Webb ties Snead with Ladies Masters win
Karrie Webb rolled back the clock to achieve another personal milestone in a stellar career, clinching her eighth Volvik RACV Ladies Masters title with a superb back nine performance on Sunday at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast.
The legendary Sam Snead holds the longstanding PGA Tour record for the most wins at the one event – eight times at the Greater Greenboro Open (now the Wyndham Championship).
Karrie Webb (Credit: Anthony Powter)
With this victory, Webb has at the very least put her name on an equivalent standing with the great Snead and in the process, she broke a personal victory drought stretching back to March 2011.
“This tournament has got so many great memories for me and just to add some more, obviously, it’s very special.” Webb said following the presentation ceremony on the 18th green.
“There was a little bit of extra motivation last night to hear that I could go in the history books and tie Sam Snead’s record.”
Webb started the day 2 shots back of young tyros, amateur Su-Hyun Oh from Victoria and Thailand’s 17 year old Ariya Jutanugarn, who was playing in her first Ladies European Tour event after winning the Qualifying School tournament last December.
Despite being 1 under through 11 holes on the final day, Webb remained 2 back until a long downhill putt for birdie on the 12th sparked her into action.
“When I got on the 12th green, I knew I had to make that putt otherwise I just didn’t have any momentum going. To get from nine to 10, 10 under looked better on the leader board than nine did.” she said.
That birdie was the catalyst for a golden run for Webb through the toughest of the wind conditions of the afternoon.
She was unfortunate to have ‘my best swing of the day’ result in the ball releasing over the 14th green, only to confidently chip the ball in for birdie, followed by another after narrowly missing an eagle putt after a perfectly played 15th hole.
Another birdie on the 17th extended her lead to 3 shots from where she was able to cruise to victory, despite missing a short birdie putt on 18.
Webb’s final round 67 was the round of the day but she was kept honest throughout the back nine by the play of playing partner, Korean Chella Choi, who shot a final round 69 but was never able to get close enough as holes ran out.
“I am very happy, it never gets old when you get a win, what a way to start the year, I’m very happy”. Webb said, gazing at the crystal trophy.
Three players finished tied for 2nd at 11 under par, Choi (69) and the two teenagers who share the lead in the final round, Oh (71) and 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.
While the tournament was played in essentially perfect weather, the tournament and promoter Bob Tuohy are certainly overdue to catch a break.
Cyclone Oswald turned Royal Pines into a quagmire early in the week for the fourth year in succession, not the platform Tuohy needed to build the tournament back up and attract new support to ensure this prestigious event returns to the heights of years gone by.
Tuohy would already be smiling though, safe in the knowledge that the incomparable Webb will be returning in 2014 to defend her title.