Micheluzzi Eyes Off Second Order of Merit Title

For Australian David Micheluzzi, there was no questions about taking a break from the DP World Tour and returning to Queenstown for his second New Zealand Open presented by Sky Sport which is set to be a pivotal battleground in the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit race.

The reigning Order of Merit champion has his sights on retaining his title and comes into this week ranked fourth behind Kazuma Kobori, Daniel Gale and Brett Coletta, who are all in the field.

A win at Millbrook Resort could vault Micheluzzi back to No.1 with just one event, The National Tournament (March 14-17), remaining.

“Who wouldn’t want to come back to Queenstown,” said Micheluzzi. “Everything just adds up to me being here this week.

“To have two Order of Merit wins in a row, I don’t think that has been done in a long time so to have that, I think would be satisfying and I’m just looking forward to the whole experience.”

After enjoying a continuation of his 2022/23 form at the beginning of his season, including a win at the Vic PGA Championship and a dramatic T2 with seven other players in the Queensland PGA Championship, Micheluzzi was propelled into second place on the Order of Merit, leading a shift in his plans for the year.

“I did not expect to have a second and a win in my first two events of the season,” he said.

“That vaulted me up to second on the Order of Merit, so it changed my plans a little bit.

”There are a few events on the DP World Tour over the next few weeks but there is also a lot up for grabs this week.

“It’s quadruple (OOM) points this week and then we’ve got The National… If I can play really well, then that will set my year up very well.”

Preparing for his second appearance in Queenstown, Micheluzzi says he is feeling confident in his game, in particular his skill in shaping shots to navigate the Coronet and Remarkables courses.  

“I’m hitting it okay at the moment so right now [my game] isn’t too bad. You have to shape your game to the pins and the slopes around here,” he said.

Micheluzzi is also comfortable to be playing a different, more relaxed tournament style, teaming up with an amateur partner over the first two days and hopefully again into the weekend.

“I love the format. I personally think there should be a lot more of these because there is a lot more to golf than what everyone sees and when you’re inside the ropes. I think it’s really cool,” he said.

“To see what the pros do right then, and right there, it is a massive thrill.

“If this tournament wasn’t here, the area wouldn’t be what it is.”

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