Nick Cullen hopes for repeat at NZ Open

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 22/11/2012
Nick Cullen
Getty Images
MORE PLEASE: South Australia’s Nick Cullen is hoping he can again use the New Zealand Open as a springboard for a successful season.

Relevant offers

Golf

Robert Streb hits five birdies in back nine with wedge in place of broken putter Nick Faldo writes off Tiger Woods for the British Open owing to faltering swing Bernd Wiesberger wins French Open for first European Tour win since 2012 Danny Lee one shot off lead at PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic ahead of final round Danny Lee one shot off the lead at US PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic Tiger Woods fires season-low round at Greenbrier Classic, upstaged by Danny Lee Tiger Woods 'had affair' with fellow golfer Jason Dufner's ex-wife Amanda Boyd Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson recovering from highs and lows Man pleads guilty to using golfer Robert Allenby's credit cards after Hawaii attack New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox qualifies for Open Championship at St Andrews

Nick Cullen has a lot to thank Clearwater and the New Zealand Open for.

The 28-year-old South Australian considers last year's tournament, when he finished fifth equal, his "launching pad".

By finishing in the top five, he was guaranteed his Australasian PGA card and entry into the Australian Masters the week after his New Zealand trip.

He picked up A$15,200 (NZ$19,300) at Clearwater and another A$7900 a week later at the Masters which helped him make the top 25 on the tour's moneylist.

More opportunities followed and as doors opened Cullen jumped through them.

He picked up starts on the OneAsia Tour and won the Indonesian Open.

"So I've got great memories from here and positive thoughts," he said.

Victorian Leigh Deegan had a chance to birdie the 72nd hole in last year's Open that would have cost Cullen his top five spot and all that came with it.

"I thanked him after he missed it, that's for sure."

Cullen is the top ranked Australian in the field this week, but opted not to talk up his chances.

"I'm hitting it really well at the moment. [But the ranking] doesn't mean much.

"Obviously you've got some in-form players; Gareth Paddison, Mike Hendry and Mark Brown have all been playing really well in the last month or two.

"I think they're the players to beat."

Cullen has just returned to Australasia from the second stage of PGA Tour qualifying in the United States and quietly likes his chances at Clearwater.

"My chances are good, my putting is starting to come around . . . If I play well, I'm sure I'll be up there."

Cullen leads a group of 93 internationals - 91 of them Australians - trying to extend New Zealand's nine-year winless drought at the tournament.

With four top-10 finishes on the Australasian circuit this year and past form at Clearwater, he is definitely a player to watch.

Ad Feedback

- Canterbury

Special offers
Opinion poll

If she is able to, when do you expect Lydia Ko to win her first major?

Next year, she's so close

She's still working towards it, within three years

It may be longer than we think, within five years

The expectation might be too much, maybe never

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content