Date: February 17, 2016
Author: Tom Fee

THE VETERAN : Age no barrier for Webb

Karrie Webb has arguably more in common with Lydia Ko than anyone else at this year’s the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

Webb and Ko are competing as the Australian Open's most recent winners, and they are major winners with lengthy stints at World Number 1 under their belts.

But the questions Webb fielded today about the defending champion seemed to revolve around their age difference — and Webb delivered a smooth response.

“I’ve always said that the golf ball doesn’t know how old you are,” said Webb, 41, with a smile.

“It’s just about getting it in the hole. As long as I feel fit and healthy to play I feel that I can be competitive every week.”

Webb added that the 18-year-old Ko shares a similar mentality.

“Lydia mentioned last night that when she was achieving of these ‘youngest records’ she wasn’t thinking about the age of who she was competing with – and I don’t either.”

And when Webb was asked about Ko’s plans to retire at 30, Webb stated that she too had planned to retire early.

“I said I was going to retire when I was 35, but I’m still going. When you’re eighteen, thirty seems like a long way away — but from experience it comes around pretty quickly.”

With five national titles to her name, Webb is just one of three Australian golfers to win and keep the Patricia Bridges Bowl in Australia.

“It took me a couple years to win here — and the media made it out like it was an eternity!” joked Webb.

“But [it felt an eternity] to me too. It’s our Australian Open it carries a lot more prestige for us than anyone else.”

“Every Australian wants to play well here and that added focus and pressure can be hard to deal with and get used to.”

Pundits are predicting Ko to rule again in 2016, but Webb still hopes to add to her Australian Open tally — and she delivered some high praise to The Grange Golf Club in the process.

“Just winning the Australian Open any year is an honour, [especially] to do it on great golf courses. It would be nice to have a shot at winning here this week.”