THE last weekend in March will be a massive finish to the Australasian Tour season of golf at The National in Cape Schanck.
A spot in the ‘Open Championship’ field for 2023 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, and three playing places on the DP World Tour for 2023-24 season go on the line at The National as the domestic golf season reaches its climax.
Months of toil and travel will come to fruition when the Moonah course hosts the season-ending tournament on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
A season spanning 16 tournaments that began in mid-October, 2022, will close and the Order of Merit will be decided.
It is a pivotal point for many of the 110 players in the field for the $200,000 tournament, because at stake are some big opportunities.
The winner of the Order Of Merit – currently led by Victorian star David Micheluzzi – will earn a place in the field at Royal Liverpool for the fabled Open Championship in July.
But this is but one of the playing opportunities that will be decided on the peninsula. The top three finishers in the Order of Merit will receive playing rights for the DP World Tour in the 2023-24 season, giving them starts on what used to be known as the European Tour. These are the main carrots with many other opportunities that basically see any player in the top 20 or so gain some type of benefit, such as a spot at final stage of the Korn Ferry or DPWT qualifying schools.
Currently Micheluzzi, who has won two tournaments in a breakout summer, leads from Canberra’s Brendan Jones and Victorian Andrew Martin.
Aside from the top three in the Order of Merit getting DP World Tour (European) cards, the next three in order receive an exemption into the final stage of DP World Tour qualifying school, and the next seven players get into the second stage of Q-school. The top five overall receive an entry to the final stage of Korn Ferry Tour Q-school in the United States, and the players ranked sixth to fifteenth are into the second stage of Q-school for that tour, which serves as the gateway to the lucrative PGA Tour in America.
“This might be the end of a long season for the players,” said Dastey.
“But it’s absolutely huge for many of them and we have no doubt that it’s going to bring the best out of them. To put that kind of contest on to a world class golf course like the Moonah at The National, it showcases our sport at a very high level.”