Karrie Webb says she has another major in her after bouncing back from one of the worst weeks of her career to win her fifth Australian Open title.
In a thrilling finale, the former world No.1 came from five shots back at the start of the day to win by a shot from South Korea’s Chella Choi after shooting a closing four-under-par 68 to finish at 12-under at Victoria Golf Club.
Seeking her first title, Choi (74) had a two-metre birdie putt on the last hole to force a playoff but pulled it to the left.
It was Hall of Famer Webb’s 40th LPGA title and she said an eighth major – her last coming back in 2006 – was there to win.
“If I can do the mental job that I did all weekend, especially today, if I maintain that standard than I think I can,” said Webb, who won her last Australian Open crown in 2008.
“I played as good as I have for a very long time.”
The 39-year-old Queenslander said she was delighted to wake up to wind at the sandbelt course after three rounds played in still conditions.
She felt it gave her a chance to catch the leaders.
“If we had another day like we had the first three days I thought I was probably a bit too far back to have a chance, so I was thankful for the weather changing.
“Sometimes for me the tougher the conditions the better.”
The high of victory came after a career low last week when, as defending champion and eight-time winner, Webb was disqualified from the Australian Ladies Masters for signing an incorrect scorecard.
The world No.8 said she still hadn’t shaken off the disqualification.
Through the week she got a text from her good friend, fellow Australian golfer Stacey Keating who reminded her that when she was disqualified from the 2012 British Open for the same error, she won the following two tournaments.
“I thought about that when I was walking up 18, that might come true for me as well.
“It’s definitely a different feeling for me this week than last week.”
Playing six groups ahead, Webb had a nervous wait for Choi to complete her round.
The world No. 28, who shot a course record 10-under 62 in her third round, started with a birdie but then hit her ball out of bounds on the second hole.
She followed that double bogey up with a bogey and couldn’t buy a birdie from there, carding 15 straight pars.
Australian teenage amateur Minjee Lee, who shared the lead with Choi heading into the final round, fell away with a 78 to finish five off the pace in a tie for 11.
New Zealand 16-year-old Lydia Ko (73), France’s Karine Icher (71) and American Paula Creamer (68) finished tied third at 10-under.
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