|Last year Webb won the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters for a record eighth time
Karrie Webb returns to RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, this week where 12 months ago she won the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters for an incredible eighth time and in so doing equalled Sam Snead’s record for winning the same event. Webb first won at RACV Royal Pines in ‘98 and added victories in ’99, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2013.
Snead won the Greater Greensboro Open eight times in a run spanning four decades, making Webb’s achievement all the more remarkable. The 38-year-old Australian once again weaved her magic by coming from two strokes behind teenagers Su-Hyun Oh and Ariya Jutanugarn to top of the leader board at 13-under-par after a flawless final round of five under par 67 in her native Queensland.
Q. Karrie: 2013 started great in the first half of the year, the second half maybe not so terrific, what position is your game in now?
KARRIE WEBB: Well I don’t know the position my game is in now, I’ve been in North Queensland for five weeks, practicing a little bit but I haven’t put any scores together or anything so I don’t think I’ll really know that until Sunday, I’ll probably have a better idea on Thursday but yeah 2013 overall I would say was a good year, I won three times around the world and I won again in the US so that’s always a top priority, trying to win on the LPGA. I would say I felt as though I didn’t finish the year off as well as I would have wanted to and I don’t really have any reasons why. I missed the cut at the British Open which was a big shock to the system because I had just won the week before. So generally when lose a cut I know what’s coming but I wasn't expecting that one so that was disappointing and probably just stopped the momentum a little bit.
Q. You said you had 4 or 5 weeks break, do you feel at this stage in your career that those breaks are advantageous to your game?
KARRIE WEBB: I think it’s just too long of a year starting tournament golf in the middle of January. You know I was working fairly hard up in north Queensland, I don’t really have, well the courses were in pretty good shape for this time of the year but there’s no point trying to put scores together, the greens are a bit slow. I was working a little bit, I took a bit of time of in December but I’ve always done it, it’s not something that’s new. I’ve always had to decompress after the season and get away from it all so yeah, I enjoy those breaks more and more every year and yeah it was nice to be in North Queensland for five weeks and spend time with the family and catch up with some mates and stuff like that.
Q. We know there have been lots of articles about it but can you beat Sam’s record?
KARRIE WEBB: Well I hope so, you know I think my record has proven I have a good shot this week before I even tee off but you know, it’s just a matter of getting myself into contention and it’s nice when I start here and I don’t quite know where my game is, coming here I have good feelings and even my practice round today as relaxed, you know I just don’t put a lot of pressure on myself.
Q. And a lot of your family coming down like they usually do?
KARRIE WEBB: Yes we have quite a crowd coming down over the next couple of days, so it will be fun to have them here.
Q. Karrie, what will it feel like to accomplish something that no other golfer, even the greatest couldn’t do?
KARRIE WEBB: Well obviously it would be very special, I didn’t even know about the record until Saturday night before the final round last year that I had a chance so I’ve obviously known about it since then, and Tiger Woods has tied the record since then as well so it would be very special, I guess to be the first to do it would be special – I can’t imagine Tiger not winning one of those two events again for the rest of his career so it’ll be nice to be the first to do it.
Q. Just wondering why this tournament is so special to you, you’ve teed of here so many times and given the weight of supporters, is there something about it or the event personal that keeps you coming back?
KARRIE WEBB: Well it’s in Queensland to start off with, it’s always been close to home and I’ve always had a lot of friends and family come out so that’s always been fun. It’s where I won my first event in Australia so that you know, up until I won, I think I had been a pro for three years and you guys thought that was taking too long to win! So it’s a special memory that you know I felt like I got that pressure off my back when I won in Australia. It was the first time that my family and friends had really seen me play so you know ever since then, even before that as an amateur I played well here. I really can’t pin point what it is about the course but maybe it’s just the relaxed atmosphere of the Gold Coast and the resort style here, that has made me come in here, really not putting a whole lot of pressure on myself but just enjoying the golf.
