It Might Be the Most Intensive Qualifying Tournament
(Kunming, 19th May) The last round, raindrops fade away. The sun, showed up and bring the temperature up and lit the atmosphere of the Venue 3 International Qualifying Tournament. After 3 holes in playoffs, the owner of 15 full exemption cards are all set. They are: Jeffrey Burton, Ryan Ree, Sato Taihei, Fraser Wilkin, Okada Genki, Kevin Yuan, Jeffrey Kang, Mitchell Brown, Kao Teng, Alex Belt, Jung Woojin, Yu Sungi, Maverick Antcliff, Li Shihong and Peter Martin.
For conditional cardholders, they are: Jung Jichul, Lee Jaewon, Lee Chiehpo, Corey Hale, Huang Chi, Jeong Daejin, Kim Beomsoo, Matthew Web, Jonathan Woo, Inoue Koji, Yeung Motin, Chun Seunghee and Kevin Lee.
“I did pretty good this week, sticking to the same plan every day and keeping patient. So, nothing frustrating happens and I didn’t get annoyed,”said Jeffrey Burton, who won the full card at T1. He notched 7 birdies today, including the one he made at Hole 16. “At Hole 16, the ball landed on the left side behind the green. I aimed at the right side of the flag, hoping to place it close enough to the pin. Surprisingly, it dropped. I guess it might be a 40 to 50 chipping. I feel very lucky.”However, he bogeyed at one hole and finished 6- under 66.
Jeffrey Burton was born in 1985, USA. Yet, he has a close connection to China. “My girlfriend works here and I went here years ago. And now, my best friend is coaching golf in Chongqing and they are the main reason of my playing in China.”Last year, Jeffrey participated in Chongqing Jiangnan New City, Qinglong Open, shot a +11, (73-72-73-81) after 4 rounds, ranked 71th in total.
Jeffrey turned pro in 2007, and since then, he has been through a fluctuated ten-year career. Luckily, he gradually recovered from the injuries back then. “ I got injured couple of times,”said Jeffrey, “now I’m fully recovered. My plan this year would be playing every tournament like this week. Keep moving forward, have a control over my emotions and be patient.”
The USA golfer Ryan Ree contributed fantastic performances the last two rounds. He finished 8- under 64 and 7- under 65 separately. Coming up from back , skyrocketing his position to T1 at -13 and getting a full card . “ I haven’t played golf for weeks, so I spent a couple of days familiarizing the course. And I shot a nice round yesterday.”Ryan, who birdied at 9 holes today and notched 17 birdies and 1 eagle in the last two rounds said, “ If you did well in your putting, you may have a chance of shooting a lower score. I think I did a good job today, even from the start. Everything is good besides those two bogeys at Hole 5 and Hole 6.”
He added, “ I feel a lot more confident after this week. I’m looking forward to the new season. For my target, I don’t have a specific one, just play every stroke at my best.”
The 29-year-old player, Fraser Wilkin has a lot of friend who has attended China Tour in the last three years. He followed their footsteps this year, finished at -12,(74-69-66-67), pocketing a full card for the new season at T4. “Daniel Pearce, Mathew Perry and Josh Geary, they are all enjoying tournaments here,”Fraser said, “the gap in score is very small this week, so the competition is pretty fierce. I believe it’s gonna be a lot of more in the official tournament. However, I enjoyed myself playing here and I love the course.”
“My performance was not bad, but I’m not 100% satisfied with that. I did pretty plain at all Par 5 holes. So did some of my putting these rounds,”Fraser said, “but I’m happy to get the full card and I hope I can win a tournament this season.”
Like Ryan Ree, Jeffrey Kang is also a Korean-American golfer. He lives in Korea for the moment. Comparing with the 92th in qualifying tournament in 2015, his T6 in winning a full card this year can be described as ‘skyrocketing’. “I didn’t have many professional experiences years ago, so I didn’t play well. I put much effort in my practice since last year, attended some tours in Canada. I got improved a lot, mentally and technically and I got a lot more confidence,” said Jeffrey Kang.
-11, (73-69-69-66), that was the scorecard he handed in after four rounds. “Overall, I’m satisfied with my performance this week regardless of some regrets. I did pretty good in my irons and wedges and had a control over my tempo. Speaking of my goal for the new season, it would definitely be topping the Order of Merit.”Kang has also got the membership of One Asia, yet, he explained that he would mainly focus on China Tour. “I hope I can play as good as I did this week,”Kang expected.
Till now, all three qualifying tournaments has concluded for the new season, and 45 full exemption cards has been secured. The first official tournament will be held at Henan St. Andrews Golf Club. More fresh blood, more competitive veterans, no less excellence and passion. Come and join us!