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Kristie Smith On Top at Oatlands

Some words of wisdom from her father were one of the keys to Kristie Smith blistering start at the Bing Lee Fujitsu General Women’s NSW Open in Sydney.

The West Australian fired a seven-under-par 65 to sit atop of the leaderboard after the opening round of the NSW Open being played at Oatlands Golf Club in Sydney. 

Smith holds a two shot lead over France’s Alexandra Vilatte and Spaniard Mireia Prat.  England’s Felicity Johnson and Hannah Burke, American Beth Allen, Australian amateur champion Minjee Lee, South Australian Stephanie Na and ACT’s Nikki Campbell are all at four-under-par and right in the mix. 

A large group of 11 players share 10th position at thee-under-par including crowd favourite Laura Davies and NSW Rebecca Artis

Smith’s round included eight birdies, four on the front, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th holes and then another four on the back nine on the 10th, 11th, 13th and 15th holes.  The only blemish came on the par 4 17th when the score board may have gotten to her.

“It was really solid today, obviously had one bogey on the 17th which was unfortunate but I haven’t been in that position for a while, my mind was racing a little bit coming into the last few holes.” Said Smith afterwards

“I hit it really solid, made the opportunities and capitalised on the par 5’s when I did and putted really well.”

“I have been hitting it really well over the last couple of weeks in the pro-ams, I just haven’t had the putts drop for me.   I spoke to dad yesterday and we talked about trying to stay patient with the putter and it worked, today they went in.”

Other notable scores were Victorians Stacey Keating and Lindsey Wright and France’s Gwladys Nocera, all signed for two-under-par 70.

The cut will be made to the top 60 professionals and ties at the conclusion of the second round.

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