NORTH ISLAND STROKE PLAY: PERRY THE FAVOURITE AT LOCHIEL

15/03/2012

It’s a course that she has played a million times before so it’s fair to say that Emily Perry will go into this week’s North Island Stroke Play at Lochiel as the favourite on her home track.

The New Zealand rep has enjoyed a good run of form in 2012 as she looks to press her claims for selection in both the Queen Sirikit Cup and the Espirito Santo World Championship.

She was the joint first round leader at the ISPS Handa NZ Women’s Open hosted by Christchurch with a superb five under par 67 and then backed that up by finishing joint runner up at the Riversdale Cup.
The 21-year-old Waikato rep, fresh from competing in the Trans-Tasman Cup in Melbourne, will face tough competition from New Zealand team-mates Sarah Bradley and Chantelle Cassidy.
“It's a first for me as they have never held a national women's event at Lochiel,” said Perry.
“It’s a relief actually as I have had such a full on schedule that it's nice to be easily fully prepared for this event and Lochiel is in really great tournament condition right now.
“My form has been good over the last two months, with some very pleasing results overseas and a lot of development in hitting fairways and using my driver more often with confidence to take advantage of my length off the tee.”
Dave Mangan, the National Tournament Manager at New Zealand Golf, expects the women’s event to be one of the highlights of the week.
“There will be a lot of pressure on Emily Perry to perform as there always is when you are playing at your home track,” said Mangan.
“I’m sure the fact she feels comfortable on the course will help but Sarah Bradley and Chantelle Cassidy are both from the Waikato region so I am sure they will have played the course a few times.
“In recent weeks Emily has really proven herself as an international quality player and despite the fact there is plenty of sport on in Hamilton over the weekend, it is a great opportunity for the locals to come out and watch her play round her home track.”
Perry said there is a lot to like about her home course as it’s a good challenge and in great condition right now.
“I have played the course over the last week and the greens are mint and the fairways and rough are nice and lush. The thing I like most about
Lochiel is that you can be easily rewarded for smart play with a bit of risk reward in there with some of the shorter par 5s. The course is such a nice course to walk around a play too.”
She is not feeling any pressure and wants to take advantage of a good chance to win a national title.
“The challenge for me is more to keep in the right mind frame and really attack the holes I can easily make birdies on! I am looking forward to it.”
Perry admitted being selected in the Queen Sirikit Cup and Espirito Santo Worlds teams later in the year is in the back of her mind but is working hard on not getting ahead of herself.
“As always I would like to play well in every event I play but I would rather achieve all my process goals this week for now and let the outcome sort itself out rather than focusing on world selections.”
Not to be outdone the Men’s event is an open championship with some of the form players in the New Zealand Amateur scene at the moment teeing it up.
“It will be really interesting to watch Compton Pikari play this week, he surprised all the guys in winning the South Island Stroke Play, but he will be the player to watch this week,” said Mangan.
“Jordan Bakermans has been very impressive lately and Josh Munn was unbelievable in the playoff at the SBS Invitational.
“Along with New Zealand reps from the Trans-Tasman Cup, Blair Riordan, Sam An, Ryan Chisnall and Tyler Hodge, I’m sure we will see a very exciting finish come Sunday.”
 

    OOM LEADERBOARD

    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Kobori, Kazuma 145.55
    2 Wood, Tyler 103.05
    3 Brown, Luke 95.93
    4 Lee, Jang Hyun 94.57
    5 McLean, Matthew 87.81
    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Chung, Darae 192.59
    2 Xu, Fiona 146.41
    3 Khoo, Caryn 142.44
    4 Lu, Vivian 131.84
    5 Dryland, Brittney 101.83