Golfer scores amateur spot in Open

ISPS Handa New Zealand Open director Michael Glading (left) congratulates Invercargill’s Geordie...
ISPS Handa New Zealand Open director Michael Glading (left) congratulates Invercargill’s Geordie Gibson at Millbrook Resort yesterday for winning an amateur spot at next month’s tournament. Photo: Guy Williams
A weekend warrior won an amateur spot at next month’s ISPS Handa New Zealand Open after a three-hole competition at Arrowtown’s Millbrook Resort on Thursday.

Invercargill’s Geordie Gibson showed the value of consistency by taking four shots on each hole to beat 21 other amateurs from Otago and Southland golf clubs.

The self-employed quantity surveyor and project manager gave himself a day off work to contest the annual Open Challenge, but never dreamed he could win it.

"I just came for the experience."

Despite a useful handicap index of 15.1, he had been playing "terribly" at his home course at the Greenacres Country Club, and had never set foot on Millbrook’s manicured fairways.

But a four-under at his home course last Saturday can now be seen as a harbinger of good things to come.

Gibson said it was too soon to start thinking about playing inside the ropes with some of world golf’s elite.

"I’ve got to let it sink in."

The  22 players were drawn from the many who entered their scorecards after scoring a minimum of 30 Stableford points in a round at their home clubs.

The qualifying clubs were Queenstown, Arrowtown, Cromwell, Wanaka, Alexandra, Dunstan, Lake Hawea, Winton, Gore, Queens Park, Invercargill and Greenacres.

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