Q. Karrie, lots of the younger players on the tour are having success, Jessica Korda, only 20 won in the Bahamas, you look around the landscape of women’s golf, you’ve commented on it before, but just how good are the young players out there?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, there is a bunch of great young players, Jess is definitely one of the talented ones and one to watch out in the future. I think that the win at Royal Melbourne came as quite a shock to her, but the next one was definitely long overdue, so I think you’ll see a lot more of her in the years to come. But there is a bunch of young girls, and it seems, like you take Lydia Ko, they’re ready to go when they are 13 or 14 now, I think Lydia could have turned pro years before she did, but she turned at 16 which is amazing to me, to think that anyone can be ready for the world stage at that age, but she has proven ten times over that she is good enough to be out here. I think it’s still a very small percentage of kids that are ready, my fear sometimes for the Australian kids to think at 18 that they have to be ready on a world stage, I keep trying to tell them that is they’re not ready until they 21, 22 or 25, it’s okay you know you can play the game for such a long time and to not feel like they are not behind their generation because they’re turning pro later. The worst thing you can do is turn pro too early and go through really, really tough times and you may never recover and reach your full potential after that as if you were to stay as an amateur and learn the game a little bit more and develop. At the time most people develop you can reach your full potential.
Q. You mentioned you were in North Queensland did you spend any time in Florida over the Christmas, New Year period?
KARRIE WEBB: I was in Florida since just after Christmas and I’ve been in North Queensland since then.
Q. You’ve talked about the great unknown this week as you’ve talked about your preparation, but that hasn’t been unusual has it, sometimes a bit of rust to get off your golf clubs and you do it quite quickly here?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah even last year there was rust, but I practiced in Florida, I guess I just have more of a routine, in Florida, you know I have my trainer and physio and massage therapists, chiropractors, I just have more of a routine there. When I’m home in north Queensland and part of the reason I like being home for a couple of weeks is that I get to spend time with my family, especially my young nephews and nieces. So, it’s not as much about me, or it is about me because I want to see them but I’m not as much concentrated on my schedule, like I fit my practice in but I don’t go and work with a trainer and then go and get a massage later and that takes up 8 hours of my day. So, when I come here its more unknown when I’m practicing in Queensland, only because I haven’t been as routined and only thinking about myself for weeks. So that’s why it’s a little bit than if I had been in Florida for a month.
Q. When you were practicing in NQ, did last week’s cyclone disrupt your practice routine?
KARRIE WEBB: Well I missed the day on Thursday, because of the rain and the wind. And it was actually heading straight for us in Ayr but in the middle of the night changed directions so it really was a non event for us. So yeah I was out practicing on Friday, and you know I didn’t mentally think that would be happening because a category 2 cyclone was supposed to hit us.
Q. Obviously there a lot of changes about to hit this place, are you aware of them, have you made any attempt to mind out what’s going to happen?
KARRIE WEBB: Ah, I made an attempt to have a hand in what’s going to happen but I haven’t found out what is going to yet.
Q. Can you tell us quickly about the bet that went down with the Sharks Jersey?
KARRIE WEBB: Well, Sarah? Always has a bet on the State of Origin and she hasn’t won since she’s been on tour and she’s been on tour 6 years and she’s been a St. George fan ever since I met her, but she moved to Cronulla just the past year and decided, that because the Dragons were doing so poorly that she would become a Cronulla fan and so when the Cowboys and Cronulla played in the finals we decided to have a bet and the bet was that the winner provided the jersey of their team for the loser to wear on ….? And fortunately for her the NRL refs counted a seven and the Cronulla scored a try on that 7th tackle so yeah it’s been a bit contentious since.
Q. You mentioned your bid to try and get involved in work here; I know you’ve been involved in a project up north, is it something you want to continue on the later you move into your career, get involved with the design?
KARRIE WEBB: I’d like to, it’s not an easy field to get into to and you know, these days there’s not a lot of courses being built around the world but it’s something that I’m interested in being involved in. I’ve been part of three projects now with Thompson. We’ve put in a bid here to do a redesign here and you know, obviously we were out bid for the Rio Games course as well, so it’s been really interesting and I’m actually working with Harrison doing the redesign for the Townsville course starting at the end of this year so I’ve been a part of a few projects, just never seen them to conclusion. But it is something I am interested in.