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Golf Australia Express : Issue 23
SETNEAR the foothills of the South Island’s picturesque Southern Alps, Pegasus Golf Club near Christchurch hosts the New Zealand Open. Now into its fourth year, the co-sanctioned Kiwi national open presents more than just stunning scenery. As the season- ending ALPG Tour event, its winner will claim the last chance at a 2012 title and that’s gotta be pleasing. And as an early season event on the LET, its winner will get off to a quick-start on that money list. Reigning champ Kristie Smith cruised to a three-shot victory in 2011 to claim her maiden LET win. OTG SHE’S WON eight times on the ALPG Tour since turning pro in 2005— impressive. But one concern for 26-year-old Sarah Kemp is all those wins came from one- and two-round events. She’ll be looking to change that stat in Christchurch this week. Kemp likes the Pegasus track and finished 2nd and 10th there in the past two NZ Opens respectively. She’s in form and will be in the running for the title this time, too. WHATA month it’s been for Lydia Ko. The Korean-born New Zealander won the Australian Amateur Championship on the 22nd of January. Then seven days later the teenager won the Women’s NSW Open, creating history by becoming the youngest winner of a professional tour event at just 14 years old. Rewriting record books has been a attribute of Ko’s career. Get your pens ready; Ko’s about to become the first Kiwi to win the New Zealand Women’s Open. OTG THE EVENT WHO TO WATCH SARAH KEMP (AUS) LYDIA KO (NZ) PEEK THE ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open February 17-19, 2012 Pegasus Golf Club, Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND Purse: €200,000 Defending Champ: Kristie Smith (AUS) KIWI OPEN What’s happening on the ALPG Tour this week