Cathryn Bristow best of the Kiwis at NSW Open

Last updated 21:33 24/01/2014

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Cathryn Bristow was the pick of a small Kiwi contingent following the opening round of the women's NSW Open at the Oatlands Golf Club in Sydney today.

The New Zealand international carded a one-under 71 to lie six strokes adrift of Australian leader Kristie Smith in a tournament that gained world wide exposure when Lydia Ko became the youngest winner of a professional event aged 14 in 2012.

Bristow notched four birdies and three bogeys in a fluctuating round that left her in a tie for 35th. Fellow New Zealanders Jenna Hunter and Phillis Meti signed for a 73 and 74 respectively while Tania Tare was among the stragglers following a costly six-over 78.

Smith, one of the early starters, held the lead for the majority of the day and starts the second, and penultimate round, after crafting a superb seven-under 65.

She racked up eight birdies and dropped her only shot when bogeying the 17th.

Mireia Prat of Spain and Frenchwoman Alexandra Vilatte trail the Australian by two strokes.

The tournament, where Ko was also runner-up in 2011 and 2013, serves as a lead-in to next month's Australian Open at the Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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