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Anthony Quayle top Australian at Japan Tour qualifying

Anthony Quayle has taken a big step forward in his career by securing Japan Golf Tour status. (Photo: Henry Peters)
Australians Anthony Quayle, Andrew Evans and Aaron Wilkin have earned themselves the right to play the Japan Golf Tour in 2018 after surviving the 108-hole final stage of qualifying.

Northern Territorian Quayle - who is based on the Gold Coast and in his first year as a professional - produced an outstanding performance to finish alone in 4th position in what was originally a field of more than 200 and as such will be assured of a high number of starts in 2018.

Quayle has given plenty of indication in his rookie year that he has the game to succeed at a much higher level than that which he has been playing to date despite recording several top 10s on the Australasian Tour and top 20 finishes at the recent New South Wales and Australian Opens.

The former winner of the Keperra Bowl and Pacific North West Amateur as an amateur and a member of the Australian squad at the Asia-Pacific Amateur in Korea in 2016, Quayle was close to the lead throughout the gruelling six rounds in Ibaraki and will be playing Japan Tour events in Myanmar and Singapore ahead of that Tour’s domestic season beginning in April.   

Andrew Evans is poised to make a name for himself on an international tour for the first time.

Evans, who is currently ranked outside the top 1200 in the world, did finish runner-up to Peter Senior at the 2015 Australian Masters at Huntingdale and his T16th finish this week grants him access to a high-quality overseas tour for the first time in his career.

Queenslander Wilkin has generally struggled in his professional career and is now ranked close to 1500 in the world but having finished 23rd at Japanese Q-school he now has sufficient status to gain enough starts in Japan to make his mark.

Aaron Wilkin competing at last month's NSW Open in Western Sydney.

Other Australians who reached the closing 36 holes of the final stage were reigning WA Open winner Stephen Leaney, Steve Jeffress, Aaron Townsend, Ryan Lynch and Adam Burdett along with New Zealanders Harry Bateman, Tae Koh and Gareth Paddison but they each finished well back in the field and will struggle to gain starts.

The leading qualifier was South Korea's Y.E. Yang who in 2009 headed Tiger Woods at the US PGA Championship to become the first male Asian golfer to win a major.

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