Ben’s NZ Open begins

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It’s a long shot but Queenstown golf pro Ben Gallie is having a last-ditch crack at qualifying for the NZ Open.
The 31-year-old heads to Christchurch this weekend to compete in the one-round sprint at Russley Golf Club on Monday.

He’ll be up against 90 players all vying for just four spots in the January 28-31 Open at The Hills.

“I think it’s going to be harder to qualify than get paid [in the Open] but that’s just the way it is,” Gallie says.

“It would be my fifth Open if I do get in and it would be awesome to play at home again.”

He competed in the first Open at The Hills in 2007, narrowly missing the cut on the second day by just two shots.
Gallie has been playing golf for 20 years and was a member of the NZ men’s golf team in 2001-02 and competed in the Australian and Canadian PGA tours.

He’s eased up on touring to raise a family, taking up teaching at Millbrook about five years ago.

“I’ve still got aspirations and I’d love to go away in winters and play,” he says. “I’m always still practising and seem to be still playing pretty well.”