JAPAN’s Akinori Tani won the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage presented by Sports Authority of Thailand after Lam Chih Bing of Singapore surrendered in the play-off on Saturday.
Tani, a two-time winner in Japan, shot a one-under-par 70 but the story of the day belonged to Lam, who returned with the day’s lowest score of 64 at the Springfield Royal Country Club.
Knowing that he had done enough to earn a Tour card, Lam decided to forfeit the play-off without hitting a single shot as he rushed home to celebrate the birthday of his daughter, who turns two on Sunday.
Filipino veteran Cassius Casas, Hamza Amin of Pakistan, Lionel Weber of France, Nicholas Cullen of Australia, Poom Saksansin of Thailand and Wolmer Murillo of Venezuela were among the 40 players who also earned a Tour card for 2014.
Tani, who is half-Taiwanese, was delighted with his brave effort this week which earned him a swift return onto the Asian Tour.
“It has been a great week. I didn’t play well on the first day so I decided to make some changes to my swing. I played well the last two rounds and I am very happy now that I can return to play on the Asian Tour once again. Looking forward to the first event in India,” said Tani, who compiled a four-day total of 11-under-par 274 which was matched by Lam.