France’s Joanna Klatten and Australian Sarah Kemp could be going head-to-head coming down the stretch at this week’s ISPS Handa New Zealand’s Women’s Open hosted by Christchurch.
The pair has been practising together leading into and during this ALPG Tour Season and the results are showing that whatever they are doing is working.
Klatten, who plays on the Ladies European Tour, won the opening two pro-ams at Yamba and Antill Park on the ALPG calendar and then last week secured her second major tournament win when she captured the first major trophy of the season, the Bing Lee Fujitsu General Women’s NSW Open.
The win at the Oatlands Golf Club was very impressive.
The 28-year-old played the best round of her career - a flawless round of nine-under-par 63 - to come from three shots behind at the start of the last round to win by three.
Kemp has also been playing some consistent golf and has posted four runner-up finishes in the Club Car Series.
Her record in New Zealand is worth noting, she has finished runner-up twice in the short history of the event and this week will be looking to go one place better.
The pair has been practising together, mainly at Kemp’s home club, the NSW Golf Club.
Kemp explained that Klatten has introduced her to different forms of practice.
She then gave an example of the “different” practice sessions.
“One day we went out to NSW, I’m a member there and Joanna got permission to practice, so we went out there for nine holes late one afternoon,” said Kemp.
“Joanna has been working with a new personal trainer and she said ‘You do what I do’, so before we hit our shots, we would try and get our heart rate up. So we would have to do sprints at the back of the tee, or do push-ups, star jumps, whatever, you name it, to get heart rate up and then hit the shot.
“So it was challenging, but it has been good. It is different, so we have been doing crazy things like that, we have had chipping comps like that and putting comps. It has been fun and different. I have to keep up with her. “
Klatten added: “I like it, it’s good, ‘cause it has been motivating me to do well as well, so I know she is doing all the right things and it helps me to do them all as well.”
When chatting about her record in New Zealand, Kemp responded with confidence.
“I always enjoyed New Zealand and playing here, it is always really windy and I come from a golf course where it is really windy, so it kind of feels like home.”
Klatten likes her chances of becoming the second Frenchwoman, after Gwladys Nocera who won in 2009, to have her name engraved on the trophy
“If I play like last week, yeah anything is possible. It is really one of my favourite courses, it is one of those courses, where you can be aggressive and take advantage of your length, the green are perfect. I remember putting really
well last year. If I get my game together this week, I will have a chance to win.”
ISPS Handa NZ Women’s Open hosted by Christchurch Fact Box
When: Friday January 31 – February 2
Where: Clearwater Golf Club, Christchurch
Tours: ALPG and Ladies European Tour (LET)
Purse: €200,000 or NZ$334,000