Golf: Newcastle's Callan O'Reilly eyes qualifying school visits after career-best 11-under 61 at New Zealand Open

MARK: Callan O'Reilly now holds The Hills course record in New Zealand at 11-under (61). Picture: Simone De Peak
MARK: Callan O'Reilly now holds The Hills course record in New Zealand at 11-under (61). Picture: Simone De Peak

It was just one of those days and Callan O’Reilly hopes to make the most of his recent form at qualifying school visits later this year.

The Toronto professional shot a career-best 11-under 61 to post a course record at The Hills before finishing tied fourth at the New Zealand Open on Sunday.

The 27-year-old now sits sixth on the PGA Tour of Australasia order of merit with $107,441.77 next to his name in 2018 and overseas ventures are on the radar, including Japan, following a bit of rest and relaxation.

“I’ve got a break now. It’s been a pretty long five weeks. The results have been good, but I’m looking forward to getting home and chilling out for a while,” O’Reilly told the Newcastle Herald from Queenstown on Monday.

“I’ll try and get ready for the middle of the season, now I’ve got the funds to get over to Q-Schools it’s good.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure which ones I’m going to go to yet. I’ve always gone to Europe and that sort of thing, but I could see myself giving Japan a go this year. We’ll just wait and see.”   

Just two-and-a-bit months into the new year, O’Reilly has more-than doubled the $41,467 he earned in 2017. 

His latest collect, just under $44,000, across the Tasman followed $56,270 prizemoney from last month’s World Super 6 Perth.

O’Reilly ended up 21-under at the New Zealand Open with rounds of 68, 61, 66 and 69 leaving him six strokes behind eventual champion Daniel Nisbet (-27). 

His eight birdies on the back nine of Friday’s second round the highlight, shooting 28.

The entire round eclipsed his previous best total of eight-under by three on a day to remember.

“It’s pretty cool,” O’Reilly said.

“I played good and just made the putts.

“Sometimes people walk off the golf course and say they could have done this or they could have done that. I pretty much made everything I looked at.

“I was happy to have a round where I can say I shot the best score I could.”

O’Reilly said it wasn’t his first course record, with prior marks at Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and Peninsula North in Victoria that may no longer even stand, but it was certainly his highest profile effort.