Josh Geary – inaugural winner of Millbrook Classic and the Sir Bob Charles trophy – photo Millbrook Tournaments
With the New Zealand Open postponed by the Covid virus for the second consecutive year, the decision to stage a lesser event to give many of those players, both amateur and professional, who would otherwise have been competing in one of the most popular events on the PGA Tour of Australasia this week, the chance to again enjoy tournament competition and the hospitality of the event and the region.
The initiative would have two benefits. Tournament starved New Zealand professionals would get the chance to compete in a NZ$150,000 event and the newly opened Greg Turner designed nine holes at the Millbrook Resort near Queenstown would be exposed to a wider audience for the first occasion.
The two day event brought together 28 professionals who were joined by 28 amateurs in the pro-am
and was eventually won by Josh Geary whose second round of 63 established a new course record over the revised tournament course and earned him a two shot victory over Masterton’s Kerry Mountcastle .
Another two shots back were Queenstown based Ben Campbell and Ryan Fox, Fox of course now a two-time DP World Tour winner, one of which was in the UAE earlier this year.
“I got off to a fast start today, I think I was three-under through four, but Kerry was four-under through four,” said Geary. “We sort of fed off each other a bit and just kept hitting really solid shots, and then all of a sudden I was five-under through nine, so I just had to keep it going for the rest of the round.
“I had one really poor shot on the back-nine and had it way up on the bank but managed to make a very good save, which kicked the momentum up. And then I had some quality iron shots on the last three holes and looked up, and I was in front.”
Perhaps the best line in terms of the benefit of the event came from Mountcastle, who like many other in the field has been starved of tournament opportunities in the last two years as he looks to establish a professional career.
“It was great to be playing tournament golf and get the blood pumping again. All of us professionals are so thankful to the team who have put on the Millbrook Classic. This has given me the opportunity to be a bit more comfortable when I head to the UK for the Clutch Pro Tour,” said Mountcastle.
Part of the new nine at Millbrook Resort.