Date: February 02, 2007
Author: Luke Buttigieg

Webb’s warning for rivals

By Luke Buttigieg Already a dual winner of her national Open, world No.3 Karrie Webb has ominously warned her MFS Women&aposs Australian Open rivals that she hasn&apost played near her best despite being six-under and close to the lead at Royal Sydney. The 32-year-old Queenslander followed her opening round 67 with a one-under 71 on Friday but then told reporters that while she is happy with where she&aposs placed at the halfway mark, she can play much better. “I think so, I call it playing ugly, I don&apost know what it looked like from the ropes,” Webb said. “But just because I knew that I was struggling with my distance control a little bit.” “I didn&apost putt very well either today, didn&apost feel as comfortable on the greens as I did yesterday, so that&aposs why I think I&aposm pretty happy to get away with one-under.” “I&aposm not playing ugly ugly where I&aposm chipping out from trees and stuff like that, and making Houdini pars, but just not doing anything spectacular. I&aposm just hitting greens but having lots of 20-footers and not having a lot of putts inside 10 feet.” Webb planned to spend an hour or so on the practice range on Friday afternoon before heading to the Sydney Cricket Ground with Laura Davies to watch Australia play England in a one-day cricket international. But even though she has work to do Webb also believes that her improved mindset and confidence regained during her superb 2006 season, in which she won five times, are the reasons that she has scored well even though she hasn&apost necessarily played that well. “What&aposs really encouraging is this time last year the way I swung it the last two days I would&aposve been over-par,” she said. “The good thing about the confidence that I have and the work that I&aposve done on the mental side of my game is that I&aposm able to score even when things aren&apost quite right.” “I&aposm happy to shoot one-under today because I didn&apost feel like I was hitting it as well or my distance control wasn&apost as good as yesterday. I&aposm happy to be at six-under and the wind&aposs just picked up, the sun&aposs come out, so I don&apost think the scores will be that low this afternoon so I wouldn&apost be too far off.” Webb claimed a share of the lead with first-round pace-setter Sarah Kemp when she birdied the 13th hole to move to six-under before giving that shot and another back at the 14th and 15th holes to fall two behind again. After four straight pars Webb made a second birdie at the second hole and then regained a share of the lead with Kemp – who hadn&apost yet teed off in her second round – when she also birdied the seventh, and she hopes to now make a charge on Saturday. “Well I hope so, I don&apost know what the weather forecast is but if it gets breezy I&aposm happy to be at six-under and hopefully start hitting a few more solid iron shots on the range to take that out to the golf course,” Webb said. Webb also took time out during her preparations for the tournament to spend time with the female members of Golf Australia&aposs National Squad, playing a practice round with three of them and then also sitting down with them all for a 90-minute chat. “I met the whole Australian squad and obviously they&aposre the best amateurs in the country and I think all three of the girls that I played with the other day they were obviously a little bit nervous but you could see the potential in all their games,” Webb said. “I just really let them ask a lot of questions and just talked about where I came from in Australia and how I got to be where I was and why I thought that I was able to do that.” If Webb does correct the problems she believes exist in her game on Friday afternoon, it could prove to be a very long weekend for the rest of the field if she does indeed get going in the final two rounds.