Ormsby and Marantz get lucky break at NZ Open

BY iseekgolf.com | Australasian PGA Tour | 2004 New Zealand Open | General | 11 Jan 2004
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Success for several players on both the Asian and US golf tours has helped two talented Australians out of a hole and in to the field for this week’s Holden New Zealand Open in Auckland.

Wade Ormsby and Paul Marantz, who gained their full European PGA cards, anticipated a start on that tour in South Africa this week, and as a consequence had not entered for New Zealand as a back-up.

When both missed out on automatic starts for the opening European Tour event, they were given late entry to tomorrow’s final qualifying tournament at Manukau Golf Club, where 75 players will fight for the final 30 places in the field for the Holden sponsored Open starting at The Grange on Thursday.

However, six players withdrew from the Open today after gaining automatic starts in both Asian and US PGA Tour events, opening the way for Ormsby and Marantes to be elevated on their current rankings to direct starts in Auckland.

Australian Scott Hend and Kiwi Grant Waite have both been confirmed in the start list for this week’s US PGA tour tournament in Hawaii, while four other Australians have reached the final stage of the Asian Tour qualifying.

Waite had informed organisers that he would return to the Open if he missed a spot in the Hawaiian event.

“Grant has been great and has kept us in touch regularly. He was keen to come back but after going through the qualifying school for his card, he needs to play in as many Tour events as possible,” tournament director Phil Aickin said.

“Grant has told us that if he has a good season in the US, then he will skip Hawaii next year and return for the Open because he has such a good time here last year. From our point of view, we want to see all our players performing well around the world.”

Ormsby, a 23-year-old from Adelaide, gained his European card after finishing second in the final qualifying tournament. He produced some scintillating form to finish with a remarkable 29-under par for the six rounds at the final qualifying. This included five of the six rounds in the 60s, highlighted with a second round 62. He returned to finish in 17th place at the Australian Open.

Marantz, a former club professional from Sydney, was eighth at the qualifying school just four shots behind Ormsby. He bagged four rounds in the 60s. The 33-year-old finished in a share of 12th in the ANZ Championship last year and 36th place on the Australasian Order of Merit for 2003.

The other withdrawal is Japanese player Paku Kuniyoshi, although there are five players from the Japan Tour competing at the Open, led by La Bomba Imai, who finished 14th overall this year including victory in the Casio World Masters.

Tomorrow’s field for the final qualifying includes a smattering of Australian, Korean and New Zealand professionals, along with several leading amateurs from both Australia and New Zealand.

It includes 15-year-old Jae An from Rotorua, who finished second in the New Zealand under-23 championships in Hastings yesterday. An, a member of the champion Bay of Plenty Interprovincial team, became the youngest player to qualify for the Open as a 13-year-old in 2001.

He will be joined in final qualifying by his former Rotorua BHS mate Sam Hunt who has returned from his US golf scholarship for a crack at the New Zealand Open.

Following tomorrow’s final qualifying at Manukau Golf Club, there is the traditional pro-am at The Grange on Tuesday, official practice on Wednesday ahead of the first round on Thursday.

Source – NZ Open

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