Meet the PGA TOUR China Q-School grads
March 14, 2014
By Laury Livsey, PGATOUR.COM
- Benjamin Lein finished second in PGA TOUR China's first Q-School.
A look at the 20 graduates from PGA TOUR China's first Q-School:
1. David Lutterus, Australia
The PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour veteran has made 48 PGA TOUR and 41 Web.com Tour starts in his career and has also played on the Asian Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia. His best finish on the Web.com Tour was a tie for second at the 2007 Jacob’s Creek Open at his home course in Adelaide, Australia, while he counts a tie for 24th at the John Deere Classic as his top PGA TOUR performance.
2. Benjamin Lein, United States
Lein grew up in Southern California and attended college at Long Beach State University, where he was a four-year member of the golf team. He had numerous top-15 finishes with the 49ers and once shot a 64 at a 2008 American Junior Golf Association event. He is of Chinese descent, with his parents natives of Taiwan.
T3. Mathew Perry, New Zealand
He has played primarily in New Zealand and Australia since he turned professional in 2011. His best showing as a professional was a tie for fourth in 2013 at the PNG Golf Open in Papua New Guinea. This season he has made cuts at two PGA Tour of Australasia tournaments.
T3. Kuan Po Lin, Taiwan
Lin played primarily in Asia in his first year as a professional, on both the Asian Development Tour and the Asian Tour. The native of Taiwan made two cuts in 2013, at the PGM Sime Darby Harvard Masters (T29) and the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship (30th).
5. Panuphol Pittayarat, Thailand
He turned professional at age 14 and has been steadily improving and maturing, with his father, Chinnawat, often serving as his caddie. The pro nicknamed “Coconut” has played on the Asean Tour, the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour. He showed his great promise by turning in a runner-up performance at the 2011 Worldwide Selangor Masters in Malaysia. He opened with a 71 then followed that with scores of 65-67 in his middle two rounds before firing a final-round 71 for the solo-second finish. Pittayarat has enjoyed at least one top-five Asian Tour finish each season between 2011 and 2013.
T6. Geon Ha Kim, South Korea
The second-year pro played throughout the Pacific Rim in 2013, making starts in his native South Korea, on the PGA Tour of Australasia and on the OneAsia Tour.
T6. Jae Ho Kim, South Korea
The third-year professional most recently finished 53rd on the Korea Tour order of merit. His top finish over the last two years was a runner-up performance at the 2012 Korean Professional Golf Association Championship, tying with Seong Yong Kim and Jun Won Park for second behind winner Sang Hee Lee.
8. Gunn Charoenkul, Thailand
In his rookie year after turning pro in 2012, he finished second on the Asean Tour order of merit and also had a pair of top-15 finishes on the Asian Tour -- at the Iskandar Johor Open (tied for 12th) and the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (tied for 14th). A year later, he earned his first Japan Golf Tour top-10 when he tied for 10th at the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open at Ibaraki Country Club’s West Course.
T8. Aaron Townsend, Australia
A pro since 2004, Townsend has played on the Asian Tour, the European Tour, the Japan Golf Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia. His best chance at victory came at the 2013 New South Wales Open, where he tied for second, four shots behind Aron Price.
T10. Scott Laycock, Australia
His four international victories have come on three different tours, with wins on the Asian Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia and the Japan Golf Tour. His first victory was in 1997, at the Hugo Boss Foursomes, with his most-recent title coming at the Surf Coast Knockout on the Australasian Tour. He was a PGA TOUR member in 2003, making 25 starts and playing on the weekend 10 times and finishing 156th on the money list. His last PGA TOUR start came in 2007, at The Open Championship. He also played in 17 Web.com Tour events between 2002 and 2010, with his best performance a tie for eighth at the Jacob’s Creek Open in Australia.
