ZIMBABWEAN professional golfer Scott Vincent continued his relentless form in the first stage of the Asian Tour Qualifying School after shooting a six-under-par 66 in yesterday’s third round to stretch his lead to four strokes at the Windsor Park Golf Club in Bangkok, Thailand.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The 23-year-old rising star, who is bidding to earn playing rights on the region’s premier golf tour after joining the paid ranks in June last year, picked up where he left off after another 66 in the previous round.
Vincent managed two birdies and an eagle in his first seven holes before adding three more on the back nine to finish the third round on 19-under-par 197 for the week.
The former St John’s College schoolboy is now in prime position to qualify for the all-important final stage of the Asian Qualifying School next week where the top-40 and ties will earn Asian Tour cards.
Thailand’s Anno Tangkamolpraser is Vincent’s nearest competitor at 15-under par 201, while the United States duo of Dino Giacomazzi and Aman Raj share third position at 13-under-par 207.
Royal Harare Golf Club-based professional Mohammad Mandhu is tied for position 66 on five-over par 221 after carding a 73 yesterday.
Meanwhile, at the other first stage qualifying site at Imperial Lakeview Golf Club, fellow Zimbabwean golfer Greg Bentley remained in contention after shooting an under-par 71 in the third round.
Bentley, who last month secured his playing rights on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa, is tied for position 13 on three-under par 210 for the week.
A total of 491 hopefuls are taking part in the first stage which started last Wednesday across four different courses in the Thai capital, Bangkok.
After today’s final round, the top 19 and ties at the four sites will join the 155 players who are already exempted for next week’s final stage of the Asian Tour Qualifying School next week.
The final stage will be held at the Imperial Lakeview and Springfield Royal from January 13 to 16 where the top-40 and ties after four rounds will earn their Tour cards for the 2016 season.
The Asian Tour recently released the first half of its 2016 schedule, which consists of nine exciting tournaments to be held in Singapore, Malaysia, India, Australia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Thailand, along with the Asian Development Tour’s provisional schedule of 22 events.
Over the years, the Asian Tour Qualifying School has proven to be the springboard for success for many of the region’s big names such as Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, a three-time Order of Merit champion, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Asia’s number one in 2013, and reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Anirban Lahiri of India.