|Australian Karrie Webb won her seventh ANZ Ladies Masters title at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast in Australia on Sunday.
The 35-year-old Queenslander shot a final round 11-under 61 for a six stroke victory over her compatriot, the 2009 champion, Katherine Hull and South Korean Bo-Mee Lee.
Webb began the final round one stroke ahead of Hull and Lee, but fired off nine birdies and an eagle to extinguish their final round challenge.
She eventually finished at 26-under 262, matching her own tournament record from 1999.
Webb was pressed hard by Hull, who reeled off four birdies in her first six holes. However, Webb holed a nine-iron approach from 125 yards for eagle on the par-four seventh, to be five-under-par through seven holes.
Webb birdied the ninth, with five more birdies over the back nine. She rolled in a 30 foot putt on 18 for her ninth birdie of the day and bettered the course record set in 2009 by Kristie Smith by a shot. She also equalled the all-time lowest round record on the Ladies European Tour.
“As soon as I hit it, and that’s how good the putter’s feeling in my hands, as soon as I made contact with it I knew I had a chance,” said Webb, who revealed that she had thought about shooting a 59.
“I was saying at the presentation when I stood on16 and I knew I had a four shot lead and I was trying to work out how many under I was and I couldn’t work it out. But I thought I was at 10 under. I had a good birdie chance on 16… the thought went through my mind that if I birdied the last three I could shoot a 59 and I just went ‘I am too tired to think about that, to even get nervous about that. If it happens, it happens.’ So no, it feels great to play the way I have, this whole week.”
Webb was pushed early on by Hull, whose final round of 66 included eight birdies over her first 12 holes, however she bogeyed the second and 17th.
Lee’s matching number of 66 included four birdies and an eagle at the ninth, sealing a flawless score card with no bogeys all week.
Hull said: “Karrie just played absolutely flawless golf and, yeah, you can never rule out a hall of fame player can you?
“It was just rock solid, she was swinging it well all day and obviously rolling them from everywhere, so, I actually, I felt pretty good out there, I felt like I could give it a good crack and then I just couldn’t make a putt coming in, so that’s just the way golf goes, but, yeah, it was just an absolute clinic on Karrie’s part.”
It certainly was. Webb took a three stroke lead with four to play when she birdied the 14th and hit two great shots just off the back edge at the par five 15th moving four ahead of Hull at ten under for the day.
When Hull bogeyed the 17th Webb was about to enjoy the thrill of a five shot lead playing the last hole.
Webb said that the win rated highly amongst her 46 career titles. “It’s very high up there. The quality of golf today was unbelievable, I’m sure you were watching but Katherine, she was pushing me all the way. Just when I thought I had created a little bit of breathing room she would come right back at me with a birdie and, I’m actually really, really exhausted,” she said.
Seo-Hee Kyung finished alone in 4th position at 19-under with fifth placed So-Yeon Ryu a further four strokes back in 5th.
Denmark’s Iben Tinning was the best placed European player at 14-under in a share of sixth with Australian Tamie Durdin.
The previous week’s Pegasus New Zealand Women’s Open champion Laura Davies finished with a 71 for a share of 25th place.
She will defend her Handa Australian Women’s Open title next week at Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne against a quality field including Webb.