FORMER Shoalhaven Heads lawn bowler Karen Murphy ensured Australia were off to the best possible start at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, with a comprehensive 21-4 victory over Tonga's Malia Kioa in her first round (Section A) singles match.
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The five-time Games veteran raced out to a 16-0 lead before Kioa settled into the match, forcing a tighter contest for the remainder of the match.
"It was a solid performance – happy with the scoreline," Murphy said.
"The first game is always the hardest.
“I was probably a little more anxious playing that game than getting up in front of 1.5 billion people and reciting the oath.
"It's nice to finally get started.
“It's been a long time coming.
"I've got a little more in the tank and can improve on that game, but it's a good starting point... If I can eliminate a couple errors then it all helps."
Murphy had a second-round bye in the preliminary rounds before taking on Zambia's Gertrude Siame and South Africa's Colleen Piketh from 9am Friday, in the third and fourth round respectively.
"I'm going to have to be on my game," she said.
"For me, I know if I play well, maintain my performances over the past few weeks and keep my momentum running through, the results will take care of themselves."
Murphy also reserved special praise for the vocal home-crowd support.
"Only the first day, it's going to get a whole lot better," she said.
"That's what gets you home.
“Moments like that aren't anything with the people you share them with."
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