Day 4 – 6pm UPDATE Webb&aposs Triumph The legendary Karrie Webb has won a fifth ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open title, reeling in the leaders after starting five shots back. Webb, 39, pieced together a superb final-round 68 to post 12-under par for the tournament, and waited an hour for the remaining players to come in. They could not catch her. South Korea&aposs Chella Choi was the last player who had a chance, reaching the 18th tee just one shot behind and needing a birdie at the par-five finishing hole at Victoria for a playoff. Che gave herself a great chance with a wedge to three metres at the final hole, but her left-to-right uphill putt stayed left of the hole. “I was happy to see the conditions were going to be tougher today,&apos&apos said Webb afterward. “I though that gave me a chance to make up some ground.&apos&apos Hall-of-famer Webb was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard in Queensland last weekend, a severe embarrassment for a consummate professional. Joint overnight leader Minjee Lee, the 17-year-old superstar amateur from Perth, held the outright lead for a period on the front nine but fell away, carding a final-round 78 Lee finished tied-11th. Choi carded a 74 to finish outright second, a shot behind Webb. Paula Creamer, Karine Icher and Lydia Ko tied for third place. Day 4 – 5pm UPDATE Webb takes clubhouse lead All-time great Karrie Webb is on the verge of her fifth ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open title. The 39-year-old Webb, already the winner of four Open titles in her native country, posted a fine four-under-par 68 at Victoria today to take the clubhouse lead, 12-under overall. Webb began the day five shots back but two immediate birdies set her up to challenge, and when she bombed a long birdie putt at the par-four 11th she had a share of the lead with Minjee Lee. Another birdie at the 13th gave her the outright lead, but a bogey at the 16th handed a share of the lead back. There are still several players on the course with a chance of winning the $1.2 million tournament, including South Korea&aposs Chella Choi, who is one shot back at 11-under under through 14 holes. Day 4 – 4pm UPDATE An Aussie 1-2 at the Open? Australian pair Karrie Webb and Minjee Lee are in a share of the lead more than midway through the final round of the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open at Victoria. Webb made a long-range birdie at the 11th and then another from close range at the 13th hole to seize the lead at 12-under par, but Lee, the 17-year-old amateur who hold a scholarship in Webb&aposs name, rolled in a birdie putt at the ninth hole to join her mentor. Lee, the two-time Australian amateur champion, stayed with Webb in the United States last year as part of a mentoring program run by Golf Australia. At least 10 players are still in with a chance of winning the $1.2 million tournament. The clubhouse leader is American Paula Creamer, who carded a fine 68 to post 10-under for the tournament. DAY 4 – 3.30 PM UPDATE A pack finish looms at the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open as the iconic Karrie Webb launched her charge. Webb bombed a 15-metre birdie putt at the par-four 11th hole to join the lead at 11-under with France&aposs Karine Icher, Korea&aposs Chella Choi and fellow-Australian Minjee Lee. A few minutes later Lee took bogey from an awful plugged lie at the par-three seventh hole and lost her share of the lead after she had taken outright supremacy on the second hole. Nine players are within a shot of the lead, all with a chance of winning the $1.2 million tournament at Victoria. DAY 4 – 2.30 PM UPDATE Australia&aposs Minjee Lee has taken the outright lead in the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open at Victoria but her compatriot Karrie Webb is among those in the chasing pack. Lee made a great birdie putt at the first and then when co-leader Chella Choi lost a ball off the tee at the second, the 17-year-old Australian had the lead outright at 13-under par. Choi made a double-bogey six as most of the players began to struggle in much tougher conditions. Webb, a four-time winner, bombed a birdie putt at the par-five eighth to move to 10-under, just three from the lead. New Zealander Lydia Ko (11-under) also is in strong contention. DAY 4 – 1.30 PM UPDATE Four-time winner Karrie Webb has made a brilliant start to her final round and jumped into contention in the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open at Victoria. With the leading groups about to tee off, Webb hit her tee shot at the short par-four first hole on to the green and two putted for a birdie, then hit her approach at the par-four second close and rolled another putt in for a second birdie. It left Webb at 10-under par for the tournament, just three back from the lead held by Minjee Lee of Australia and Chella Choi of South Korea. Frenchwoman Perrine Delacour made three consecutive birdies to move to within two of the lead and another French player, Karine Icher eagled the first hole to move into contention. DAY 4 – 11.30 AM UPDATE Australia&aposs Minjee Lee is set to make her tilt at becoming the first amateur to win the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open at Victoria today. The 17-year-old Perth player tees off with joint leader Chella Choi of South Korea at 1.40pm today. Lee, a dual Australian amateur champion, was runner-up in the Australian Ladies Masters last weekend and has carded rounds of 66, 67 and 68 to put herself in contention. Stronger winds greeted the players at Victoria this morning and the scoring suffered as a result, although Spanish star Beatriz Recari made some ground with a front nine of 32. DAY 3 – 5.30 PM UPDATE Brilliant Australian amateur Minjee Lee has taken a share of the lead at the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open at Victoria. Lee, 17, made consecutive birdies at the 15th and 16th holes, the latter with a long, bombed putt, to reach 13-under par and level with Korea&aposs Chella Choi, who broke the course record with a 62 earlier in the day. The Western Australian player, winner of the past two Australian amateur titles, is in contention for the second week in a row after she was runner-up in the Australian Ladies Masters at Royal Pines last weekend. Overnight leader Caroline Hedwall imploded on the back nine, carding five birdies in seven holes to fall off the top of the leaderboard. DAY 3 – 4 PM UPDATE Overnight leader Caroline