Day 1, Clearwater
One of Hawke's Bay golfer Kate Chadwick's biggest fears before teeing off at the New Zealand Women's Open in Christchurch yesterday were the water obstacles.
There's a succession of spring-fed lakes and trout-filled streams at the Clearwater course.
"I found the water on the first hole. Fortunately that was the only time," Chadwick said as she reflected on her first taste of one of the country's most pristine courses and the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open.
The Napier club member, who couldn't get to Christchurch in time for practice rounds because of her nursing commitments at Hawke's Bay Hospital, did the best of her three-strong group with a six over par 78 in what she described as "howling winds".
Chadwick, who qualified for the event by winning the New Zealand Maori Matchplay title in Taupo last month, finished yesterday's round in a share of 92nd place in the 144-strong field.
"I had all the honours, I didn't expect that ," Chadwick said as she stocked up on a supply of chocolate at a Christchurch supermarket last night for today's round.
"We teed off just after 2pm and as the wind got up in the afternoon I got more and more nervous," Chadwick said.
She pointed out Australian professional Jana Welsford, who shot a 79, helped her feel comfortable.
"Jana has been on the pro tour since December and she understood how I felt," Chadwick said.
After five hours and 40 minutes of play Chadwick, Welsford and Korean professional Joo Ga Eun, who shot 90, finished their round.
"It was the longest round I've ever played but it didn't feel like it. At this level players take more time with their shots so I didn't feel like I was holding anybody up," Chadwick, the Hawke's Bay-Poverty Bay No1, said.
Welsford and Chadwick are scheduled to tee off at 9.20am today. Eun didn't make the cut.
"There was a sign up at the start of today's round stating anybody who shot 14 over or worse wouldn't make the cut for tomorrow. That was playing on my mind a bit too," Chadwick said last night.
"I left a bit out there today but at the same time I saved myself a few times with some good shots. Hopefully there will be less wind in the morning and that will be an advantage for me," Chadwick said.
She had her father Fred on her bag and mother Llesley and brother Sam were among the spectators.
"Dad was so excited and it was an awesome day for all of us," Chadwick said.
With studies her priority during the past three years Chadwick had shelved plans of becoming a professional. When asked if yesterday's experience had forced her to reconsider making golf her fulltime job Chadwick replied: "Ask me after tomorrow's round".
Hastings golfer Stuart Duff will start today's second round of the New Zealand Seniors Championship in Taupo in a share of second place. Duff shot an even par 72 during yesterday's first round at Taupo's Centennial course.
Royal Auckland's Brent Paterson was the only player to go under par yesterday with a 70. Tied with Duff in second were Avondale's Tony Clemett and Maungakiekie's Mike Leitch.
Napier's David Wilkinson was the next best of the Bay golfers yesterday with a 75.