FRESH from “surviving” another stage of Q School in Japan, Cal O’Reilly is focused on finding a winning formula.
O’Reilly is one of 13 Hunter players teeing off in the $400,000 NSW Open at Twin Creeks on Thursday.
The 27-year-old is seventh in the Australasian Order of Merit but is yet record a major win.
He was tied for fifth at the Handa World Super 6 in Perth and at the Queensland PGA and has been in contention at the New Zealand PGA (tied for 13th), New Zealand Open (T4), West Australian PGA (T17) and Victorian PGA (T11).
“The goal is to try and sneak up for a W,” said O’Reilly, who finalised preparations by playing in the pro-am at Twin Creeks on Wednesday.
“My game has been thereabouts this year. I have posted some scores which have been more than competitive. It is about playing golf that gives you a chance to win. I’m yet to find that formula. I haven’t won anything that is worth winning. It is about trying to find the right formula to get the best result in a big event.”
O’Reilly returned on Saturday from Japan where he finished a tie for 10th in stage three of Q School to progress to the final stage, to be played in late November over six rounds. The top 35 earn full status for 2019.
“Q school is a different animal,” O’Reilly said.
“It is just about surviving sometimes. First stage I went to, which was the second stage, it was important to finish high up so I could select my venue. I wanted to make sure it didn’t clash with the NSW Open or the Aussie Open.
“Third stage was about surviving. It doesn’t matter if you finish first or 27th, as long as you are inside 28.”
O’Reilly went seven-over for the first round, which included a triple and double bogey, before recovering to finish at three over.
“I had an average first round but that was because of two bad holes in row,” he said. “Other that, I had a pretty solid week on a pretty tough course.”
O’Reilly shot four sub-par rounds to finish at 10-under and a tie for 18th at the NSW Open at the same venue last year.
“It is a bit different going from the tight tree-line courses in Japan to wide open fairways but with lots of bunkers here,” O’Reilly said.
“The course is in good nick and the early forecast is not a lot of wind, so you you will have to go pretty low. It’s not overly long but it is well protected by fairway bunkers. The greens are rolling really nice and people are going to make a lot of putts.”