LARGEST IFQ – ASIA FIELD IN MALAYSIA IN SEARCH OF FOUR PLACES AT ST ANDREWS

Celebrating 150 years

For Immediate Publication

LARGEST IFQ – ASIA FIELD IN MALAYSIA IN SEARCH OF FOUR PLACES AT ST ANDREWS

8 March 2010, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: On Wednesday 10 March, 72 players from 18 nations will tee-off at Saujana Golf and Country Club, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at International Final Qualifying – Asia. The 36-hole, two-day qualifying event will offer four places in the 150th Anniversary Open Championship at St Andrews, this July.

Saujana hosted the first IFQ – Asia in 2004, and did so again in 2005 with the qualifiers earning places at St Andrews. Appropriately, therefore, in 2010 the event returns to the 6992-yard, par-72 Palm Course at Saujana after an absence of five years, with places on the Old Course at stake again. Saujana has hosted seven Malaysian Opens, as well as the 2002 World Amateur Team Championships.

Competing for a place in at St Andrews is South Korean Noh Seung-yul, who won the Malaysian Open last Sunday, edging out compatriot KJ Choi by one shot. The 18-year-old, currently lying second in the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit, is joined at IFQ by Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who finished in third place at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, two strokes behind.

The highest-ranked player in the field is Hiroyuki Fujita, the current world number 80. The 40-year-old, who last played in The Open Championship at St Andrews in 2005, leads a strong Japanese contingent containing six of the nation’s top 20 players.

The two amateurs in the field are South Koreans Han Chang-won and Eric Chun. The pair earned their places at IFQ by virtue of their performance at the inaugural Asian Amateur Championship, held on Mission Hills’ World Cup Course in China last November. As the first Asian Amateur Champion, taking the title by five strokes, Han also secured an invitation to the Masters Tournament in April, this year.

Returning to IFQ – Asia in 2010, after successfully qualifying for Turnberry at Sentosa in 2009, are India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar and Terry Pilkadaris of Australia. Bhullar, 21, made his Major Championship debut on the Ayrshire coast after finishing two strokes clear of the field at IFQ. Pilkadaris will be attempting to reach his third Open Championship, building on a strong record that has seen him progress through qualifying in 2007 at IFQ – Africa, as well in 2009 in Asia.

All four of 2008’s successful IFQ – Asia competitors – Danny Chia of Malaysia, Australia’s Adam Blyth, Singaporean Lam Chih Bing and Angelo Que of the Philippines – are also in the starting field.

Play is due to commence at 07:30 local time on both Wednesday and Thursday from two tees. Live scores and stories will be published on Opengolf.com throughout the days of competition.

The full IFQ – Asia entry list and draw can also be found online at Opengolf.com.

THE DRAW

Games 1-12 start at the first tee

Games 13-24 start at the 10th tee

The draw for Round Two will be made after the completion of Round One.

Game

Wednesday

 

1

07:30

Rahil Gangjee, India

 

 

Joel Sjoholm, Sweden

 

 

Andrew Dodt, Australia

2

07:40

Hiroyuki Fujita, Japan

 

 

Tony Carolan, Australia

 

 

Chinnarat Phadungsil, Thailand

3

07:50

Toni Karjalainen, Finland

 

 

Chinnaswamy Muniyappa, India

 

 

David Gleeson, Australia

4

08:00

Tomohiro Kondo, Japan

 

 

Rikard Karlberg, Sweden

 

 

Guido Van Der Valk, Netherlands

5

08:10

Prom Meesawat, Thailand

 

 

A Shun Wu, China

 

 

Yoshinobu Tsukada, Japan

6

08:20

Sattaya Supupramai, Thailand

 

 

Azuma Yano, Japan

 

 

Shaaban Hussein, Malaysia

7

08:35

Thaworn Wiratchant, Thailand

 

 

Airil Zahari, Malaysia

 

 

Himmat Rai, India

8

08:45

Keiichiro Fukabori, Japan

 

 

Pariya Junhasavasdikul, Thailand

 

 

Corey Harris, USA

9

08:55

Kwanchai Tannin, Thailand

 

 

Sasidaran Muthiah, Malaysia

 

 

Young Nam, South Korea

10

09:05

Sushi Ishigaki, Japan

 

 

Adam Blyth, Australia

 

 

Nicholas Redfern, England

11

09:15

Michio Matsumura, Japan

 

 

Anirban Lahiri, India

 

 

Rory Hie, Indonesia

12

09:25

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thailand

 

 

Gaganjeet Bhullar, India

 

 

Marcus Both, Australia

13

07:30

Darren Beck, Australia

 

 

Tadahiro Takayama, Japan

 

 

Theodore Oh, USA

14

07:40

Mardan Mamat, Singapore

 

 

Jason Knutzon, USA

 

 

Gavin Flint, Australia

15

07:50

Hideto Tanihara, Japan

 

 

Sung Man Lee, South Korea

 

 

Iain Steel, Malaysia

16

08:00

Bae Sang-moon, South Korea

 

 

Angelo Que, Philippines

 

 

Anthony Kang, USA

17

08:10

Eric Chun (A), South Korea

 

 

Naoya Takemoto, Japan

 

 

Supramanium Sivachandran, Malaysia

18

08:20

Miles Tunnicliff, England

 

 

Panuwat Muenlek, Thailand

 

 

Terry Pilkadaris, Australia

19

08:35

Takao Nogami, Japan

 

 

Young Jin Kim, South Korea

 

 

Chih Bing Lam, Singapore

20

08:45

Keith Horne, South Africa

 

 

Varut Chomchalam, Thailand

 

 

Lien Lu-sen, Taiwan

21

08:55

Masaya Tomida, Japan

 

 

Chang Won Han (A), South Korea

 

 

Mars Pucay, Philippines

22

09:05

Daisuke Maruyama, Japan

 

 

Kim Dae-hyun, South Korea

 

 

Mark Purser, New Zealand

23

09:15

Danny Chia, Malaysia

 

 

Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Japan

 

 

Hyung Sung Kim, South Korea

24

09:25

Seung-Yul Noh, South Korea

 

 

Kodai Ichihara, Japan

 

 

Unho Park, Australia

ENDS

Note to Editors

IFQ
International Final Qualifying (IFQ) events for The Open Championship were introduced in 2004 and are held on five continents to give more players from around the world the chance to gain direct entry into golf's oldest championship.

IFQ for the 2010 Open Championship at St Andrews:

IFQ - Australasia: Kingston Heath, Melbourne, Australia, 14 & 15 January
IFQ - Africa: Royal Johannesburg & Kensington, South Africa, 20 & 21 January
IFQ - Asia: Saujana Golf and Country Club, Malaysia, 10 & 11 March
IFQ - America: Gleneagles, Plano, Texas, USA, 24 May
IFQ - Europe: Sunningdale, Berkshire, England, 7 June

The R&A
Based in St Andrews, The R&A is golf's governing body and organiser of The Open Championship. The R&A is committed to working for golf and operates with the consent of 138 organisations from the amateur and professional game and on behalf of over thirty million golfers in 124 countries.

Further information:

Rhodri Price
Assistant Director – Championships

Malcolm Booth
Assistant Director - Head of Communications
The R&A
Tel: +44 1334 460000