Kiwi golfers well off pace at qualifying event

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 09:32 09/11/2012

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A second successive round of three-over par 74 has left New Zealand golfer Josh Geary well off the pace at the halfway mark of the second stage European Tour qualifying event in Spain today.

Geary notched his only birdie in the first 36 holes, at the par-four 1st hole at the Las Colinas Golf and Country Club in Alicante, but he had four bogeys to go with three in yesterday's opening round to tally six-over par after two of four rounds.

That puts him in a share of 56th in the 77-strong field and leaves him with a mountain to climb if he's to progress to the final stage event later this month.

The top-17 and ties are guaranteed to progress to the final six-round event where 25 tour cards will be on offer and the United States-based Geary, who has had limited starts without success on the web.com tour this year, is seven shots off where he needs to be, with one-under currently the magic number.

The other Kiwi at the qualifying event, Masterton's Ben Campbell, fared much better than his opening day horrors with a two-over 73 in the second round at the El Valle Golf Resort in Murcia.

However, his first round 84 wiped him out of contention and he is currently tied for 75th and last at 15-over, a whopping 16 shots off top-17 pace.

Campbell, who turned pro following the Eisenhower Trophy last month, and Geary were looking to join compatriot Michael Campbell on the European Tour in 2013.

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.

Meanwhile, Michael Campbell was one-over par through six holes and tied for 61st when play in the first round of the Singapore Open was abandoned last night.

Denmark's Thomas Bjorn had the clubhouse lead after posting a five-under 66 at the Sentosa Golf Club.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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