Nick returned home to New Zealand in early December to start his professional golfing career by gaining his card for the Australasian tour.
The final round of qualifying school for the Australasian tour was held at Moonah Links in Victoria, Australia. It was held over four rounds. On a count back, Nick finished in 14th place on three under. The winner finished on sixteen under and won AU12,000. Where you finish in the field determines what playing privileges you have on the Australasian PGA Tour in the following year.
In Nick’s own words…..
After coming up a few shots short of my web.com tour card, I set my sights on the Australasian Qualifying School at Moonah Links, Melbourne on December the 19th to the 22nd. I flew from Iowa State to Auckland on the 4th of December and had a solid week laying down my foundations for training.
I played solid golf in this event, balancing together some very smart and well executed shots with some not so good ones. It wasn’t the best week but it was good enough to secure me playing privileges on the tour which was the main objective of the week – I shot 3 under par over the 72 holes, finishing 14th out of a field of 78.
This decent finish has opened up some good playing opportunites. How the tournament fields are typically organised is through a players ranking in their category; category 1 is reserved for winners of premier events like the Australian Open and Australian PGA while category 20 is for the top 5 Australian trainee professionals. Once all the entries for an event have been recieved, the top 144 (or whatever size the field is) get ranked by their category with the superior rankings getting in first.
I earned category 16 status and am 14th in that category. This status will probably not get me into the big co-sanctioned events like the ISPS Perth Super 6 or the Australian PGA but it should get me into the big tier 1 events like the NZ Open, FIJI International and the Australian Open. Again, some great playing opportinuties and a place to learn and grow as a professional golfer.
My first event on the Australaisian Tour takes place between the 11th and 14th of January in Wainui for the New Zealand Masters. Other events on my radar at the start of the year include the Victorian Open in Australia, the NZ Open, the NZ PGA and the Queensland PGA in Australia. Additionally, there could be a couple of sponsor invites on the European tour so I am keeping my fingers crossed for those. This competitive golf should see me through until early April when I will head back over to the USA for the Canadian Qualifying School and the American summer. Lots of good golf to be played!
I wish everybody a fantastic festive season with plenty of birdies and sunshine!! Thanks again for the support and I hope to see you all soon.
Moonah Links Golf Club
There are two courses at Moonah Links – the Open Course and the Legends Course
”The Open Course at Moonah Links is the first ever 18 holes built and prepared for a national championship. With exceptional viewing platforms for spectators. It is one of the longest courses in Australia, and probably in the world in this category. The course held the Australian Open in 2003 and 2005.
In addition to its conducive natural contours, the site is blessed with ever-present wind of some direction and strength, and this enhances its attributes. Planning has arranged that no particular direction is especially helpful, it is always a factor.
The course was designed by five time British Open Champion, Peter Thompson.