Golf: Klatten ready to take on Ko

By Daniel Richardson

Frenchwoman brimming with confidence heading into tournament at Clearwater

Joanna Klatten is not worried about any breeze at Clearwater. She loves the wind. Photo / Getty Images
Joanna Klatten is not worried about any breeze at Clearwater. She loves the wind. Photo / Getty Images

You can't argue with French golfer Joanna Klatten's form heading into this week's New Zealand Women's Open in Christchurch.

The 28-year-old shot a career-best nine-under 63 during the final round of the NSW Women's Open in Sydney last Sunday as she went on to claim her second title as a professional.

After beginning three strokes back, her flawless final round included nine birdies as she set a course record at the Oatlands Golf Club.

The world No124 said she was brimming with confidence heading into this week's three-day tournament at the Clearwater Golf Club, which starts tomorrow and will be headlined by defending champion Lydia Ko.

"My game has been pretty consistently good," Klatten said. "The last few months it has been good, so hopefully it's another good week for me."

On top of her victory last weekend, Klatten also won the first two pro-ams of the year on the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour at Yamba and Antill Park in NSW earlier this month.

As for her impressive final round in Sydney, Klatten said she was in a good head space throughout the day.

"I looked back at my round and the longest putt I made for birdie was three metres," she said. "So I was hitting everything really close and it was just a really solid round. I was hitting every fairway."

Such consistency will serve Klatten well at Clearwater this week, where the stiff winds can cause havoc for even the best players.

"I like the wind. I think it makes it more fun. You have to keep the ball a bit lower, I love it."

That's not a view that will be universally held among this week's field but Klatten is no stranger to Clearwater after finishing in a share of 14th at last year's tournament.

The New Zealand Women's Open, which has a purse of $334,000, is co-sanctioned across the ALPG and the Ladies European Tour, where Klatten predominantly plays.

She's likely to be one of the many starters in the field who will slide under the radar this week given the majority of the attention will be on Ko.

Klatten said she had played with Ko once before during a tournament on the Gold Coast a couple of years ago and she was impressed by the young Kiwi's relaxed nature.

"She seems to handle pressure so well. She's so laid-back, so cool and I really like her."

After playing in the LPGA's first tournament of the year in the Bahamas last weekend, where she finished in a tie for seventh, Ko was expected to arrive in Christchurch last night.

Meanwhile, the draw was announced yesterday and Ko will play the first two rounds with English teenager Charley Hull and Australian professional Stacey Keating.

Hull, who finished runner-up in her opening five starts on the LET last year on her way to claiming the rookie of the year honours, will be making her first appearance in New Zealand.

Keating, a two-time winner on the LET, will be looking to get into contention at Clearwater again after finishing third last year.


Joanna Klatten

From: Paris, France
World Ranking: 124
Professional wins: Victorian Open (2012), NSW Open (2014)
Miscellaneous: Turned professional in January 2011. She credits her dad as the most influential person in her career. Started playing when she was 10.

- NZ Herald

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