(Sydney, Australia, March 2 2003) Scotland’s Mhairi McKay committed the golfing equivalent of grand larceny as she snatched her maiden Tour victory at the AAMI Australian Women’s Open ahead of England’s Laura Davies after a dramatic afternoon at Terrey Hills GC.

McKay – first of many?

The Scot added her fourth straight birdie at the par five 16th, getting up and down from 50-yards short of the green and Davies was left chasing, two behind. A gritty birdie from the Englishwoman at the 16th increased the drama and the chances of a playoff, but despite brave efforts at the final two holes, last week’s ANZ Masters winner could not find the final birdie.

“I can’t believe it, it’s all I ever wanted to do,” said McKay, who has finished runner up four times in her six year career.

“It’s such a great feeling, I’m absolutely ecstatic. I had no idea how things stood until after I holed my putt on the 18th and saw I was one ahead.”

It was a long wait for McKay to see Davies just come up shy, but as soon as she knew she was a winner, she phoned her father Peter, waking him up at 6am to tell him the good news.

“I owe this to them,” added McKay, who earned 40 points for the Solheim Cup qualification and jumped into third place in the standings.

“They brought me up and encouraged me all the way and I owe them everything.”

Davies, who considers her last three weeks in Australia a resounding success, was gracious in defeat and applauded McKay’s maiden victory.

“I hit a couple of loose irons there in the middle, but Mhairi’s round was fantastic. I can’t believe that she’s never won before and to do that on the final day was something special.”