Kiwis struggling in European Tour qualifiers

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 09:37 08/11/2012
Ben Campbell
Photosport
UPHILL BATTLE: Ben Campbell made a horror start to the second stage European Tour qualifying event in Spain.

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Barring a truly incredible turnaround over the next three days, Ben Campbell won't be playing on the European Tour next year, and Josh Geary will also have to lift his game if he's to join compatriot Michael Campbell on Europe's top golf tour in 2013.

Ben Campbell, who turned pro following the Eisenhower Trophy last month, made a horror start to the second stage European Tour qualifying event in Spain today, a 13-over par 84 essentially ending his challenge before it started.

Campbell is 76th and last in one of four second stage tournaments, with the top-17 and ties guaranteed to progress to the final six-round event where 25 tour cards will be on offer.

After the first round at the El Valle Golf Resort in Murcia, the cut-mark for the top 17 is currently even-par so the Masterton golfer needs a monumental, and quick, form reversal to get in the mix.

He went out in three-over 39 but had a horror back nine with a pair of eights, at the par-four 11th and par-five 16th, to come home in 45.

Geary fared much better at the Las Colinas Golf and Country Club in Alicante, but still has plenty of work to do after a three-over 74 left him tied for 43rd in a 77-strong field.

United States-based Geary, who has had limited starts without success on the web.com tour this year, started on the 10th tee and had nine straight pars, but three bogeys in a four-hole stretch at the beginning of the front nine saw him drop three shots off the current cut mark of even-par.

A total of 304 players - 193 qualifiers and 111 exemptions - began the second stage across four venues, with at least 17 players from each of the four courses earning at the place at the final stage event at the end of this month.

The exact number of spots available will not be determined until the conclusion of the Hong Kong and South African Opens (both of which finish on November 18).

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