best result of 314 ( +26 ) pars, and tied for the 93th place, while Chen Weirong completed 316 ( +28 ) pars, and tied for the 100th place. Wang Yucong completed 322 (+34) pars, and was ranked the 106th. None of them were able to qualify for the new season. However, the Chinese Taipei players Hong Jianyao, Yang Feihao and Zhan Shichang successfully gained the whole cards for the season.

The No.2 Golf Course at Mission Hills Haikou has strong Australian features. The inspiration of designing and building this course comes from the Australian Sandbelt courses, which are known for their imposing tough style. Large area of bunkers, high sand pitches; the grass by the bunker is relatively thick and undulating, much higher than the fairways grass and greens surface. In the tournament, both the first and second place winners were from Australia. Perhaps they felt like they were playing at home?

Mission Hills Golf Club Haikou has just finished hosting the 3rd World Ladies Championship from March 6th to 9th. The qualifying tournament held at Mission Hills Haikou No.2 Course, has provided 20 full cards for the golfers to enter the PGA TOUR China Series, the first main tournament of which will be held from April.14th to 20th at Mission Hills Haikou.