Second place massive career boost for Queenstown player

James Anstiss in action last year. Photo: Getty Images
James Anstiss in action last year. Photo: Getty Images
Queenstown golfer James Anstiss has given himself an early Christmas present.

Anstiss (23) not only qualified for the Australasian Tour last weekend at a tournament in Australia but his second-placed finish at the qualifying tournament has given his career a massive boost.

It was his second time at the qualifying. Last year he finished 21st, which qualified him but gave him limited access into events.

This year, at the Moonah Links course, near Melbourne, he finished second equal, three shots behind winner Dylan Perry, of New South Wales.

Anstiss said the second placing would get him into all events on the Australasian Tour including the likes of the Australian Open, the Australian PGA and the New Zealand Open.

The only event where he might not get direct entry was the Perth Super Six tournament, co-sanctioned by the European PGA tour, although he could still get an entry, depending on how many European players turned up.

Anstiss said it was great to play so well in the qualifying tournament which made all the hard work of the past 12 months worth it. He turned professional 12 months ago.

''It was good to get back to the qualifying tournament where I had done well 12 months ago. For some reason I have always played well in qualifying tournaments and I just had a good feeling all week,'' he said.

''When you play week to week, day by day, you have no real idea whether you are making progress. But when you go back to qualifying and see how much better you are playing and the how you have improved it makes you realise what sort of shape your game is in.''

His goal was to finish in the top five so to finish tied for second was exactly what he was aiming for.

He is guaranteed entry into the home town New Zealand Open at Millbrook and the Hills in late February which is a huge thrill for him.

Anstiss said for the next few weeks he would look to relax, play a bit of golf and get his body in good shape.

He will play some small tournaments in New Zealand before heading to the Vic Open in early February.

He may look to play on a tour around the world, such as China or Canada, in the middle of the year.

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