|Spanish rookie Belen Mozo from Cadiz|
While the talent discovered to this point had been impressive, 2006 was a stand-out year. The title was won by amateur Amy Yang, a 16-year-old Korean high school student living on the Gold Coast. Cheered on by her classmates, she beat seasoned American campaigner Catherine Cartwright in a play-off. She remains the LET’s youngest winner and has since won twice as a pro in Europe.
Yang’s performance overshadowed Taiwanese amateur Yani Tseng who finished third, a shot out of the play-off. The next year she turned pro and three of her five wins to date on the US Tour are majors.
Korea’s Jiyai Shin was the find of 2007, running second to Webb. In 2008 she won the British Open and is currently ranked No. 1 in the world.
This year, as usual, there are plenty of hugely talented young players looking for their first professional win at Royal Pines. American Alexis Thompson could be the one. She turned pro at 15 last year and won more than $330,000 from five starts. For those who look for omens, she plays the first round on her 16th birthday.
Greg Norman thinks Spanish beauty Belen Mozo, 22, has what it takes because he sponsors her. The 2006 British Amateur champion finished third at LET and US Tour School. She made her pro debut at the 2010 AIB Ladies Irish Open, following up with a tie for 16th at the Sanya Ladies Open in China.
Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall, 21, is making her pro debut in Australia after winning her LET card at La Manga in Spain where she finished nine shots ahead of the field.
Carly Booth from Scotland caught the attention of Nick Faldo when she made the 2008 British Curtis Cup aged 16 and won her European Tour card at 17. As a member of Team Faldo she receives coaching and support from the six-time major winner.
Can Webb, who is playing her 18th straight Ladies Masters, keep these youngsters at bay? On the evidence of 2010, when she shot a closing 61 to win by six shots from Katherine Hull and Korean Bo-Mee Lee, she is in with a big chance.
Network Ten and One HD will broadcast the ANZ RACV Ladies Masters on Saturday 12 February and Sunday 13 February between the hours of 2pm and 6pm. Tickets are available at the gate or via Ticketmaster www.ticketmaster.com.au
For further information please visit www.ladiesmasters.com