Anstiss cards stellar final round to qualify for tour

James Anstiss
James Anstiss
Queenstown golfer James Anstiss did not crack under the pressure and has qualified for the Australasian PGA tour.

Anstiss hit one of the best rounds of the day — scoring five birdies on the back nine — at the Australasian PGA tour qualifying tournament at the Moonah course in Victoria.

Anstiss was sitting in 27th place going into the final round yesterday but made sure of his place, hitting a 4-under 68, which was just one shot off the best round of the day. He finished 21st, on even par, and was 16 shots behind the winner, Aaron Townsend, from New South Wales.

Anstiss was thrilled with his performance.

"I just had one of best back nines I have ever had. I made four birdies in a row to finish, which was great," he said.

"It’s a dream come true really. There has been a lot of hard work and there is plenty of hard work to come."

Anstiss (22) described the qualification as a great early Christmas present and he would celebrate with family and friends, as he is scheduled to get back to Queenstown today.

With the top 40 qualifying for the tour, Anstiss made it easily.Anstiss said he should get starts in most Australasian events and was hopeful of getting a start in the New Zealand Open in his home town in March.

Before he left for Australia, Anstiss won the Hills Pro-am at the Hills course in Arrowtown last weekend.

He beat a star-studded field, including Ryan Fox, Michael Hendry and Australian PGA runner up Jordan Zunic.

Tied with Brad Shilton after 36 holes on 8 under, Anstiss won on the first playoff hole with par after finding the deep bunker on the 18th hole.

Anstiss had to come from five shots behind after the first round to make the playoff.

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