Brazilian Lee heads class of 43 graduates to Asian Tour

Lucas Lee of Brazil is back on the Asian Tour in 2011 after taking medalist honors at Qualifying School.

Lucas Lee of Brazil is back on the Asian Tour in 2011 after taking medalist honors at Qualifying School.

HUA HIN, Thailand – He lost his tour card but earned it back Saturday.

Lucas Lee of Brazil experienced some late stumbles in the final round of Asian Tour Qualifying School Final but still came out on top for medalist honors.

Lee entered the final round at Springfield Royal Country Club with a five-stroke lead but bogeyed three of the last five holes to shoot 74 for a four-day total of 17-under 271. However, it was still enough to defeat Australia’s Tim Stewart (68) and Scotland’s Ross Bain (70) by one stroke.

Last season, Lee finished 97th on the money list and lost Asian Tour playing rights.

“It feels good every time you win a tournament. Winning the Qualifying School opens up a lot of doors for me and it gives me the opportunity to advance in my career. . . I’m happy to be back again,” said Lee, 24, a former third-team All-American at UCLA.

Hirohito Koizumi of Japan (70) finished fourth at 275 while India’s Himmat Rai, Kieran Pratt of Australia and Thailand’s Thanyakon Khrongpha were among the seven tied for fifth place at 276.

Forty-three players earned 2011 Asian Tour cards; the threshold was set at 6-under 282. Bangladeshi Hossain Shakhawat’s dream of earning a tour card was dashed after he shot 71 for a 285 total to finish T-62.

Thanyakon, who won on the Asian Development Tour last year, finished as the top Thai player after making two birdies in his last four holes.

“I can’t wait to play my first tournament here and do my best in making a name for myself like Thongchai Jaidee,” said Thanyakon, a two-time gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games.

Rai bounced back from a lackluster performance in the third round with a bogey-free card on Saturday.

“I’m ecstatic,” Rai said. “I knew I made it tough yesterday, even though I didn’t say it, but I was quite disappointed with the way I performed. But my performance was sublime today. I was hitting it close and took all the opportunities I could. It was according to plan, and I’m looking forward to play in the Asian Tour again.”

Timothy Tang (279 total) placed T-21 and will represent Hong Kong in this year’s Asian Tour season. The 24-year-old, who grew up in the United States and graduated from College of Charleston, got here because the Hong Kong PGA gave him a Final Stage exemption.

“I tried qualifying for my Asian Tour card last year but didn’t get past the First Stage,” Tang said. “Hopefully in the future I can represent Hong Kong in the World Cup or even in the Olympics.”

Information from the Asian Tour was used in this report.

••••••••••••••

2011 Asian Tour Q-School Graduates

1 271 -17 Lucas LEE (BRA) 62 65 70 74

2= 272 -16 Tim STEWART (AUS) 70 67 67 68

2= 272 -16 Ross BAIN (SCO) 68 69 65 70

4 275 -13 Hirohito KOIZUMI (JPN) 65 68 72 70

5= 276 -12 Masamichi UEHIRA (JPN) 70 70 69 67

5= 276 -12 Himmat RAI (IND) 70 68 73 65

5= 276 -12 KANG Kyung-Nam (KOR) 69 71 68 68

5= 276 -12 Kieran PRATT (AUS) 68 67 76 65

5= 276 -12 Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 69 68 70 69

5= 276 -12 Andrew RAITT (ENG) 71 68 67 70

5= 276 -12 Pierre-Henri SOERO (FRA) 68 65 71 72

12= 277 -11 Matthew ROSENFELD (USA) 69 73 68 67

12= 277 -11 Peter GUSTAFSSON (SWE) 67 74 70 66

12= 277 -11 Berry HENSON (USA) 67 72 72 66

12= 277 -11 Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 65 72 68 72

16= 278 -10 Kalle SAMOOJA (FIN) 73 68 68 69

16= 278 -10 PARK Jin-Woo (KOR) 71 67 70 70

16= 278 -10 Joonas GRANBERG (FIN) 71 69 68 70

16= 278 -10 Do KIM (AUS) 71 66 69 72

16= 278 -10 Hirotaro NAITO (JPN) 67 72 73 66

21= 279 -9 Sujjan SINGH (IND) 71 70 69 69

21= 279 -9 Miguel TABUENA (A) (PHI) 75 71 65 68

21= 279 -9 Timothy TANG (HKG) 71 70 68 70

21= 279 -9 Jonathan MOORE (USA) 66 72 70 71

25= 280 -8 Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 68 69 72 71

25= 280 -8 Thitiphan CHUAYPRAKONG (THA) 68 71 70 71

25= 280 -8 Miles TUNNICLIFF (ENG) 72 72 67 69

25= 280 -8 Simon GRIFFITHS (ENG) 67 74 68 71

25= 280 -8 Tjaart VAN DER WALT (RSA) 69 72 68 71

25= 280 -8 PARK Il-Hwan (KOR) 72 64 75 69

25= 280 -8 Dion SIRIANNI (CAN) 69 67 71 73

25= 280 -8 CHOI Jae-Ho (KOR) 70 70 67 73

33= 281 -7 Poosit SUPUPRAMAI (THA) 73 67 70 71

33= 281 -7 PARK Hyun-bin (KOR) 70 69 70 72

33= 281 -7 Adilson Da SILVA (BRA) 69 70 72 70

33= 281 -7 Niall TURNER (IRL) 73 70 69 69

37= 282 -6 Jaco AHLERS (RSA) 75 70 69 68

37= 282 -6 Taichiro KIYOTA (JPN) 74 68 68 72

37= 282 -6 Will YANAGISAWA (USA) 71 68 70 73

37= 282 -6 Yoshinobu TSUKADA (JPN) 69 73 69 71

37= 282 -6 Akinori TANI (JPN) 68 69 74 71

37= 282 -6 Adam GROOM (AUS) 67 68 72 75

37= 282 -6 Andy CHOI (KOR) 70 67 75

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