|A Victorious Karrie Webb (Photo: Scott Powick SMP Images)|
Australian Karrie Webb has won the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters for an incredible eighth time and in doing so she equals Sam Snead’s record of winning the same event eight times.
Snead won the Greater Greensboro Open eight times in a run spanning four decades. Webb first won at RACV Royal Pines in 1998 and her most recent victory was in 2010.
Webb, who started the final round two shots behind teenagers, Su-Hyun Oh and Ariya Jutanugarn, fired a flawless round of five under par 67 to finish at top of the leader board at 13-under-par and two clear of the field at the RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.
Webb didn’t feel it for the first nine holes and posted her only birdie on the par 5 3rd to go out in 35.
“I wasn’t feeling it on the front nine, I really hang in there, I didn’t hit a lot of quality shots, but just managed to shot one-under on the front” said Webb after her round.
A great up and down on the par 4 10th, after an errant drive was the key to her final round: “If I didn’t get up and down there, there would have been no momentum going forward and I would have really struggled to keep up.”
Webb was still trailing the leaders by three with eight holes to play, but the seven-time major champion then stepped it up a gear over the final holes, making a crucial birdie on the par 5 12th which moved her to 10-under-par.
After Webb made her birdie on the 12th, Oh, who was leading, was starting to feel the pressure and a double bogey on the same hole saw her drop back to 10-under-par. The 12th wasn’t a good hole for the players at the top apart from Webb: Jutanugarn also bogeyed which resulted in Webb, Oh and Jutanugarn all at 10-under-par.
Webb took the outright lead after she holed her pitch shot from the back of the green on the par 3, 14th for another birdie.
The reachable par 5 15th gave her another birdie opportunity. She reached the green in two and just missed her eagle putt, but tapped in for birdie to move to 12-under-par.
A fantastic up and down from the right side of the par 16th maintained her momentum and lead before she sunk another 15 foot birdie putt on the 17th to give herself a three shot lead heading up 18.
Commenting on her eighth win she said: “I am very happy, it never gets old when you get a win, what a way to start the year! I’m very happy.”
Three players finished at 11-under-par South Korean Chella Choi (69) and the two teenagers who share the lead in the final round, Australian amateur Su-Hyun Oh (71) and Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn (71). American Jessica Korda (71) finished outright fifth, while Australian Stacey Keating (72) was sixth at nine-under-par. Swede Pernilla Lindberg (72) and American Dori Carter (72) were a further shot back and tied for seventh.
Defending champion Christel Boeljon didn’t have a great final round and finished the tournament at seven-over-par and tied for 53rd.