Date: February 20, 2014

Day 1 Women’s Wrap – Smith’s Sensational Start

Queenslander Sarah-Jane Smith has enjoyed a successful Day 1 of the 2014 Oates Vic Open tournament thanks to a score of 5-under-par this afternoon.

Though many of the 29-year-old’s opponents battled gusting winds in the morning, Smith admitted her overall game actually had room for improvement.

“It felt really good, I actually felt like I left three ten-foot birdie putts out there [only by a few inches] but other than that I couldn’t be happier”.

“As for the wind, there were a few times where we took a three-wood and five-wood where we would usually use drivers”, Smith admitted.

The overall women’s leader recorded a total of seven birdies between the fourth and fifteenth holes.

However, that run came to an amicable end thanks to a mid-course snack.

“I had a muesli bar on the hole before the 17th and I had it stuck in my throat so I thought I was going to choke” she laughed.

Looking toward tomorrow’s action, Smith has highlighted “simplicity” and “composure” as her keys for 2014 Oates Vic Open success.

“It’s a terrible cliché but you just have to take it one shot at a time. There are a lot of birdies down there so you just have to make sure you don’t focus on the wrong holes” said Smith.

“I just have to keep doing what I’ve been doing, keeping it really simple. I’ve been practicing basic swing shots and I’ve tried not to get too technical on the golf course”.

Smith also praised her caddy, and husband of five years, Duane.

“I’ve been really lucky to have Duane and if he can keep me chatting about things that aren’t relative at all then it usually makes a huge difference”.

England’s Laura Davies, Victorian Lindsey Wright and Victorian amateur Su Oh share second position at one-under-par; all three of which played the Creek Course during round one. 

A further shot back is the defending champion Stacey Keating, reigning Australian amateur champion Minjee Lee, American Hannah Jun and Canadian LPGA player Lorie Kane.

Keating admitted her last two shots, a bogey and double bogey respectively, proved very costly.

“I miss hit a chip and three-putted it,” she said.

“There wasn’t much too it. I was on the front edge [of the green], so it was disappointing obviously but I bounced back after that with two birdies, so overall I was quite pleased.”

That’s not to say that the local Cressy talent didn’t enjoy her first official day as the reigning Champion.

“I hit a par five in two and a two-putt, so that was an easy birdie there, and on the 10th I hit a five iron to 10-feet and holed that, so that was nice,” she said.

“It was after a double, so it was a nice bounce back. I had a couple of birdies early and I landed a couple of putts, which was nice”.


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By: Alex Tigani (Golf Victoria Media)