Queenstown pro golfer James Anstiss is flying high after jetting in from the United States, having qualified for the Latino America Mexico PGA Tour at the Mexico qualifying school tournament.
Anstiss, 24, finished fourth, and 16 under par, scoring 69, 69, 67, 67.
Overall, he scored 20 birdies and an eagle his birdies on 17 and 18 in the final round the difference between fourth and 11th.
Anstiss says the result sets him up “nicely” to the end of May.
He’s got three weeks in Australia playing the Victorian Open, a co-sanctioned European Tour event with about $16.5 million prize money up for grabs, then two state events in Queensland ahead of the NZ Open, being held at Millbrook and The Hills from February 27.
It’s been a pivotal few weeks in Anstiss’ fledgling pro career – in December he received the trophy and plaudits for being the top performer in the 2019 Jennian Homes Charles Tour events. He then won the Muriwai and Harewood Opens, and finished fourth at Akarana and 11th at Pegasus.
He couldn’t play the final event, the Mount Open, because he was getting ready for the Australian PGA Championship.
Anstiss says those events are the “pinnacle” on the NZPGA calendar.
“The opportunities the tour provides are fantastic because of the experience we get dealing with the pressures and excitement of four-round tournaments.”
Last month he finished second at The Hills ProAm and then hopped on a flight to the US straight after for Mexico qualifying.
He’s fizzing to get home and play his familiar Arrowtown courses at the Open.
Straight after that he’ll head back to Mexico for three months and play the first nine events on the tour.