China based golfer Brian O’Donovan made a huge breakthrough yesterday when he won a tour card for the PGA China Tour. Brian was competing in the second qualifying tournament in the PGA backed China tour at the Mission Hills Haikou course. The former Bandon amateur opened on Friday with a 68 for a share of third place, and a solid second round saw him remain in the top five. However a one over par 73 on Saturday saw him drop to 16th, one place outside the qualifying places. After a shaky start on Sunday morning, he steadied and was one over par for his front nine. After hovering around the qualifying mark he birdied the final hole to move to two under par overall and safely inside the top 15. Now armed with a full tour card, Brian will qualify for the series of fourteen events, all based in China with the top five on the tour qualifying for the Web.com tour. There’s a run of six events starting in May with the second half kinking off in late August after a six-week break. The Bandon native was a member of the very successful team from Bandon Golf Club who won the Irish Senior Cup national title in 2010. It was a family affair for the O’Donovan’s, Brian’s Dad Donal was also on that team in Castlebar when they won the most prized team competition in Ireland.
After winning the top team event, Brian decided to pursue a full time career in golf, and enrolled in the PGA programme. Two years of study followed and Brian was based in Douglas Golf Club under Stephen Hayes while studying for his PGA qualification. Brian moved to China soon after qualifying as a PGA Professional in late 2013. While he hoped to remain competitive on the local professional tours, a knees problem ruled him out of competitive action for the best part of a year. He returned to competitive action via the qualifiers for the PGA China Tour events, while also continuing work develop as a teacher in the Mission Hills Golf Academy.
Brian O’Donovan in Senior Cup Action in 2010
Brian O’Donovan shot a second round 72 to stay one under par and inside the top at PGA China Q School this morning. Having opened with a one under par 71 yesterday, the Bandon native was in control again and is currently tied for 16th place. More importantly he’s only two shots away from the top 12 which would see him claim a full tour card for the China tour. On the course O’Donovan had drifted to +2 through 10 holes but a few birdies on the back nine saw him sign for a 72. O’Donovan has played in several events over the past three years, mainly gaining access to tournaments through the Monday qualifier. If O’Donovan can move into the top 12 he’ll have access to all twelve tour events that are scheduled this season. O’Donovan has two more rounds to make an impression on the field and with plenty of under par scores on the course today he’ll know that there’s an opportunity to go low in his final 36 holes.
PGA China Tour – Qualifying Live Scoring
O’Donovan has been based in China for well over three years now. After gaining his full PGA qualification he took up a teaching role at the Million Hills Golf Complex in Schenzen and now holds the role of Lead Instructor at one of their three Academies. As an amateur O’Donovan was part of the Bandon team that won the Munster double in the Barton Shield and Irish Senior Cup. Bandon went on to win a national title in the Senior Cup and soon after Brian started his PGA training under Stephen Hayes in Douglas Golf Club.
Mission Hills Brian O’ Donovan shoots magical 59
(Article from June 2015, translated version courtesy of Donal O’Donovan)
When “San Ge”, Mr. Liu Yongsan met with Irish Golf Instructor Brian O’Donovan after their round instead of calling him by his name, he addressed him respectfully as “Mr. 59” in Chinese, which refers to Brian’s excellent performance during the Mission Hills Day/Night Golf Tournament held on the Annika Course at Dongguan, Mission Hills on the June 27th 2015.
Mr. Iain Roberts (Master PGA Professional & Master Instructor MHGA), Mr. Tenniel Chu (Owner, Mission Hills), and Brian O’ Donovan.
During this round, Brian created a piece of history by shooting 59 (13 under par) in a round that consisted of 2 Eagles, 9 Birdies and 7 pars. This completely impressed “San Ge”, a mission hills member who was playing in the same group. Even now, when Liu Yongsan recalls Brian’s stunning play he is full of praise. “There is a 59 Club with no more than 10 people joining in Continue reading
Bandon’s Brian O’Donovan is a busy man, building his career in China. Having moved there a few months ago he popped up on the PGA Tour China last weekend. The competition was the Buick Open, and Brian made the entry list thanks to a qualifier earlier in the week. He travelled from his base in Shenzhen to Guangdong to try his hand on the Asian arm of the PGA Tour. Continue reading