Ambitious Chia secures JGTO card

Danny Chia ©Power Sport Images|Getty

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian stalwart Danny Chia realised a long-held ambition to ply his trade in the Land of the Rising Sun after clinching a full card on the 2018 Japan Golf Tour.

Chia, who turned 45 last week, secured his playing rights on the lucrative circuit with an impressive joint 17th placing in the final qualifying tournament played at the Central Golf Club in Ibaraki on Tuesday.

The two-time Asian Tour winner showed real tenacity as he overcame a gruelling 108-hole test, securing a 14-under-par aggregate on the back of rounds of 69, 72, 69, 71, 66 and 71.

Korea’s Y.E. Yang – the first Asian to win a Major at the 2009 PGA Championship, clinched medalist honour on 23-under-par, a one shot clear of compatriot Back-Jun An and local Ryosuke Kinoshita.

Founded in 1973, the Japan Golf Tour offers the third highest annual prize fund out of the regular men’s professional tours after the PGA Tour and the European Tour.

In 2017, the Tour consisted of 26 official money events with an average prize purse of US$1 million per tournament.