Beauden Barrett was the best of the current and former All Blacks enjoying a round before the New Zealand Open today, according to history-making Swedish female golfer Pernilla Lindberg.
Lindberg, the first woman to play the tournament, is in a playing group with Barrett, Damian McKenzie, and Israel Dagg.
“Beauden for sure he was the most consistent player out of the three of them, I think both Izzy and Damian can probably hit it further than him, but that’s not always what it's about,” a laughing Lindberg said.
Length off the tee is something that is on the mind of the tournament wildcard, with the 33-year-old female major winner all too aware of the challenge that awaits playing off the men's tees and against pros she's never played alongside.
“It’s quite different, my goal this week is to just go out and enjoy this opportunity and have fun with it,” she said.
One of the pros Lindberg will be up against is 24-year-old Denzel Ieremia, who is already eyeing his first New Zealand Open title barely a year after turning pro.
“I think everyone here believes they can win and certainly I do as well, in terms of what it could do for me I don’t think that far ahead,” he said.
The Kiwi, whose second cousin is former All Black Alama Ieremia, comes into the tournament in career best form following a top five finish at the Australian Open.
Victory would be a perfect way to honour his former Iowa State College teammate, Celia Barquin Arozamena, who was killed by a homeless man in 2018.
“Think we all just try do our best because that's what she'd want us to do,” he said.