Four months after turning professional, the doors are already opening for Shellharbour’s Travis Smyth.
At 11-under – the equal leading Australian with Steven Jeffress – Smyth earned a full playing card on the lucrative Asian Tour, having finished tied for third at the five-round qualifying school in Thailand on Sunday. Following a first-round 75, Smyth signed off on four consecutive sub-70 rounds to be three shots behind eventual winner, Korea’s Seung Taek Lee.
“Yep, I am stoked about this result,” Smyth said.
“After missing out in Europe on my first taste of tour school I guess I was a bit apprehensive, but, wow, (I) got the job done.”
Smyth went out in the first round of European Tour qualifying, but the result in Asia means he will now be able to chase prizemoney in tournaments worth more than $US1 million in Singapore, India, the Philippines and Japan.
It’s been a massive 12 months for Smyth, who competed at the British and US Amateur championships, making the match-play quarter-finals before narrowly going down American Doc Redman – and the Asia-Pacific Amateur, where he chased a ticket to the US Masters, before turning professional. He claimed his first PGA title in the Northern Territory, taking the trophy from close mate and previous winner Jordan Zunic, who almost claimed the Australian PGA crown in December.
Zunic was within reach of a two-year exemption on the European Tour when he made a playoff with fellow Aussie Cameron Smith, only to be beaten on the second extra hole.
Zunic was seventh on the overall Australian PGA order of merit, which was almost enough for him to earn a one-year European exemption. Smyth was also impressive at the major tournaments this summer, finishing tied for 10th at the Australian Open, mixing it on the leaderboard with international superstars Jason Day and Jordan Spieth and was also tied for 20th at the Australian PGA.
I am stoked about this resultTravis Smyth