Tour News

Beaufils heads Australians in China

(Photo: Bruce Young)
CHENJIA TOWN, China"”After qualifying for the China Tour "“ PGA TOUR China Series and then playing in the Series' inaugural event, Quincy Quek elected to play on the Asian Tour, missing the next two tournaments. After that hiatus, Quek returned to the PGA TOUR China Series for the Lanhai Open this week and it didn't take Quek long to feel at home.

He played solid golf all day under ideal weather conditions, shot a 7-under 65 at the Lan Hai International Golf Club's Links Course and took a one-shot lead over Australia's Ray Beaufils after one round. A quartet of players is two strokes back.

During his absence, Quek played three Asian Tour events, missing two cuts and finishing 70th at The Championship in his native Singapore. Quek won three times as an amateur and earned his first professional title when he won the 2012 ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship on the Asian Development Tour.

Beaufils, appearing in his fourth consecutive PGA TOUR China Series tournament, continued his strong play Thursday. Seventh on the Series' order of merit, Beaufils has posted three consecutive top-20 outings to begin his season since he finished second at the Series' second Qualifying Tournament to earn his 2014 playing privileges. Beaufils' best performance came at the Mission Hills Haikou Open, where he tied for third.

"That's the best I can hit it," Beaufils said after his bogey-free round Thursday that included four birdies and an eagle. The eagle came in the middle of a three-hole stretch that started with a birdie on No. 8 and ended with a birdie on No. 10.

The next best of the Australians are Do Eun Ahn and Stephen Dartnall who opened with rounds of 67 while David McKenzie and Ryan Haller had 68's.

Two of the three PGA TOUR China Series' tournament winners are playing this week. Brett Drewitt, champion at the United Investment Real Estate Wuhan, opened with a 1-under 71 and is tied for 23rd. Buick Open winner Sam Chien shot a 4-over 76 and is tied for 98th. Mission Hills Haikou Open champion J.H. Wang is not playing this week, competing, instead, on the Asian Tour's Queen's Cup in Thailand. Chien's 76 was the order of merit leader's worst PGA TOUR China Series round of his short career.

This week's event is the 4th of the 12 event series.