Canterbury amateurs qualify for NZ Open

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 20/11/2012

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Tom Turner had missed out on three New Zealand Open qualifying tournaments so turned up to yesterday's at Russley with "very limited expectations".

The 25-year-old Christchurch player needn't have worried as he shot a two-under par 70 to be one of 26 players to earn a start in Thursday's New Zealand Open.

Turner's Canterbury team for next month's interprovincials had a great day at Russley yesterday. All five that played yesterday qualified.

Like Turner, Harry Bateman shot 70, reserve Jason Yoo shot 72 while Owen Burgess and Nic Kay both shot 73s to be automatic qualifiers for the $400,000 tournament, although as amateurs they can't win anything.

"It was fourth time lucky for me," Turner said. "My form has been patchy at best so it was nice to have a good round today."

The only member of the Canterbury team not to be involved in this week's tournament is Jordan Bakermans. He only arrives back from Argentina, where he was representing New Zealand, today and did not receive a tournament invite.

The five Canterbury players that qualified all avoided the 12-man playoff.

Those that shot two-over 74s had to play off until near darkness for the last five spots in the tournament.

Takaka pro Sean Riordan didn't have the stresses of the playoff to worry about, he shot the low round of the day, a 68.

Taupo professional Troy Ropiha made it through as expected, with a comfortable three-under 69 in second equal with Christchurch Golf Club professional Anthony Doyle.

Doyle will be just one of two Canterbury professionals in the field, joining Ashburton's Daniel Pearce.

Clearwater's James Cadenhead shot an even par 72 to be the only home club player in the 144-strong field for the 72-hole tournament that begins on Thursday.

Chisnallwood Intermediate 13-year-old Ryoga Mimura (Waitikiri) stood on the 14th tee at even par but finished with three straight bogeys for a four-over 76.

Had he held on, Mimura would have become the youngest player to qualify for the Open, bettering the mark of Jae An, who now plays on the Korean Tour.

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