England’s Kym Larratt shares the first-round lead with three others
Brooky playing in her first NZ Open

New Zealand’s duo Lynnette Brooky and amateur Emily Perry, England’s Kym Larratt and France’s Joanna Klatten share the lead at five-under par after the opening round of the ISPS Handa New Zealand’s Women’s Open hosted by Christchurch.

The quartet hold a slender one shot advantage over a jam packed leaderboard at the Pegasus Golf and Sports Club located just north of Christchurch.  40 players were under par at the completion of round one.

Calm and sunny conditions greeted the morning field and it showed in the results, with 12 of the top 14 players out early.  The afternoon field had to contend with a north easterly breeze.

Victorian Open winner  Klatten is playing for more than herself this week after revealing in her post round press conference her best friend’s father has just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and wants to play well for them.

“I want to try and play my best, because a few days ago I heard that the dad of one of my best friends was very sick.  My friend lost her sister three years ago of the same thing, pancreatic cancer, so it is really upsetting me, so I just want to play well for them.”

Brooky, playing in her first national Open was very pleased with her start, which included six birdies and one bogey, four of which came in her last nine holes.   She did have to give herself a pep talk with seven holes to play.

‘I didn’t get up and down from the sand on two, and I said to myself I want to be under par after first round because of the good conditions, so I said to Gavin (caddie) it would be nice to walk off with four-under, he said, OK do we have to concentrate more. I said maybe.”

Putting was a key to her round and changing her putting routine worked for the four-time winner in Europe.  “For the first time in I think a few years, at least eight, I gone out there today without been lined up on my putting, you know I was starting to feel stiff on that.  So left myself alone and felt a little bit more freer, with that it rolled better, so I’m very happy.”

American Hannah Yun

While Larratt had eight birdies and three bogeys in her round, Perry was out in the afternoon and posted an impressive bogey free round of five birdies.

Nine players share fifth position at four-under par; Malaysia’s Jean Chua, England’s Elizabeth Bennett, New Zealand’s amateur Charlotte Thomas and Americans Jaclyn Sweeney, Hannah Jun, Gerina Piller, Amelia Lewis, Danielle Kang and Alison Walshe.

Crowd and bookie favourite, 14-year old Lydia Ko, is right in the mix after carding a three-under-par 69 to share 14th position with five other players.   Wales Becky Brewerton is one of players at three-under par.

Defending champion, Kristie Smith posted a 71 to tied for 33rd.