Kristie Smith will look to capture a second consecutive title on the Ladies European Tour this week when she tees up at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, which starts on Thursday.
Smith captured her maiden Ladies European Tour victory at the Pegasus New Zealand Women’s Open in Christchurch a month ago and is looking forward to the challenge posed by Golf de Soleil in Agadir.
“The win was a huge boost in confidence of course in many areas,” said the 22-year-old West Australian. “My game is really strong at the moment. Obviously I’m still always working on improving things as all professional golfers do. My goal for the Lalla Meryem Cup is to play well and have another strong finish before getting a month off back home in Australia.”
“I’m just so happy and relieved to have the win under my belt so early on in the season too. It sets me up for the rest of the year and gives me the chance to plan ahead.”
Kristie’s victory in New Zealand was her third win as a professional after she won the ActewAGL Royal Canberra Ladies Classic in January 2010 and then the Daytona Beach Invitational on the Duramed Futures Tour a couple of months later.
She finished second to Maria Hernandez at the 2010 Allianz Ladies Slovak Open, tied for fourth at the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open, and shared 11th in Portugal last June, but struggled in the latter part of the season.
The second year LET professional put her improved form down to lots of hard work on her game and physical condition.
“My coach and I have definitely resolved a few technical issues in my swing which has given me a lot more confidence with it. I’m back using my old putter which I won with before and now again in New Zealand. I’m putting it the best I ever have!” she said. “Apart from that, nothing has really changed. I’m still working hard in the gym with my trainers both in the US and in Australia when I’m back at home. We have found the weak spots in my body which we’ve been able to concentrate on in getting stronger to improve my golf swing, which has given me a lot more strength and further distance.
“My priority this season is to not burn out like last year. I’m going to try and not play as much early on like I did last year and work out a schedule that suits my game and also the person I am.”
Smith will be looking to claim top spot from Melissa Reid on the Ladies European Tour’s 2011 Henderson Money List this week after the Englishwoman took the lead with strong results in Australia and New Zealand. With Reid out at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the door will be wide open for Smith to claim the €48,750 first prize.