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2009 Open Championship Qualifiers Josh Geary, Timothy Wood and Michael Wright pose with the trophy
2009 Open Championship qualifiers (from left) Josh Geary, Timothy Wood and Michael Wright pose with the trophy they each dream of winning one day. (Photo: Getty Images)

New Zealand's Geary, two Aussies punch tickets to Turnberry

Josh Geary of New Zealand and Timothy Wood and Michael Wright, both of Australia, earned spots in the 2009 Open Championship at the International Final Qualifying event played Feb. 10 at Kingston Heath in Melbourne.

MELBOURNE Australia -- Australians Tim Wood and Michael Wright together with Josh Geary from New Zealand have booked their places in The Open Championship 2009 at Turnberry after claiming the top three positions at International Final Qualifying -- Australasia at Kingston Heath in Melbourne on Tues. Feb. 10.

Wood and Geary finished on top of the leaderboard with totals of four under-par 140 one shot better than Wright who took the third and final place on offer. It was a nervous wait particularly for Wright as veteran Peter Senior threatened all afternoon. Senior finished his morning round on three under-par. After a turbulent second round he was two under on the 17th and needing a birdie to force the playoff could only manage par on 18 giving Wright the chance to compete in his second Open Championship.

"I was a lot more nervous this time around because I had to wait and it went down to the wire," said 34 year-old Wright who qualified more easily in 2006 finishing three shots clear of the field on that occasion.

"I'm really excited. The conditions were really strong this afternoon especially when the wind got up but it was one of those days where the putts dropped when I needed them to."

Rounds of 71 and 69 saw local talent Wood finish with a solid two round total but he had a two hour wait to see if he would get through.
And whilst he had time to soak up the thought it hadn't quite hit him that he was headed for the game's oldest championship.

"I don't know if it has sunk in yet," said Wood. "I feel like I am going to wake up and say damn that was a great dream I qualified for The Open!"

Twenty-four-year-old Josh Geary claims the honour of being the first New Zealander to qualify through International Final Qualifying since its introduction in 2004.

Geary said without a doubt qualifying for The Open was the biggest thing to happen to him in his golfing career but like Wood he needed time for it to sink in.

"It's pretty sweet but it hasn't really sunk in yet I'm still pinching myself!" said Geary who revealed that this was the first qualifying event he had ever been successful at.

"I have been working really hard with my coach James Cupa back in Auckland on my swing and I really felt like I hit my irons well today. I felt like I was really hitting some form and it looks like things really came together just at the right time for me."

For Geary it will not only be his first Open Championship but his first trip to Europe when he heads to Scotland in July.

The Open Championship 2009 will be held at Turnberry Scotland 16-19 July.


Final Scores (AUS unless specified):
Josh Geary (NZ) 70-70--140 Q
Timothy Wood 71-69--140 Q
Michael Wright 69-72--141 Q
Cameron Percy 67-75--142
Peter Senior 69-73--142
Andrew Martin 72-71--143
Steve Dartnall 72-71--143
Kim Felton 73-71--144
Heath Reed 72-72--144
Peter Fowler 72-73--145
Michael Brennan 72-73--145
Peter O'Malley 73-73--146
Ryan Haller 75-72--147
Anthony Summers 71-76--147
Aaron Townsend 74-73--147
David Diaz
72-76--148
Anthony Brown 74-74--148
Michael Long (NZ) 74-74--148
David Lutterus 72-76--148
Craig Parry 77-72--149
Craig Spence 74-75--149
Damian Ulrich (Swi) 73-76--149
Adam Bland 76-73--149
Steven Jeffress 75-74--149
David McKenzie 74-75--149
Kurt Barnes 74-76--150
Jonathan Abbott 76-74--150
Paul Sheehan 75-75--150
Andrew Tampion 75-75--150
Craig Scott 72-78--150
Adam Crawford 72-78--150
John Wade 74-76--150
Alistair Presnell 78-72--150
Brad Kennedy 75-76--151
Leigh McKechnie 75-76--151
Ashley Hall 77-75--152
Andrew Tschudin 77-76--153
Brent McCullough 74 82--156
Peter Wilson 79-78--157
Steven Bowditch 74 84--158
Christopher Campbell 82-79--161
Wayne Perske NR-NR--NR
Andrew Johnson 77-Disq--Disq
Scott Laycock 78-Disq--Disq

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