Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


New Zealand Open: Final qualifiers found at Omaha Beach

Christchurch professional Tony Christie has come out of the golfing wilderness to qualify for the New Zealand Open Championship.

The 44-year-old, who these days is the golf pro at the exclusive Laucala Resort in Fiji where he mixes with the world’s most-renowned celebrities, carded a four-under par 67 today to share the honours at Omaha Beach Golf Club with South Korean pro Dongwoo Kang.

He was one of five players to qualify from the 39-strong field for the $900,000 event which will be staged this week in Queenstown from February 27 to March 2.

Fijian professional Vikrant Chandra and Auckland pro Marcus Wheelhouse both carded rounds of three-under par 68 to secure their spots and the fifth and final place went to Bay of Plenty professional Kieran Muir who won in sudden death from three players.

The last Final Qualifying event is to be staged at the Cromwell Golf Club tomorrow with the final five places in the 132-strong field up for grabs.

But the talking point today was the unexpected performance of one of New Zealand’s former touring professionals – Christie qualified for the National Open for the first time in seven years.

“It has been a little while,” he joked. “I played great and to be heading to the New Zealand Open is just brilliant.”

Christie, who is a three-time former champion of the Omaha Beach Pro-Am, showed his experience on the championship layout.

“I came home with very little expectation to be honest. I haven’t played any competitive golf for the past five or six years but today it all fell into place.”

The former three-time Eisenhower rep is taking time out from island life to “reacquaint himself with the game in New Zealand”.

He said a change in mindset heading into today’s one round shootout helped him immensely.

“I woke up this morning and I said to myself: ‘I expect to play well and I expect to be going to Queenstown’. I kept really positive and it worked.”

Christie got off to a slow start, he was one-over par through eight holes, before he made four birdies in five holes to turn things around.

“When I knew I was close I started to get nervous and the ball striking went,” he said. “But it was nice to feel the butterflies beating away in my stomach and to have to make some putts under pressure.”

While Christie was feeling the nerves, so too were four other players – Muir, amateur Charlie Hillier, Peter Lee, and Leighton James - who tied for fifth place and had to playoff for qualifying.

Muir advanced when he made a five foot putt on the first playoff hole, the 1st at Omaha Beach, while all three of the other players missed the green and failed to get up and down.

Bay of Plenty amateur rep Hillier secured the sixth spot on the rankings when he made a birdie on the second playoff hole, the par 3 17th.

The 94th New Zealand Open begins on Thursday with The Hills and Millbrook co-hosting the tournament for the first time.

New Zealand Open – Final Qualifying Results – Omaha Beach Golf Club – Par 71 (NZ unless noted):
67 Tony Christie, Dongwoo Kang (SKR)
68 Vikrant Chandra (FIJ), Marcus Wheelhouse
69 Kieran Muir*, Charlie Hillier (a), Peter Lee, Leighton James
(*Muir advanced in a four-way playoff)
70 Hogan Cho, Steven Han, Henry Epstein (AUS)
71 Joshua Leitch, Jong Yup Kim
72 James Hamilton, Kyle Wong
73 Xavier Ruiz Fonhof, Ben Williams, Sam An (a), Matthew Field, Martin Pettigrew, Luke Bangerter
74 Sean Riordan, Tae Koh (a)
75 Joshua Carmichael, Craig Hamilton
76 Dean Sipson, Lee Neumann
77 Pengxiang Ang, William Brown, Harry Bateman, Tom Long
78 Chris Treen, Joonsang Chung
79 Johnny Tynan
80 Nicolai Walynetz,
81 Mitsuhiro Maeda, Rodney Donaldson
87 Blake Cowley

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Review: Henry Rollins Burning Down The House

With his lantern jaw, close-cropped hair, and muscle-bound physique, Henry Rollins could not be further from the US Marine image his appearance might suggest. More>>

A Series Of Tubes: 150 Years Of The Cook Strait Cable

“It was a momentous achievement for its time. The successful connection came on the third attempt at laying the cable, and followed a near disaster when the first cable snapped - almost destroying the ship Weymouth in the process,” says Ms Adams. More>>

ALSO:

February 2017: Guns N' Roses - New Zealand Dates Announced

Founder Axl Rose and former members, Slash and Duff McKagan have regrouped for one of the century’s most anticipated tours... Rolling Stone said: "This was the real thing, the thing we'd all been waiting for: the triumphant return of one of the most important bands to cross rock music history. And it happened in our lifetime.” More>>

Werewolf: Brando, Peckinpah And Billy The Kid

Gordon Campbell: Initially, One-Eyed Jacks was supposed to have been directed by Stanley Kubrick from a script by Sam Peckinpah – yet it quickly became Brando’s baby... More>>

Book Awards: ANZAC Heroes Wins Margaret Mahy Book Of The Year

“Simply stunning, with gold-standard production values,” say the judges of the winner of this year’s Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award in the prestigious New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. ANZAC Heroes is also the winner of the Elsie Locke Award for the Best Book in the Non-Fiction category. More>>

Baby Animals: Hamilton Zoo Rhino Calf Named

Hamilton Zoo’s latest rhino calf has been named Samburu and he's being celebrated with a unique zoo experience... Samburu arrived after his mother Kito’s 16-month pregnancy and the calf brings the number of white rhinos at Hamilton Zoo to six. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news