Karrie Webb gave her fellow Aussies something to cheer about during Sunday’s final round of the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian as she overcome a 5-stroke deficit to claim her 40th career LPGA Tour victory. Despite the significant ground to overcome, Webb took full advantage of the windy conditions at The Victoria Golf Club to fire a 4-under 68 that included six birdies and two bogeys.
”I feel very fortunate to have won today but I liked my chances at the start of the day because of the wind picking up,” said Webb. “If we had another day like we had the first three days, I probably was a little too far back to have a chance, so I was thankful for the weather changing and I played as good as I have in a very long time.”
It was a jam-packed leaderboard throughout Sunday’s final round that at one point saw four different players tied for the lead.
Prior to the leaders beginning their final rounds, Webb would be the first to strike recording back-to-back birdies at the opening two holes. Giving third-round co-leaders Chella Choi and amateur Minjee Lee something to think about, Choi quickly faltered with a double-bogey at the par-4 second.
“Today there was a lot of wind,” said Choi. “On the second I went out of bounds on the right hand side and that was a really big problem for me.”
With several players in contention for the win, it wasn’t until a birdie at the par-4 11th that Webb discovered she was tied for the lead.
“I was obviously pumped up that I made the putt but then of course I made that to tie for the lead,” said Webb. “I had a little bit of trouble calming myself down on the next hole, I didn't hit a very good tee shot, but I ended up making a really good par, so that sort of settled me down. It was a little up and down coming in, but the conditions were so difficult that it was hard to hit some quality shots and know exactly where the wind was coming from.”
Webb remained atop the leaderboard until an untimely bogey at the par-3 16th, dropped her into a tie with Choi at 11-under-par. After a par on the 17th, Webb hit her drive on the par-5 18th down the middle and got on the green in two leaving herself with a 35-foot eagle putt.
Despite missing the eagle attempt, Webb tapped-in her birdie putt moving her to 12-under-par for the tournament applying the pressure to Choi. Choi remained one behind Webb at 11-under-par requiring her to birdie the final hole to force a playoff.
In search of her first-career LPGA Tour victory, Choi’s second shot found the left rough leaving her with a difficult up-and-down for birdie. Choi, who lost in a playoff at the 2012 Manulife LPGA Financial Classic, calmly knocked her chip to within 7-feet but missed the birdie putt leaving Webb with her 40th career LPGA Tour victory.