Rookie Hadi earns full card for PGA Tour Series-China

Abdul Hadi carded a 70 in the final round to beat Max McGreevy in the PGA Tour Series-China global qualifying event.
Abdul Hadi carded a 70 in the final round to beat Max McGreevy in the PGA Tour Series-China global qualifying event.BERITA HARIAN FILE PHOTO

Singapore golfer Abdul Hadi, who turned professional less than five months ago, came through a 27-hole day to earn the reward of a full card and eligibility for all 14 PGA Tour Series-China events this season.

At the series' first global qualifying event, which was weather-delayed, an even-par 70 in the final round yesterday was enough for a two-stroke win over American Max McGreevy at the 6,615-yard Foison Golf Club's Dye Course in Guangzhou.

The 23-year-old totalled 272 (65-69-68-70) to top a 120-player field from 14 countries and territories across Asia, Oceania, Europe and North America.

Those who finished second to 12th earned full status through the first six events, while those who were 13th to 35th have conditional exemption through the six events.

It was a roller-coaster final round for Hadi. While he was steady on the front nine, carding two birdies to make the turn at two under, bogeys on the 11th and 12th as well as a triple-bogey on the 14th threatened to derail him.

As his lead was cut to just one, he kept his nerve to birdie the 15th and 18th to edge out McGreevy.

"I'm just really happy to have secured 14 events in China because, sometimes in your first year as a pro, you are not sure what events you can get into," said Hadi, who was part of the 2015 SEA Games silver medal-winning team.

"First year as a pro, you have to get the experiences and learn as much as you can, like I did today.

"I was quite happy with the front nine (yesterday) but, when I got to the back nine, the wind started picking up and I wasn't hitting my driver well and I lost my ball on the 14th.

"It was getting pretty stressful. But my putter was good. I rolled in a 20-footer for birdie and eight-footers near the end, which saved me."

Last year, fellow local pro Quincy Quek earned full status through qualifying school by finishing eighth and Joshua Shou was 17th to be a conditional member of the series that is part of the PGA Tour's global expansion.

Singapore Professional Golfers' Association president M. Murugiah said: "This is a good achievement for Hadi and it may help inspire the younger local golfers."

He added that Abdul Hadi and other top local pros will participate in the March 12-14 SPGA Golf Classic at Tering Bay Golf & Country Club in Batam.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2019, with the headline 'Rookie Hadi earns full card for PGA Tour Series-China'. Print Edition | Subscribe