Flanagan gained entry into this week’s tournament at The Hills and Millbrook Resort through one of two final qualifying events at Paraparaumu Beach on the Kapiti coast last week, and narrowly made the weekend on the seven-under cut line.
Nick Flanagan with the lucky ball from his hole-in-one at Millbrook Resort today. Credit: Glen Wallace.
He is a former US Amateur champion, with six professional wins on his resume, including four on the Nationwide Tour, now the Web.com Tour, which earned him a ticket into the PGA Tour.
A thumb injury, which required surgery and set him back for a couple of years, and a back injury suffered as a child, hindered his progress on golf’s most high-profile stage and he said last week that he was now trying to resurrect his career at the age of 33.
His ace on the 127m par 3 second hole at Millbrook, which was followed by two more birdies on the front nine, lifted him to a share of ninth place early in round three.
It was the second hole-in-one at the tournament, although neither was at the 13th Hole at Millbrook Resort where sponsor Hyundai are offering a prize of a Santa Fe SUV as part of their innovative Drive For Good initiative, to be donated to one of three charities, to be voted by the public.
Early rain has given way to calm, mild conditions in Arrowtown, with scoring again expected to be low, with Australian Terry Pilkadaris leading the tournament on 15 under and tees off at 12.40pm.