ONEASIA     News     Tournament News     Mina takes command at California Q-School

Mina takes command at California Q-School

Eric MinaLOS ANGELES, California, Jan 30 - American Eric Mina fired a five-under-par 67 on Wednesday to grab a two-shot lead after the second round of OneAsia's Q-School at Industry Hills Golf Club in Los Angeles, California.

Mina, who shared the overnight lead after opening with a 68, had six birdies and a bogey around the 7,211 yard (6,593-metre) Eisenhower Course to stand at nine under for the tournament, with countryman John Young Kim alone in second after shooting a flawless 66.

Canadian Ryan Yip (67) was a shot further back and sharing third place with Park Sung-joon (68) of Korea and American Brent Witcher (69).

Nearly 200 players signed up for the final stages of 2013 Q-School, with 10 spots up for grabs in California and 14 at Sutera Harbour Golf Club in Kota Kinabalu from February 5 - 8.

The aim for the California leg was to attract the hundreds of Asia-Pacific players who base themselves on the U.S. west coast for college or training during winter, and also the young professionals from north America with roots across the Pacific.

Mina, who has a Filipina mother, is concentrating on the job at hand instead of thinking about the prize of a place in OneAsia's million dollar tournaments should he win on Friday.

"I played very well. I didn't put myself in tough positions and was able to make pars and sprinkle in a few birdies," he said.

"Instead of thinking about the results, I want to think about the process. I want to think about each shot as it happens, and hit good shots. If I can do that, then whatever happens, happens."

Mina started playing aged four and turned professional after leaving college last year -- something that was never in doubt after a successful amateur career.

"My dad got me into it as it was a good way for us to hang out," he said. "I really looked up to him growing up -- and even now."

Second-placed Kim, who attended Tulsa University in Oklahoma, also hails from California by way of exiled Korean ancestry, while joint third-placed Yip boasts Chinese links.

"They're all million dollar events, what else is there to know," said Yip, who played on the Web.com Tour last year, on being asked why he was trying out for OneAsia.

"Actually I played a few Asian Tour events last year and talked to some of the guys out there who said OneAsia was good. I figure If can get full status on OneAsia, it would be a great schedule."

OneAsia was founded in 2009 by the China Golf Association, the Korea Golf Tour, the Korea Golf Association and the PGA of Australia.

It has since doubled in size, and the tour's elite suite of tournaments now includes the national Opens of Australia, China, Korea and Thailand -- as well as numerous other prestigious events.

Some 11 nationalities are represented at the Californian leg of Q-School.

"It is really great having a OneAsia Q-School out here," said Australian Rhein Gibson, now based in the U.S and well placed in joint sixth place.

"It would probably be too far for me to head to Malaysia to qualify, but the opportunity to play here is too good to miss."

The first event of the 2013 season will be the U.S.$ 1 million Thailand Open from March 14-17.  The tournament is fully co-sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour Organisation with earnings counting for both money lists.
 

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