Webb shoots closing 61 to claim seventh Masters title

GOLD COAST: Australian Karrie Webb fired an 11-under par closing round of 61 to capture her seventh Australian Ladies Masters title by six shots at Royal Pines here on Sunday.

The 35-year-old former world number one left one of her finest rounds to the end to run away with the championship from compatriot and defending champion Katherine Hull.

Webb simply gave no-one else a chance by carding nine birdies and an eagle to equal her career-lowest round and finish the tournament at 26-under 262.

“The quality of golf generally today was unbelievable,” Webb said. “Katherine pushed me all day and just when I thought I had created some breathing space, Katherine came back at me.

“It’s hard to separate all of them out and pick the best one but it is a great feeling just to have won seven.” Webb, who won here with 26-under in 1999, said she had to work much harder this year to claim victory. “I had only a two-shot lead with five or six holes to play today whereas back then I cruised for most of the last day,” she said. “It was nice to be able to walk down the last fairway with a five-shot lead, but I actually didn’t think that was going to happen earlier.”

Webb’s round was highlighted by an eagle two at the seventh hole and a 10-metre birdie at the last hole. Her nine-iron flew 120 metres straight at the flagstick at the seventh and dropped into the hole for an eagle. Hull (67-70-65-66) and young South Korean Lee Bo-Me (69-70-63-66) finished joint second on 20-under 268. Hull went birdie for birdie with Webb until the seven-time major winner’s class kicked in on the back nine. She was gracious in defeat: “You can never rule out a hall of fame player, it was just an absolute clinic on Karrie’s part,” she said.

Hull will get another crack at Webb in next week’s Australian Open at Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne. South Korean Seo Hee-Kyung (69-68-66-66) finished fourth on 19-under 269 and compatriot Ryu So-Yeon was fifth on 15-under 273. afp

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