Kiwi golfers make final cut for NZ Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Australasian PGA Tour | 2005 New Zealand Open | General | 07 Feb 2005
Four New Zealand professionals, and North Shore amateur, Korean Andrew Park, claimed five of the six available places in the New Zealand Open after the final qualifying round at the Auckland Golf Club today.
They will be joined at Gulf Harbour this week for the $1.5 million Holden-sponsored open championship by South African-born but England-based professional Jon Le Roux.
Rounds of five-under 67 by North Shore professional Steve Gordon and Aucklander Stuart Malcolmson were the best returned by the field of 63. Experienced Marcus Wheelhouse qualified comfortably with a 68 as did fellow Auckland professional Stuart Thompson, with 69.
But Le Roux and Park had to endure a sudden-death play off with 15-year-old North Harbour amateur Sam Shin, Manawatu-Wanganui’s leading amateur, Andrew Henare, rookie New Zealand pro Guy Penrose, and Korean professional Yong Seok Kim before they were guaranteed starts in the Open.
All six golfers parred the par-4 last hole at Middlemore the first time and they had to retrace their steps to the 18th tee. On the second occasion, Le Roux slotted an 8m birdie putt and Park, who did well to par the hole the first time after getting up and down from 90m, holed his 4m birdie putt. Penrose became the first alternate.
Gordon, who was first away, had six birdies and just the one bogey in his 67, while Malcolmson had 13 pars and five birdies. The 32-year-old Malcolmson, who is the pro at the driving range in the Ellerslie racecourse, had not played a competitive round since April last year. But he is capable of low scoring as proved at the New Zealand Open at The Grange last year when his second round 64 left him in a share of third place after 36 holes. He dropped back with a third round 78 and eventually finished midfield.
Wheelhouse, at 32 the same age as Malcolmson and partnered by him in the round, had three birdies in the last five holes to rest easy, while Thompson, who topped the qualifiers in the final round last year was also spared any anxiety. He thought 69 might be in a play off but that left him alone in fourth spot.
Source – NZGA