Hong Kong Open winner leads strong Australian contingent for New Zealand Open

Over 60 Australian golfers, including eight former champions, are heading across the Tasman in force for the 101st New Zealand Open in Queenstown and it may be a South Australian that attracts much of the attention at the tournament on 27 February to 1 March at Millbrook Resort and The Hills.

Wade Ormsby has today confirmed his entry to the New Zealand Open, after he blasted his way into 2020 with a brilliant victory at the Hong Kong Open, for the second time in three years, holding off the likes of Open champion Shane Lowry and PGA star Tony Finau on the way.

Ormsby has seen his ranking rise inside the top 150 in the world after claiming the co-sanctioned tournament with the European and Asian Tours.

“I am excited to return to play the New Zealand Open next month,” said Ormsby.  “It has been a great start to the year winning the Hong Kong Open and hopefully I can continue that form in Queenstown.”

Ormsby has been close to winning the Open, finishing in a share of runner-up behind compatriot Nathan Green in 2002 at Gulf Harbour. He also finished tied for fifth behind winner Mahal Pearce at Middlemore in 2003 and in a share of seventh in 2004 at The Grange, won by Terry Price.

His career, mostly on the European Tour, has had its ups and downs with Ormsby forced to return to qualifying school of five occasions. He showed his resilience to regain his playing rights on each occasion.

His first victory came in the Indian Open in 2013 before his European Tour breakthrough in winning the Hong Kong Open in 2017, which he recently repeated.

“I was proud of the way I played and it was nice to get 2020 off to a flying start,” said Ormsby.

He came into the tournament in good form after finishing in a share of third at the Australian PGA, three shots behind winner Adam Scott.

He won’t have it his own way around Millbrook Resort and The Hills, even from his fellow Australians.

They will include defending champion Zach Murray who heads the group of previous winners from over the Tasman comprising Daniel Nisbet (2018), Jordan Zunic (2015), Dimi Papadatos (2014), Jake Higginbottom (2012), Brad Kennedy (2011), Peter O’Malley (1995) and Peter Fowler (1993).

Added to that are a group of Australians with experience in Queenstown and success in 2019 including Brendan Jones, Josh Younger and Andrew Dodt who were all tournament winners in 2019.

“Our relationship with Australia goes back for most of the 100 years that this Open has been played and they continue to support this event with good grace, as well as being highly competitive,” said Tournament Director, Michael Glading.

“In fact, Australians have won the Open 42 times, one more than New Zealand players, which is bound to provide a bit of spice to the competition.

“We are thrilled to have so many Australians support the tournament, many of them who come back year-after-year, including former winners, and the likes of Wade Ormsby, who is making his first visit to New Zealand in a decade. He is one of the in-form players around the world right now.”

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