SHENZHEN, China — Justin Shin now has a permanent Tour to play in 2015. With a 3-over 75 in the second round his only bobble during the week, Shin played flawless golf in the first, third and final rounds to capture medalist honors at the first PGA TOUR China Series’ Global Qualifying Tournament.
Shin shot 68s in his other three rounds at CTS Tycoon Golf Club’s D&Y Course to finish at 9-under for the tournament to easily outdistance runner-up Peter Cooke by four shots. Shin joins Australians David Lutterus and Alex Hawley as PGA TOUR China Q-School medalists. Lutterus and Hawley won the two Qualifying Tournaments in 2014.
Next week, the Series will hold its second Global Qualifying Tournament for international players (also at CTS Tycoon), and in March China passport holders will play in the Series’ third and final Qualifying Tournament.
Besides Shin and Cooke, 13 others earned fully-exempt status for 2015. They included Maxwell McCardle, Niall Platt and Peter Martin (tied for third), Matt Jager (sixth), Anthony Brown (seventh), Jordan Sherratt and Jack Munro (tied for eighth), Kevin Marques, Tsung Chieh Wang and Ben Campbell (tied for 10th), Josh Geary and Hanmil Jung (tied for 13th) and Rohan Blizard, who tied with Brett Rankin and Blake McGrory for 15th place. The trio had a playoff to determine the 15th and final spot, with Blizard prevailing.
Shin, who has competed for the last two years on both the Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR Canada, made four birdies on his front nine Friday on his way to a 4-under 32. He added another birdie at No. 15 to move to 5-under then recorded his lone bogey of the day, an it-hardly-mattered stumble on the 18th hole.
The native of British Columbia played collegiate golf at New Mexico State University. After tying for 53rd at the Web.com Tour’s Qualifying Tournament, he earned partial status for the 2014 season. A year ago, he made seven starts, with a tie for 21st at the Stonebrae Classic in the Bay Area of California as his best finish. On PGA TOUR Canada, Shin has made seven starts over the last two seasons. His lone top-10 was a tie for seventh at the 2014 Wildfire Invitational in August.
Any thoughts Cooke had of catching Shin ended late on his front nine at the D&Y Course when he had three bogeys in a six-hole stretch. Still, he easily qualified and comes to PGA TOUR China from the PGA Tour of Australasia, where he was the runner-up in 2014 at the Western Australia PGA Championship.