Byrne wins card

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Banchory’s James Byrne kept his nerve over the last round of the Final Qualifying School at Cha Am, Thailand to earn playing rights on the Asian Tour this coming season.

A member of the winning GB and Ireland team in last September’s Walker Cup match at Royal Aberdeen, the 23-year-old Byrne shot 68, 69, 75 and 72 for a four-under-par total of 284 and joint 28th place among the 42 qualifiers at 285 or better.

Bryne, who played four years on the American college circuit as a student at Arizona State University, said the pressure started to build up after he bogeyed the 17th to put himself on the borderline. But he responded to it in the best possible way by sinking a birdie putt at the last to make the cut with a shot to spare.

“I’m happy with the way I finished. The pressure was there, no doubt about it. The cut is always on the back of your mind. You try not to think about it but it is hard to avoid the fact that you are right there,” said Byrne.

“I’m delighted to have somewhere to play on. I could have received some invites on the Challenge Tour but I didn’t want to go down that route where you play about seven events a year. I feel like I’m good enough to be able to win on the Asian Tour,” added Bryne, whose mother comes from Singapore.

Only three British players earned membership of the 2012 Asian Tour - Byrne and England’s Stephen Lewton (277) and Gary Wodman (283).