Date: January 30, 2007
Author: Luke Buttigieg

Davies: I can win again

By Luke Buttigieg Englishwoman Laura Davies finds herself in the unusual position of being defending champion at this week&aposs MFS Women&aposs Australian Open, even though she won the event in 2004, but she is in solid form and gives herself a great chance of triumphing again. After a 2006 season that included a win at the SAS Masters in Norway, six second placings and the No.1 spot on the Ladies European Tour money list for the seventh time, Davies has had a busier European winter than in past seasons. Having also finished with eight top-10 and two top-20 placings in the 11 LET tournaments she contested last year, as well as 34th place on the LPGA money list, Davies had a month off before playing in the Lexus Cup in Singapore in December. Davies took another three weeks off ahead of the Women&aposs World Cup of Golf a fortnight ago in South Africa, and then played a pro-am with Australian Shani Waugh in Bunbury last week, so she feels her game is in good shape. “I&aposve been playing more golf than I have in most winters so I&aposm actually hitting it pretty well starting the year which is unusual,” Davies told reporters at the course on Tuesday morning before having her first proper look at Royal Sydney. “I&aposm just looking forward to playing this particular course, I&aposve heard so much about it. I was on the range yesterday (Monday) and just had a couple of looks at a couple of holes, the 18th and one of the other ones out there but it looks really difficult.” “From what I can understand the greens are pretty tricky to keep the ball on them because they&aposre very firm and fast apparently. But I&aposll find all that out today.” While she names local star Karrie Webb as the player to watch, Davies also believes that the greens at Royal Sydney dictate that a high ball-striker will be the most successful. “I think it&aposs who can hit the ball highest, even in the wind you still have to land it on some of these greens,” Davies said. “From what I&aposve seen of it and from what I&aposve heard from the caddies that walked around it yesterday, you&aposve got to be coming in with really high trajectory just to hold it on the greens.” “I&aposm not putting this up as me against Karrie because I&aposm the one who&aposs got all the work to do, Karrie&aposs the one that&aposs going to be cruising along and there&aposs a lot of us in behind her that have got to try and stay with her for the first three days to have a chance.” Davies, who will attend a one-day international between Australia and England at the SCG on Friday with Webb, has also been delighted with the way she turned her form around last year after starting it off by missing her first seven cuts in the United States. While that poor run had her &aposvery low&apos and examining her game more closely, a good start at the Swiss Open where she eventually finished second helped her regain her confidence and the 43-year-old has no short-term plans to give the game away. “I wouldn&apost be here now if I didn&apost think I could win this week and next week and the week after, like anyone that&aposs been through like Karrie, she thinks she can win every week, we all do, and once you don&apost think like that you might as well give up,” she said. “Who knows, I might not win another tournament but I think I can and that&aposs good enough for me. When I turn up here and I&aposm thinking &aposoh God I&aposm just here to make up the numbers&apos, then I won&apost come back next year.” “But at the moment I&aposm teeing it up Thursday and I think I&aposve got a great chance of winning, that&aposs why I keep coming back. Who knows, if I&aposm 50 and I&aposm still thinking like that you&aposll have to put up with me then.”