|Kristie with her dad Wayne|
“I just went to the range this morning and tried to be really confident,” said Taylor, 28, from Basingstoke in Hampshire. “It was beautiful out there and we were very lucky in the morning because there was no wind.
“Last year wasn’t so great for me so I’d like to come back and be the Kirsty Taylor I know I can be. Hopefully I’ll keep it going over next two days. I’ll give it my best shot.”
Smith, who is a member of the Australian National Squad and who is based at Royal Perth Golf Club, finished tied for 25th in the MFS Women’s Australian Open last year when it was played at Royal Sydney.
Her father Wayne, a former Tour professional, is on caddie duties for the week and she said: “Dad has been on the bag in the major events for ever now. We have a lot of fun out there. He knows all the Australian courses, especially this one.”
Smith didn’t see her father much as a youngster as he was away on Tour for up to 30 weeks a year, but she said: “I used to come to all the Australian Opens and PGAs and I’d be the little baby in the crèche. I started playing around the age of 10 or 11 down in Margaret River, a little town in Western Australia.”
Smith was not pushed into golf, but took it up of her own accord, and her talent was immediately obvious according to her father.
This week she is aiming for a top 20 finish, or to be the leading amateur, if she can’t win the tournament.