FOR the past decade Katherine Kirk has been a proud flagbearer of Australian golf on the world stage.
The likeable Queenslander has won 10 tournaments and more than $A5 million around the world, including two on the LPGA Tour.
Kirk has always been a strong supporter of the ALPG Tour and, while it’s been a few years since she’s held aloft a trophy on home soil, if her early season Down Under form is anything to go buy then that drought might be close to ending.
While she missed the cut in her opening event of the year at the Bahamas, Kirk has rediscovered her touch since returning to Australia
She finished fourth in the inaugural RACV Gold Coast Challenge at Royal Pines last week and has opened her Victorian Open campaign with a solid five-under par 68 to be three shots behind the day one leader, Dame Laura Davies.
The 34-year-old is excited to be appearing at Thirteenth Beach, near Barwon Heads, for the first time.
“Everyone’s raved about how good this tournament was so it’s nice to finally come and experience it and get off to a good start,” Kirk said.
“It’s a great concept. Hopefully it attracts a lot more fans because you can see more players and different ways to do it.
“I hope that other tours pick up on it and think about doing it. They’ve kind of thought about doing it in the States but maybe they need a bit more convincing.
“There’s a great calibre of players on the men’s and women’s sides and it will be an interesting weekend.”
Kirk is eager to build on her form over the next three days with the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in Adelaide next week.
She has five top 10 finishes in Australia’s premier women’s event and would love to add her name to the list of world-class winners on the coveted Patricia Bridges Bowl.
“The putts dropped for the first time in a while which is nice. My ball striking is coming along and I’m just excited about being here,” Kirk said.