November: India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu has advanced to the fourth and final qualifying stage of the Japan Golf Tour's Qualifying School for the 2017 season.
The 28-year-old Sandhu made it to the last stage after finishing 22nd in one of the events of the third qualifying stage which was played at the par-72 Horai Country Club in Tochigi, Japan from November 8 to 11.
Ajeetesh, currently placed third on the PGTI's Rolex Ranking, braved extremely cold and windy conditions to close the event in 22nd place at five-over-221 after shooting scores of 72, 77 and 72. The top 30 finishers at the event made it through to the final stage.
The Chandigarh lad thus raised his hopes of earning his card for the 2017 Japan Golf Tour season.
Ajeetesh said, “I’m delighted to have cleared the third stage despite the tough weather conditions. It was extremely cold and windy out there and I had to contend with snow as well.
“The temperature was around three to four degrees on most days. It was as much a mental battle as a physical one. The multiple layers of clothing affected one’s swing as well.
“I’m now in a good frame of mind and looking forward to the final stage of the Q School. The year has been a fruitful one so far with all aspects of my game clicking together.”
Ajeetesh, a winner of two titles on the PGTI including one earlier this year, will now compete at the final stage, which will consist of six rounds, scheduled to be played from December 1 – 6 at the Cocopa Resort Club near the city of Nagoya.
More than 150 players are expected to participate in the fourth stage. The top 90 players will make the cut after the first four rounds. Finally, the top-35 finishers at the end of round six will get the full card.
Interestingly, Ajeetesh is now in line to become the second Indian after Jeev Milkha Singh to earn a card on the Japan Golf Tour through the Qualifying School.
Jeev had finished tied fourth in the final stage of the Qualifying School in Japan back in 2000 and as a result earned his card on the tour. He went on to win four tournaments on the Japan Golf Tour in later years.