This Week with Karrie Webb - February 11th
It’s been a very hectic week here in Melbourne but it’s something that I’ve gotten used to over the course of my career. It’s been like that for a very long time here in Australia and I can’t complain. It’s a good thing because it means that people are still interested to see me play. And it’s been a great week so far.
Royal Melbourne has been fantastic. I think they’ve done a really good job of setting it up quite fairly. The conditions have been really tough the last two days for me and it’s just been a real grind. But it’s set up to where people are shooting good scores. I just haven’t managed to play my best. I haven’t putted very well. I hit the ball quite well on Friday and just didn’t putt well at all. Saturday was up and down with everything. I didn’t hit it as good. Made some putts early on and then I didn’t putt well at the end of my round. So disappointing to shoot 2-over in my round because I really had a chance to shoot a little lower I think.
Since September, I’ve been working on swing changes. During my round on Friday, I felt good about them. With the challenge of the wind, it got me away from being so technical because I really couldn’t be. On Saturday, I think just the whole week caught up with me. I didn’t leave the course until just before 8 p.m. on Friday night. It was a bit of a quick turnaround and I don’t think my body was quite ready for it, to be challenged as much as I was yesterday again today. I didn’t have the same feel with my swing. Really I think I did well to shoot 2-over in the round.
This week is definitely different for me. During a typical week on Tour, unless I’m a defending champion or I get into contention, I don’t have a lot of commitments anymore. I pretty much go under the radar but when I come home it’s the complete opposite, which really is great. Everyone’s expectations are higher but I’ve learned to deal with that. It was hard when I was younger but now I enjoy the challenge of that and I love having a home crowd advantage.
I always have been embraced in Australia but I think it’s nice that as you get older, there is more of a respect that’s shown for my whole career. It would be great to be playing well this week and to be in contention. I know I would use the crowd to my advantage if that was the case. But I think people do have a lot of respect for my career and what it means to Australian golf and I hear a lot of great comments during the day and it’s really nice.
I haven’t really had much time to do anything outside of golf here in Melbourne this week due to my hectic schedule. My family has been here -- my mom, my dad and my grandmother -- so it’s been good to at least have them around to have dinner with and stuff at night. It’s nice to have them around to enjoy the little bit of time that I have in the evenings to get over that day’s round and get ready for the next day.
Overall, it’s been a really fantastic week so far. We never really get the opportunity to play courses that are rated highly in the world like Royal Melbourne. The No. 1 ranked course in the U.S. we would never get the opportunity to play. So to play the No. 1 ranked course in Australia is unbelievable. Down here in Melbourne, they’ve got four or five courses that rate up there with the best in the world. So it’s a very great area for golf. For me growing up, Royal Melbourne was the course that you always wanted to play because you always watched a lot of the men’s tournaments being played on it. So for us to be here, it’s definitely been a pleasure and a privilege and hopefully we’ll get to come back again.
Tuesday afternoon -- It’s been very busy here in Australia. I got in to Melbourne on Friday night and worked Saturday with my sports psychologist, who is based down here in Melbourne. So we did a lot of good work on Saturday. Sunday the weather was really bad with winds near 30-45 mph and I tried to play a few holes but it was a bit of a disaster so I gave up on that pretty quickly. I was supposed to go to the cricket match on Sunday night but it rained. They eventually played the cricket match but by the time they made a decision, I decided that I wasn’t going to head over there. And then on Monday, I practiced and played with a couple of the young girls with the Australian amateur squad because I’m involved with that sort of thing with the Karrie Webb Series.
I was really excited about the announcement last year that we were coming back to Australia after a 12-year absence. I think it’s the boost that women’s golf needed in Australia as it just has been very stagnant for a long time. The LET (Ladies European Tour) has really supported this event but with the LPGA coming and then having it at Royal Melbourne, which has never before hosted a women’s event on the Composite course, I think it’s the spark that women’s golf needed in Australia.
For us to play the Composite course here is a real treat. Members I think play the Composite Course four times a year, so it’s a very rare opportunity. I just don’t think in general around the world that we get to play courses that are rated very highly as the best courses in the world. You talk about Royal Melbourne and that would come up in the top-10 on a lot of people’s lists.
Last night, I received an honorary membership to Royal Melbourne Golf Club, which was a thrill. I found out around September that they were interested in doing that. It was a great dinner. I’m not really a fan of public speaking, which I knew I had to make a speech last night but it was great. The members were really, really excited to have me a part of that. There are only four other honorary members in the club. It’s a pretty elite list with Peter Thompson, Greg Norman, Kat Nagle and Bruce Green, who is the head pro here, so it’s an honor to be a part of that.