Cathryn Bristow revved-up to improve ranking

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 05:00 31/01/2014
Cathryn Bristow
IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
LIKELY LEFTY: Cathryn Bristow is confident of a good showing at the New Zealand Women's Open this week.

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New Zealand's No 2-ranked golfer, Cathryn Bristow, played 12 tournaments in her rookie season on the Ladies European Tour last year and won a grand total of $6600.

So when she says she had a "horrible year", it's tough to disagree.

But 2013 ended with some hope; she went back to Q-school and had a good week, finishing 15th to ensure a return to Europe this year.

And she's adamant she won't be going back to school for a third time.

"I didn't realise it but I only made two of 12 cuts. It was pretty horrible but I learnt a lot," she said as she prepared for the New Zealand Women's Open, at Clearwater, this week.

"It made me more resilient and I knew that I really loved the game because if I didn't, I wouldn't want to keep playing. I reset for Q-school, made sure I wasn't afraid of it, and I played really well and finished 15th."

The 29-year-old left-hander from Auckland loves the European tour in terms of the courses, lifestyle and places they play in, but will look to make a change this year and have a base, rather than travel around with events.

She's "pretty lucky" with her sponsorship, which covers all travel and means when things aren't going well, like last year, she can still get to tournaments. It's not a luxury everyone has.

At No 559 in the world, Bristow is the Kiwi No 2 behind Lydia Ko. She's ahead of Lynnette Brooky (687) and Caroline Bon (688), who is also at Clearwater this week.

But the gap is giant and Bristow is working on closing it.

She'd love to make inroads this weekend, especially after missing the cut last year after rounds of 79 (in strong winds) and 69.

"You always want to play well at home. I didn't make the cut last year and it burns a little.

"It's one of my favourite events to play all year. It's the only time I get to play at home, and I love the support I receive from the Christchurch community, even though I'm from Auckland."

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