OneAsia to hold Q-School in California

Garrett Sapp
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OneAsia Tour veteran Garrett Sapp could have some company next year if some of his fellow Americans succeed in the circuit's California Q-School.

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Friday, December 21, 2012 | 1:56 p.m.

The OneAsia Tour will hold not one but two final-stage Q-School tournaments early next year – with one in the United States and the other in Malaysia.

The U.S. Q-School will take place at the Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms, in Industry Hills, Calif., on Jan. 29-Feb. 1. The Malaysian event will return to Sutera Harbour Golf Club in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, on Feb. 5-8.

The winner of each Q-School is s guaranteed starts in all 2013 OneAsia's tournaments, while those who finish second and third will likely get starts in most events. Positions then will be awarded alternately between the Malaysian and U.S. Q-Schools.

"As we enter our fifth season, there has been phenomenal interest in OneAsia from around the world and we feel that holding one of our Q-School tournaments in the United States will satisfy that demand and also help promote the tour there," said OneAsia Chairman and Commissioner Sang Y. Chun.

An increasing number of Asia-Pacific players are basing themselves on the West Coast of the United States to go to college or take advantage of playing and coaching facilities not available in Korea or northern China during winter.

The OneAsia circuit was founded four years ago by the China Golf Association, the Korea Golf Tour, the Korea Golf Association and the PGA of Australasia as an alternative to the Asian Tour. It now includes the national Opens of Australia, China, Korea and Thailand among other events.

And speaking of Asians and Americans and golf, Jack Newton has two words of advice for international golfers eager to seek their fortune on the PGA Tour: Slow down!

Young golfers would be best served cutting their teeth in Asia and Europe before heading for the riches of the PGA Tour, Newton, one of Australia’s most prominent golfers in the 1970s and early ‘80s and more recently a big advocate for junior golf. He also urged his fellow Australians not to expect too much too soon from their junior stars.

"A lot of people want to put tags on people ... this player's going to be the best that ever lived and so on. And they stub their toe somewhere and disappear," said Newton in The Australian, Australia's national newspaper, citing the struggles of junior star Won Joon Lee, who now has returned to Australia after flaming out on the Tour. "A lot of these kids are rushing to America too early and then get their arse kicked.

Lee "lost his card in America. He's got a place in Las Vegas and he's flying back to shut all that down to come back to Sydney and start again," Newton said. "That's the way it can go."

Newton spoke out after comments from Jake Higginbottom, the 19-year-old who recently won the New Zealand Open as an amateur, then immediately turned pro and later said he hopes to come to the United States for Q-School next year.

"I just wish a lot of these kids wouldn't rush to America because you'll get killed with the numbers," Newton told the newspaper. "It's not that they're better, but there's someone shooting the lights out every week and it gets to you mentally in the end."