With hot putter, Geary starts fast at Q-School

Josh Geary during the second round of PGA Tour Qualifying School.

Josh Geary during the second round of PGA Tour Qualifying School.

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – Josh Geary broke into a mischievous smile. Then his face turned a shade of red. A reporter began to ask him about his media guide questionnaire and he knew exactly where this line of fire was pointed. See Geary filled in the blank to a seemingly innocuous question revealing this all too personal bit of information: Not many people know that “I have a mark that looks suspiciously like a third nipple.”

Was this some Austin Powers reference? A comic twist to match those Scott Piercy and his funnyman caddie Michael Collins dished out on Piercy’s questionnaire? No, he said it was true and proceeded to do everything short of roll up his long-sleeve shirt to offer proof.

“I haven’t had it officially checked out and confirmed,” he said with a giggle. “I think it is. It’s a bitty one.”

Fortunately for him, Geary, a 26-year-old from New Zealand, is maintaining an even keel on the course through the first two rounds of the final stage of PGA Tour Q-School. He credited his strong start to “making my fair share of putts.”

“Usually does,” added his caddie, Brad Heaven.

Geary poured in seven birdies on the Panther Lake course at Orange County National Golf Course and backed up a first round 69 with a pretty 67. Two rounds into his first trip to final stage, Geary is T-5 and three strokes off the pace.

Geary is a product of the New Zealand junior golf system and represented his country on its 2004 Eisenhower Cup team. He split time this year between the Canadian Tour (recording a second and T-3), Australasian Tour, and OneAsia Tour. He’s shown potential in his limited Nationwide Tour opportunities during its Australia swing the last three years. In 2009, he finished T-2 and T-4. He also qualified for the 2009 British Open and missed the cut by a shot.

“I tied Tiger,” he said. “That’s usually pretty good but not that week.”

So far, Geary’s proving his mettle at Q-School, after flunking out in the first stage the last two years. 

“He has the heart of Zenyatta,” said his coach, James Kupa, comparing Geary to the championship racing horse.

Now if he can just finish with Zenyatta’s thundering kick.

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