T10. Eric Mina, United States
He turned pro in 2012 after playing collegiate golf at the University of California. In 2010, he captured the Pac-10 Conference individual title and in the process became the first Golden Bear golfer to win the title since Charlie Wi in 1995. He has played mainly on the OneAsia Tour since leaving college. He finished 62nd on the order of merit in 2013, and his best tournament finish was a tie for 37th at the Nanshan China Masters.
T12. Ji Man Kang, South Korea
It took the South Korean pro seven years to record his first title after leaving the amateur ranks. That win came in 2006, at the Shinhan Donghae Open Golf Championship in South Korea as he defeated at-the-time defending U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell by a stroke
T12. Sungman Lee, South Korea
He played the Web.com Tour in 2001 and 2003, and has been an Asian Tour regular since. He represented South Korea at the 2007 Omega Mission Hills World Cup in Shenzhen, China, and counts one Asian Tour victory on his resume, at the 2007 Bangkok Airways Open in Thailand. On the Web.com Tour, he made 35 starts in his two seasons, with his best finish a tie for 15th at the 2001 Ozarks Open.
T14. Anthony Kang, United States
The South Korean native who is a U.S. citizen and makes his offseason home in Phoenix, Ariz., is an Asian Tour veteran, with three titles to his credit -- at the 1999 Casino Filipino Philippine Open, the 2001 Myanmar Open and the 2009 Maybank Malaysian Open. He’s also made two World Golf Championships appearances and played in the 2001 U.S. Open.
T14. Thomas Petersson, Sweden
After turning pro in 2007, he played his first five seasons on PGA TOUR Canada before moving to the PGA Tour of Australasia in 2012, where he has primarily played. In 2012, he recorded his best finish, a tie for sixth at the New South Wales PGA Championship.
T14. Ryan Haller, Australia
The native of Queensland, Australia, is one of the taller players in professional golf, checking in at 6-foot-6. He’s played on the Asian Tour, OneAsia Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia since turning pro in 2005. His best outing came in 2012 when he finished fourth at the Queensland PGA Championship. He has also made 14 Web.com Tour starts between 2004 and 2010, with his best effort a tie for 13th at the Moonah Classic.
T17. Mahal Pearce, New Zealand
Pearce has been a pro since 2002 and has played most of his golf on the Asian Tour and on the PGA Tour of Australasia. The highlight of his career came when he won his national open, the Holden New Zealand Open, in 2003. Pearce followed a 69-70 with an identical 69-70 to defeat Brett Rumford by two strokes. He also won the 2004 Scenic Circle Hotels Golf Classic on the Von Nida Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia’s developmental tour, and made 16 Web.com Tour appearances between 2003 and 2010, tying for third at the 2003 Jacob’s Creek Open.
T17. Chan Song, United States
Born in Chiang Mai, Thailand, but raised in the United States, his full name is Chan Song Wongluekiet. Song attended Georgia Tech, where he was a two-time honorable mention All-American. The Atlantic Coast Conference named him its 2002 Rookie of the Year, and he joined Matt Kuchar and Bryce Molder as other Yellow Jackets with that honor. He received considerable notoriety when he appeared on the Golf Channel’s “Big Break Greenbrier” in 2012.
T17. Gavin Flint, Australia
Flint has played an international schedule since turning pro in 2004, making appearances on the Web.com Tour, Asian Tour, European Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia and the Asian Development Tour. Although he only tied for 34th at the Web.com Tour’s Jacob’s Creek Open, he shot a first-round 64 to take the lead, thanks to a birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie start at the event in Adelaide, Australia.
T20. Chinnarat Phadungsil, Thailand (won four-man playoff for final card)
Even prior to turning pro, Phadungsil was making his presence felt on the Asian Tour when he won the Double A International Open. He’s won twice more on the Asian Tour, both as a pro. He captured the 2006 Crowne Plaza Open in China and the 2009 Queen’s Cup. In 2007, he finished 14th on the Asian Tour order of merit, his best career finish.