Hedwall of Sweden birdied both the par-five eighth and ninth holes at Victoria to rejoin the lead in the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open today. Hedwall is at 13-under-par through nine holes of the third round, tied with South Korea&aposs Chella Choi, whose sensational 62 earlier in the day smashed the women&aposs course record for Victoria. Norway&aposs Suzann Pettersen also remains in strong contention at 12-under par through nine holes. Australian amateur Minjee Lee began with a birdie and added another at the ninth to reach 11-under par, continuing her remarkable tournament. Karrie Webb also had a good day, carding a four-under 68 to reach eight-under for the tournament. DAY 3 – 2.30 PM UPDATE South Korean Chella Choi has made sensational charge at the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open, smashing the course record with a 62 to seize the third-round lead. Choi, 23, rolled in a five-metre eagle putt from the front fringe of the green at the 18th hole to erase the previous women&aposs course record of 64 set by Anna Nordqvist on Thursday. The Korean, a prominent player on the LPGA Tour in the United States, had an amazing back nine of 30 and rolled in seven birdie putts to go with two eagles for the day. At 13-under par she has a lead of two shots from overnight leader Caroline Hedwall of Sweden. Both Hedwall and Suzann Pettersen are only three holes into their final round. DAY 3 – 1.30 PM UPDATE Australia&aposs Su Oh has eagled the 18th hole at Victoria to soar into the top 10 at the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open. The 17-year-old Melbourne amateur, who is a member of Golf Australia&aposs national amateur squad, rattled around the course in 66 today with five birdies and the eagle from just beyond three metres at the par-five 18th. It left her at seven-under-par for the tournament, just four shots back from the lead held by Caroline Hedwall of Sweden, who tees off at 1.50pm. The other outstanding Australian amateur, Minjee Lee of Western Australia, will tee off soon at nine-under, in third place. DAY 3 – 12:30 PM UPDATE Perrine Delacour of France has been the big mover in the early stages of round three of the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open at Victoria. The young Frenchwoman shot a seven-under round of 65 and is eight-under for the tournament, just three from the lead, at the conclusion of her third round. Leader Caroline Hedwall of Sweden is more than an hour away from her tee-off. Hedwall is at 11-under, one shot ahead of Suzann Pettersen of Norway. The Australians have made a good start today, with veteran Karrie Webb picking up two shots in the first three holes to reach six-under, and amateur Su Oh if five-under for the day through 16 holes, four-under for the tournament. DAY 2 – 4 PM UPDATE Sweden&aposs Caroline Hedwall is clinging to a two-shot lead at the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open at Victoria this afternoon, although she may come under threat from Norway&aposs Suzann Pettersen, the first-round leader. Hedwall&aposs second-round 65 included an ace at the par-three 16th and saw her leap to the top of the leaderboard, but Pettersen, who began with a 66 on Thursday, did not tee off in the second round until 1pm. The Norwegian was at eight-under for the tournament, three shots behind Hedwall, through 12 holes today. Australia&aposs Minjee Lee, the superbly-talented 17-year-old amateur, is outright second after her 67 today. DAY 2 – 1.30 PM UPDATE Sweden&aposs Caroline Hedwall roared around Victoria in a second-round 65 to grab the lead in the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open today. Hedwall momentarily took the lead when she aced the par-three 16th hole, then lost it to 17-year-old Australian amateur Minjee Lee, then regained it with a birdie-eagle-birdie finish. Remarkably her 65 was not the low round of morning play; fellow-Swede Anna Nordqvist carded a superb eight-under 64 to soar into contention. A European Tour superstar, Hedwall is 11-under-par through two rounds, leading by two from the amazing Lee, who shot 67 to go with her opening 68. Big crowds were drawn to the reigning Australian amateur champion Lee, who is from Perth, and she is building a reputation after a stunning second place in the Australian Ladies Masters at Royal Pines last week. She did not let them down; after nine straight pars on the back nine starting from the 10th tee, she eagled the short par-four first hole and then finished with two birdies at the par-five eighth and ninth to take the lead. The Australian said she would not change her mindset over the weekend. DAY 2 – 1 PM UPDATE Perth phenomenon Minjee Lee, 17, has taken the lead in the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open. The teenaged amateur who is part of Golf Australia&aposs elite development squad followed her first-round 68 with a five-under-par 67 today at Victoria, taking birdie at the last two holes. She was runner-up in the Australian Ladies Masters at Royal Pines last week and continues to emerge as a potential superstar for the future. Lee&aposs round had failed to ignite through the back nine, having started on the 10th, but she bombed an eagle putt on the short par-four first hole to approach the lead, made another birdie at the fifth, then made an up-and-down for birdie from the bunker at the par-five eighth to join Sweden&aposs Caroline Hedwall in the lead, and smashed two woods to the front edge of the green at the 500m ninth hole, her last. Two putts later she was headed to the clubhouse at nine-under and leading her national title. DAY 2 – 10.30AM UPDATE Swede Caroline Hedwall has made a sensational hole-in-one at Victoria to surge into the lead in the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open. The European Tour star knocked a short iron shot into the cup at the par-three 16th to reach seven-under par and overhaul the overnight leader, Norway&aposs Suzann Pettersen, who is not due to hit off until 1pm. Hedwall shares the lead at seven-under-par with Carlota Ciganda of Spain, who has picked up three shots through nine holes this morning. Two other players have joined Pettersen at six-under in the early play, enjoying pristine conditions. Americans Jessica Korda and Brooke Pancake made ground, grabbing a share of the lead until Hedwall&aposs thunderclap shot. Hedwall, ranked 23rd in the world, had a sensational 2013, going unbeaten in the Solheim Cup.
Author: Martin Blake / www.golf.org.au