Date: February 12, 2009
Author: Angus Morgan at Metropolitan GC, Sportal

Focused Webb reaps reward

Clubhouse leader Karrie Webb had to guard against being sidetracked by her playing partners who struggled badly during Thursday&aposs opening round of the Women&aposs Australian Open at Melbourne&aposs Metropolitan Golf Club. While Webb scorched around the sandbelt course in 66 – seven-under – her partners, Gwladys Nocera of France and US tour veteran Brandie Burton both fired ugly 79s – 13 shots off the pace. Coming off a win in the New Zealand Open just two weeks ago, Nocera, the European No.1, never settled. She had five bogeys on the front nine and after steadying with a run of five successive pars immediately after the turn, slipped further behind with a double-bogey seven at the par-five sixth. “Sometimes it can be distracting because you&aposre not seeing lots of good shots, but it was just one of those days when I really was in my own little world,” said Webb. “Both players are friends of mine so I didn&apost like seeing them play the way they did, but because I was in my own little world, I didn&apost let that affect me too much.” Webb admitted to feeling a few nerves early on, but credited her outstanding iron play – “I hit &aposem all around the hole” – for her hot score. “If you had told me I was going to shoot seven-under today I almost probably wouldn&apost have believed you,” said Webb. “I guess I&aposm not surprised, I know what I&aposm capable of.” “It&aposs a nice little boost for my confidence and hopefully I can carry it on for the next three days.” The 34-year-old world No.9 agreed that she got the best of conditions which were forecast to become more volatile during the afternoon. “Once we turned on 15, that&aposs when the wind started to pick up so we were pretty fortunate there and the wind&aposs just progressively gotten windier,” she said. “It&aposs pretty brutal out there now, so I was glad to get in.”