Thailand’s Porani Chutichai and Onnarin Sattayabanphot have earned their tour cards for next year’s JLPGA in Japan.
At the JLPGA Final Qualifying tournament in Shizuoka on Saturday _ where top-40 finishers competed for their places on the tour _ Porani fired a final 74 for a 268 total.
She finished joint 11th, 10 strokes behind winner Erin Hara (278) at the par-72 Yamana Katsuragi Golf Club in Shizuoka.
Compatriot Onnarin struggled with a 76 but it was enough for her to tie for 21th place on 290 and also safely secure her future.
“At the end, I made it after failing in the second stage last year,” said Porani who this year won five titles including three victories in China.
“It was a tough course because it was hilly and it rained every day.”
Instead of qualifying for the LPGA tour, the Chiang Rai native tried her luck in Japan where more than 30 tournaments are played each year.
The Japanese tour is attractive because it is not too far from Thailand although the prize money is far less lucrative than at the larger LPGA.
The season will start in late February and Porani said that it would take her some time to adapt to the course conditions, especially the different kind of grass on most courses.
“I believe I stand a better chance here,” she added.
While Porani will make her debut on the tour, it is the second straight year for Bangkok native Onnarin, 27, who failed to keep her card this year after missing a top-50 finish on the money list.