Trio leads NZ Women's Open
BY Bruce Young | ALPG Tour | 2013 ISPS Handa NZ Women’s Open hosted by Christchurch | Round One | 08 Feb 2013
Australian Tamara Johns, Nikki Campbell and Sarah Oh lead the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open at the completion of round one at the Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch.
The trio have a one shot lead over pre tournament and sentimental favourite, Lydia Ko, American Alison Walshe and Thailand’s Nontaya Srisawang.
Ko is of course New Zealand golf’s favourite golfing daughter having become the youngest player to win an event on the LPGA Tour when she won the Canadian Open last year a month or so after winning the US Women’s Amateur Championship. The expectations on her are high but she has made a very good start.
Thailand’s Srisawang was out in one of the later groups of the day, keeping the media on their toes until nearly 7.00pm but bogeyed her final hole to drop out of a share of the lead. Srisawang took the lead early in her round with four birdies in her first five holes but the momentum slowed.
In cool and breezy conditions the Clearwater layout proved a demanding test, the event being played here for the first occasion after several years at the nearby Pegasus Golf and Country Club.
Only ten players broke par on the opening day of the 54 hole event further emphasising the difficulty of the layout.
Campbell, now playing the European Tour after several years in Japan, began her round with a birdie at the par five 10th hole but it was not until early in her second nine that she made some serious progress with birdies at her 11th, 12th and 13th holes.
33 year old Johns, from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and formerly one of this country’s better professionals, has played secondary tours in Europe for much of 2012 after returning from semi retirement.
Sarah Oh is a former Australian Amateur Champion who has played on the Korean Tour in recent times after turning professional in 2007.
The cut appears as if will fall around 6 or 7 over at the completion of 36 holes tomorrow evening.
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