Next week she’ll be playing against the world’s best on her home course, and Canberra’s Nikki Campbell hopes to enter the Australian Open on the back of her first win in three years.
The 32-year-old defied windy morning conditions to shoot three-under and grab a share of the lead after the first round of the New Zealand Women’s Open at Christchurch on Friday.
Starting on the back nine, Campbell shot three straight birdies from holes two to four to join compatriots Tamara Johns and Sarah Oh at three-under in a three-way logjam at the top of the leaderboard.
Royal Canberra member Campbell is looking for her first trophy since her win on the Japan Tour’s Fujitsu Ladies tournament in 2009.
‘‘Playing in the wind was a good thing. It means hopefully when I play in the afternoon I’m used to the wind,’’ Campbell said.
‘‘It’s unfortunate the [morning] players didn’t get to take advantage of some still conditions, but you never know it may blow again in the morning [on Saturday]."
It’s the first time Campbell has played the New Zealand Open after spending the last decade on the Japan Tour.
Having lost her tour card after failing to finish in the top-50 on last year’s Japan money list, Campbell will play on this year’s European Tour after safely negotiating qualifying school.