NZ STROKE PLAY: PERRY CLAIMS TWO SHOT LEAD

22/03/2012

World No.1 Lydia Ko was upstaged by the in-form Emily Perry who carded a five under par 69 in round one of the Lion Foundation New Zealand Stroke Play to lead Ko and Auckland rep Mun Chin Keh by two shots.

Perry, who won the North Island Stroke Play last week at her home course Lochiel by six shots, came home strong with four birdies in the final five holes to claim the outright lead.

“I just came out here to play my own game and I played really well so I am happy,” said the 21-year-old.

“I did the same thing today as what I did last week at Lochiel [birdieing four of the last five] so I took a lot of confidence from that.

“The key to my round today was my drive I hit it long and straight all day and that made the course play really short. I am making putts that I don’t normally as well and this is a good start.

“I am showing a lot of patience and believing how good I can play. I am loving my golf at the moment.”

Ko was happy with her round apart from one hole – the par 4 15th – where she was unlucky to lose a ball and make a double bogey.

“The wind was going from left to right and I hit it left,” said the 14-year-old.

“I hit a tree and the ball came down to the right. Five minutes was up so I went back to the tee and while I was walking I saw my ball so it was frustrating.”

“I definitely left a few out there. It is not an easy course but you can shoot low scores here. Three under is not a bad score but hopefully I can shoot better throughout the week.”

Auckland rep Mun Chin Keh continued her recent good form to join Ko in the clubhouse on a three under par 71 total.

“Making the green in regulation and making the birdie putts. I am happy with my three under 69. My goal is always to break par so I was pleased to do that today.

“It is an honour to be tied with Lydia [in second] and I am looking forward to the challenge of playing with her.”

 

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