TOP OF THE CLASS

07 Mar 2024

Sweden’s Kristiffer Broberg eagles his way to win the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage.

Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg led 35 jubilant and relieved players through at the Final Stage of the Asian Tour’s Qualifying School today with their Tour cards safely secured.

Kristoffer Broberg of Sweden, Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

Broberg, three off top spot at the start of the day, eagled the par-five 18th at Springfield Royal Country Club, in Hua Hin, Thailand, to fire a six-under-par 66, and beat Japan’s Shogenji Tatsunori by two shots.

The Swede, who also eagled the second and the 12th, finished the five-round boiling cauldron of competition on 18-under.

Justin Warren of Australia, Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

Tatsunori closed with a 67, two ahead of Justin Warren (68) from Australia, Spain’s Carlos Pigem (72) and Justin Quiban (73) from the Philippines.

Carlos Pigem of Spain, Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

Quiban started the day with a one-stroke lead. Broberg is a two-time winner on the DP World Tour, the most recent coming at the 2021 Dutch Open, and his experience and quality were on display from the start, when he birdied the first, eagled the second and made another birdie on the next. He only made two bogeys.

“I just tried to finish it off today, you know what I mean? It’s just hard to tell, I tried to be like more like relaxed, like a practice round, and just hit some good shots and then make some putts.

Twenty-five-year-old Tatsunori topped the money list on Japan’s challenge Tour last year – where he won twice – and is ecstatic about his next challenge.

Shogenji Tatsunori of Japan, Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

He said: “I just wanted to make the cut at each stage. I never thought I would come second. My putting made this possible, it was so good and I always stayed very calm and relaxed. I will divide my time between the Asian and Japan Tours this year.”

Some of the other notable names to earn their cards were American John Catlin, Koreans Jeunghun Wang and Wooyoung Cho, Thailand’s Danthai Boonma and Australian Sam Brazel.

Chinese golfer Ye Wocheng also earned his card through the school for the second year in a row.

Four players ended in a sudden-death play-off for the 35th card: Japan’s Tomoyo Ikemura prevailed on the fourth extra hole over Chilean Matias Dominguez, with Nick Voke from New Zealand and Japan’s Taihei Sato eliminated earlier.

Tomoyo Ikemura of Japan, Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

The Asian Tour’s first event of the new season, the US$1million IRS Prima Malaysian Open, tees-off in just over three weeks at The Mines Resort and Golf Club, from February 15-18.

It’s one of 20 events that the Tour recently unveiled, with a significant number of important tournaments to be added.

Once finalised it is expected that the schedule will surpass last season – which saw 23 events staged with total prize money of US$35 million.

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