Josh Geary is hoping to make the most of a last-minute invite to play in the SP PNG Open in 2019 as he looks to re-gain status on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
Flying into Port Moresby following a three-event stint on the European and Challenge Tours, Geary makes his debut at Royal Port Moresby Golf Club with little knowledge of the course but recent play under his belt.
“I have just spent the last two weeks in Europe,” said Geary. “I played in Morocco at the Trophee Hassan II tournament and then the Challenge Tour last week.
“My game has been pretty good this year. I had a second and seventh in New Zealand and then a ninth in Kenya at the Kenya Open so that was a good start. I just need to get the ball rolling for the year now.”
Starting his year with a tie for second place at the co-sanctioned 100th NZ Open in Queenstown and a top-10 result at the NZ PGA Championship the following week, Geary presents as one of the marquee players in a strong field of young and established talent assembled in Papua New Guinea.
“I saw some good names here for sure,” Geary added. “There are a lot of young guys who haven’t had much of a chance to get out there yet so yeah I’m sure it won’t be easy with a lot of good players.
“It’ll take some good play to contend I think. My form wasn’t great the last two weeks as I had a few issues with the body but I think it should be alright this week.”
Despite the field Geary won’t let the pressure get to him as he aims for another win on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
“I don’t really feel the extra pressure but there is a little bit I guess,” continued Geary, who won the 2013 WA Open.
“People are watching and expecting you to do well but golf is golf and you never quite know what’s going to happen.
“A win would be nice because at the moment I don’t have status on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
“I’ve only had invites so far this year so a win would actually get me starts for the rest of the season which is what I’m going for.”
Securing a card on Tour is important for Geary who believes having the opportunity to play both overseas and in Australasia is an asset for players looking to play a full season each year.
“There are a lot of pathways available,” said Geary of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
“The Tour has a lot of starts and the European Tour card for the number one on the order of merit as well as starts at WGCs.
“Being close to home is always good as well. It’s great playing at events in both New Zealand and Australia and overseas like here in Papua New Guinea.”
Playing in the hot, humid conditions at Royal Port Moresby Golf Club will do little to throw Geary off his game as he looks forward to the challenge of the SP PNG Open.
“You get used to it,” said Geary. “A few of these countries that we visit get really hot and as long as you hydrate and eat well you should be alright for energy levels.”
Geary is just one of many players joining the tournament from overseas as players from the PGA Tour - China including James Marchesani, Charlie Dann, James Grierson and Dale Williamson join the field.
Round one of the SP PNG Open tees off at 7:00am on Thursday at Royal Port Moresby Golf Club in Papua New Guinea with Geary joining Australian Josh Younger and Canadian Jordan Pittman off the 10th tee at 11:15am local time.
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