European card a breakthrough for Bristow

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 09:22 19/12/2012
Cathryn Bristow
Photosport
CATHRYN BRISTOW: Will compete on the 2013 Ladies European Tour.

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It's been such a whirlwind couple of weeks for New Zealand golfer Cathryn Bristow that she hasn't had a chance to think about what her debut season on the Ladies European Tour might look like.

But she will play ''as many events as possible'', including the NZ Women's Open in Christchurch next month.

The Auckland lefthander joins Wellington veteran Lynnette Brooky on the LET next year after holding her nerve in the final round of the qualifying school event in Morocco yesterday, finishing tied for 25th and earning full playing rights in 2013.

It is a massive fillip for the 28-year-old, who has been plying her trade in the United States on the LPGA's feeder tour and back home in Australasia since she turned professional in 2010 after graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in psychology.

''It very important to be able to play on one of the main tours,'' she said as she prepared to fly back to Houston.

''I will play great courses, against some of the best players in the world and getting on the tour is another step in the right direction for my golf. Hopefully I will play consistently over there, which will hopefully lead to wins in the future.

''I have worked very hard and it's nice to see the work pay off in this way. I'm very excited.''

Bristow's had a couple of good wins in the last 18 months, one at the Pennsylvania Classic on the second-tier tour in the United States last August and one on the Australian tour in January, but securing her card in Europe represents a big breakthrough.

She is the only New Zealander - male of female - to successfully progress through Q-school this year in either the United States or Europe.

Making it through the final two stages of European Tour Q-school, having missed out on the LPGA Tour, had been her only focus for the past fortnight and she hadn't had time to look ahead to 2013.

''I'm honestly now sure what my plans are, I haven't even looked at the schedule for next year or even if it's been released,'' she said.

''I was so focused on this week that I didn't look past it. Right now, I'm heading back to Houston for a few days then heading home to see my family and friends and and to celebrate with them. After that I will begin planning but I will play as much as I can.''

Bristow will play in the NZ Women's Open at Clearwater in Christchurch from February 8-10, a tournament co-sanctioned between the European and Australian tours.

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''I'm very excited to play the NZ Open every year. It's my one chance to play at home and it's so exciting that it's going to be in Christchurch again this year.''

- Stuff

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