World No. 1 Ash Barty took to golf to keep her eye in during her absence from the WTA tour, lowering her handicap from 10 to four – and winning the women’s club championship at the Brookwater Golf Club in Brisbane.

“My girlfriends talked me into playing that club champs and it was just for a bit of fun,” Barty, 24, told Australian Associated Press.

“I’ve played plenty of golf over the past 12 months so now the golf clubs go away and they collect a few cobwebs again and the tennis racquets are the driving force.

“I’Il try and play a couple of rounds if I can throughout the year but the tennis racquets have to take priority now.”

Barty will face Simona Halep in an exhibition match in Adelaide on Friday – her first match after an 11-month layoff.

“She’ll get a good hit-out there as well and we’ll try and treat it bit like a proper match,” her coach Craig Tyzzer said.

“There will be at least two full sets for the girls which will be great. And both Simona and Ash are really looking forward to that.”


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