that's the first thing that popped into my head when I saw that, He'll definately play AO qualies, I can't see in coming all the way over there just for Auckland qualies, and skip AO would make no sense whatsoever.
Maybe he needed the Saturday night stayover on the plane ticket to get a better price
I'm not exactly sure what the rule on this is, but if I remember correctly(which I probably don't) you're not allowed to withdraw from a previous weeks tournament to go play qualies for a grand slam, so if he were to qualify for Auckland, for him to play AO qualies, he'd either have too...
a)Lose Auckland first round, or
b)Play Auckland, and AO qualies at the same time, flying back and forth
I don't really know how feasible that 2nd one is. but I'm sure if he were to make Auckland 2nd round he'd consider this a successful trip regardless, but lets not get ahead of ourselves, he has to qualify for Auckland first which is unlikely.
Second one is absolutely not feasible. Its a three hour flight from Sydney to Auckland and almost four hours going back. Add a few hours for Melbourne. It would be like playing qualies at the US Open and a challenger in Vancouver at the same time.
Its a win win for him. If he's still in Auckland come Wednesday, he'll have advanced past the first round, picked up some great points and a nice paycheck. If not, he plays what I believe will be his first GS qualies (correct me if I'm wrong). Good to see his ambition to fly all the way there and give it a try. Awesome there will be four Canadians in the qualy draw