Defending champion Laura Davies issued an ominous warning to the rest of the field for the Pegasus New Zealand Women’s Open when she described her ball striking at present as some of the best of her stellar golfing career. Although she hasn’t figured in a top 10 finish in the last four tournaments she has played in Australia in recent weeks, Davies believes her putts only have to start dropping for her to be a major contender in the 200,000 Euro event starting at the Pegasus course near Christchurch tomorrow (Thursday). “I’ve actually played pretty well without a good result. Hopefully this is the tournament where I start holing a few putts. I have good memories of this event. It was windy and I putted well. I like the course, in fact I liked everything about the tournament last year.” Davies, who professes to having 190 putters back at home in England, uses a putter she bought in Atlanta City last year. “It’s a Scotty Cameron with a big square head. It is actually the only club that I have bought in the last 20 years. “I’m hitting lots of putts where I want to, but they are just not dropping and you can’t win a tournament putting badly,” she said. The former World No.1 believes fellow English player Melissa Reid will be the toughest opponent, along with Australian Kristie Smith. “In fact, whoever beats Melissa Reid will win the tournament,” she predicted. After playing in Dubai at the end of last year, Davies had a five-week break back in a snow-bound England where, apart from some practice, she kept her eye in with the occasional game of darts with her brother. “I enjoyed a good break with family around Christmas and New Year and came back refreshed,” she said. The 2010 Pegasus New Zealand Women’s Open was the start of an excellent year for Davies, who recorded four other tournament wins for the season to bring her career tally to 79. She is keenly eyeing 80, planning to use the same strategy as last year. “There are holes on the front nine where you take driver and just hit it as hard and far as you can. However, there are some on the back nine where you can score some big numbers if you are not careful. You definitely need to take an iron off the tee on some holes,” she said. The first golfers in a field of 130 tee off at 7.50am tomorrow with the last group at 2.10pm.