Karrie Webb has five wins in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, but none have come at Royal Melbourne – the most famous course in the country and ranked No. 9 among Golf Digest’s 100 greatest golf courses in the world. This will be only be the second time this event’s been hosted at Royal Melbourne and Webb wants to repeat.
“It’d really be a feather in my cap. I’ve won at a lot of great golf courses when I’ve won the Australian Open and to add Royal Melbourne to that list would be an honour and really special,” Webb said.
The Royal Melbourne she’s returned to find this time is 200 yards longer than the last time they played it and the fairway grass isn’t running out as much as it did back then. 3-under-par won here in 2012 so Webb’s curious to see what the scores will be if the wind turns up, which it hasn’t so far, like it did in 2012. The greens are a little more receptive and Webb knows the course better, though, and feels more comfortable with it being the second event of the season for her rather than the first like in 2012.
Ultimately, this may be the last time this event’s played at Royal Melbourne that Webb has a sharp enough game to win it. She makes no bones about the fact that she’s holding on to the 2016 Olympics for the privilege to potentially be on the Australian team but may not play a full schedule once the Olympics are over.
“I think just making the Olympic team is why I’m still playing a full schedule and why I’m working really hard,” Webb said. “I’m not taking anything for granted that it’s given that I’m on the team for next year, so like I said I need to stay fit and healthy. And as far as the Olympic Gold goes, that would be absolutely unbelievable.”
Until then, Webb will get to feel the support of her country in advance and knows that could come in handy come Sunday.
“What I think is really worth a shot or two to me is when I play in Australia and I have that crowd support. It gives me a boost myself, but I think it also helps me (in relation) to all the others in the field,” Webb said. “If there are other Aussies up there, they’ll get cheered for as well, but anyone else who’s not from Australia, they know who everyone is supporting.”