THURGOONA’S Lindsey Wright is hoping New Zealand can once again be a springboard to her success on the professional golf tour.
The 10-year veteran of the US LPGA recorded her sole professional victory at the Kiwi Open in 2012 — sinking a 13-foot birdie putt at the last for victory.
Today she will be on the practice fairway at Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch from 6.30am ahead of a 7.55am tee time in a group that includes Tiger Woods’ niece, Cheyenne.
Wright, 34, said tinkering with her swing and an injury free off-season had her better placed for an assault on the international stage.
She said a course record 64 that had her tied for the lead in the NSW Open with a round to play last weekend was a positive sign and a far cry from an LPGA season that saw her with only one top-10 finish.
“Last year my swing was all over the place, my pre-shot routine was out of whack and my putting was poor — it was awful really,” Wright said after a blustery pro-am.
“It was a crappy year — I got injured in February and never really got going all year.
“During the off-season and towards the end of last year I started to change things with a focus on 2014.
“Basically it’s the same stuff with me — set-up, alignment and tempo.
“I still tend to get a bit fast and then it knocks my rhythm out.
“I also did a fair bit of work on my short game and it is just a matter of building on that in these tournaments.”
Wright admits it’s a strong field but another step towards the Australian Masters and Open in coming weeks.
Also playing in Christchurch are New Zealand’s world no.4 Lydia Ko and England’s Charley Hull, both 17, along with a rising star of Australian women’s golf, Stacey Keating.
“It’s a very good field, a great golf course and a great way to kick start the year and going into the Masters and the Open in the coming weeks,” Wright said.
“It is hard to say how the course will play.
“In the practice round it was dead still and yet today the wind was brutal.
“It will come down to making the right decisions, making the right club selection.
“Most of the trouble is in front of the green so it pays to hit it long.
“But if I can play the par 3s well and keep the ball in play off the tees, I’ll have a good week.”
Wright is taking the positives out of last week’s record at Oatlands.
“I played well last week, hit the ball well,” she said.
“But I got ahead of myself rather than staying in the present.
“A lot of that was to do with having such a crappy season last year — you lack confidence.”