The Asian Tour’s 2024 season commences next month but the regional circuit’s pressure-packed prelude starts tomorrow as the Final Stage of its Qualifying School tees-off in Thailand.

A staggering total of 668 players have been involved in the tournament if you include the six First Stage qualifiers played so far which saw 104 players make it through to this week, where they will be joined by 115 other hopefuls – who are exempt for the Final Stage.

The tournament is being played over two courses in Hua Hin: Springfield Royal Country Club’s C&B nines, and Lake View Resort and Golf Club’s A&B layouts. The former is considered to be the slightly more difficult course.

It’s a five-round marathon with the two venues used for the first four days while Springfield Royal will stage the all-important final round.

Come Saturday afternoon 35 players will have secured their Asian Tour cards and there are plenty of high-profile names competing here who have already enjoyed that privilege.

American John Catlin (main picture), a three-time winner on the DP World Tour and four-time champion on the Asian Tour, is, surprisingly, one such player. The 33-year-old has based himself in Hua Hin for many years and will be looking to draw on his familiar surroundings to get his game back on track.

Juvic Pagunsan from the Philippines, India’s Rahil Gangjee, Australian Sam Brazel, Indonesian Rory Hie, and Malaysian Nicholas Fung are also Asian Tour winners in action this week.

Other notables here are Spaniards Alvaro Quiros and Gonzalo Fdez-Castano, Japan’s Ryosuke Kinoshita, Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat, Kosuke Hamamoto and Itthipat Buranatanyarat, Indian Khalin Joshi, Hong Kong’s Matthew Cheung plus American Dodge Kemmer.

Koreans Meenwhee Kim and Jeunghun Wang have also entered along with two of their country’s rising stars who recently turned professional Wooyoung Cho and Yubin Jang. Both were part of the Korean team that won the gold medal in last year’s Asian Games, along with PGA Tour standouts Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim.

Players from 34 countries are competing reflecting the global popularity and level of interested in the Asian Tour.

The top-140 players (and ties) after 36 holes will progress to rounds three and four. The top-70 players (and ties) after 72 holes will play in the final round, which will be held on January 20.

After 90 holes, the top-35 will be ranked accordingly for the 2024 season.

For the 2023 Qualifying School, 563 players entered the pre-qualifiers with 110 making it through to the finals, joining 124 exempt players.

Australian Jack Thompson graduated top of the class and went on to enjoy a fine rookie season finishing in 48th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, with four top-15 finishes in 17 starts.

The first event of the new season, the US$ 1 million IRS Prima Malaysian Open, will be played at The Mines Resort & Golf Club, from February 15-18.

Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage – Round 1 Tee Times

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