Dame Laura Davies is looking to not only capture her second ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open title this week but also to earn valuable Solheim Cup points.
Davies, the 2010 champion when it was played at Pegasus Golf Club, chatted about how her views on the Clearwater Golf Club has changed dramatically from when she first played it to now.
“I love this golf course, the first time we played here, before we went across to the other one, I must admit I really didn’t like it, but when I came back after three years, it was a completely different track and I love the layout now.”
Course strategy and putting are keys this week according to the winner of over 80 titles worldwide.
“It is the sort of course, that if you are a bit aggressive it can take you apart, so you need to be a little careful. Holes on the front nine you can get your driver out, apart from 8 where you need to be a bit careful. You can go for it there (front nine), take a two-three or four under into the back nine and then you have to be a bit more careful of where you hit your tee shots but greens are big and they look in superb condition so that’s where make your scores on the greens this week.”
Even though her results in the last two events haven’t shown it, Davies is confident of a good showing this week. “I feel like I am hitting it well, my results the last two weeks over here haven’t been good, a miss cut and maybe a 30th or 40th finish. Those results wouldn’t suggest a win is coming up but I know how well I have been hitting it and I’ve been working the chipping and putting which has been the bad point of my game.”
Davies also chatted about the impact having Rolex World No.1 and home town hero Lydia Ko in the field. “I think she makes the tournament: it is as simple as that. If she wasn’t here, I am sure there would be some nice galleries out and people would be interested but because Lydia is here, World No.1, won last week, it’s huge, and there will be a buzz and hopefully big galleries will come out, rather than just nice ones.”
This week is also important as a top 10 finish will earn Davies valuable Solheim Cup points. The soon to be World Golf Hall of Famer wants to make a record 13th Solheim Cup appearance in Germany in September. Europe will be trying to secure their third straight win over the Americans. She currently sits outside automatic selection and will be playing more events on the LET to try and earn more points.