Australia’s Karrie Webb has held on to clinch a fifth ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open title with a one stroke victory at Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne.
The 39 year-old Queenslander finished at 12-under par with a final round 4-under par 68 to beat Korean Chella Choi who carded a 2-over par 74.
“I feel very fortunate to have won today. But I liked my chances at the start of the day because of the wind picking up. If we had another day like we had the first three days, I probably was a little too far back to have a chance, so I was thankful for the weather changing and I played as good as I have in a very long time,” Webb said.
“I was hitting some quality shots early on and I realised that I'd gotten into that mindset and so I stayed on top of myself to make sure that that's what I did and never tried to hit a shot. I just played the shot that the conditions dictated,” Webb added.
It was a full scale turnaround from the events of the previous week in Queensland, when she was disqualified for signing for an incorrect score.
“It's amazing what happens, what a difference a week makes. Obviously this time last week I wouldn't be expecting to be sitting here, so I'm glad things changed around quickly for me,” Webb said.
The victory is Webb’s 52nd professional title and comes with a US$180,000 winner’s cheque.
For overnight co-leader Choi, a drive out-of-bounds on the second hole caused trouble early in the round.
“I went out of bounds on the right hand side and that was a really big problem for me. It was a hard game today. I didn’t like that part but Karrie played so good today,” Choi said.
On her first trip to Australia, American Paula Creamer posted a final round 4-under par 68 to share third place with Kiwi Lydia Ko and France’s Karine Icher at 10-under par.
American trio Morgan Pressel, Amelia Lewis and Stacy Lewis and Korean Jenny Shin finished in a tie for sixth at 9-under par.
Australian Amateur champion Minjee Lee finished in a tie for 11th place as the leading amateur after slipping to a final round 78 in the windy conditions but Webb heaped praise on the 17-year old from Perth.
“She's got more talent in her little finger than I ever did at 17. She should hold her head up high. She's played very well the last two weeks, probably the best out of anyone consistently the last two weeks. She should be really proud of herself. You'll definitely see a lot more of her,” Webb said.
The championship is sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour, the LPGA Tour, and the ALPG Tour.
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