A FIFTH HOME OPEN FOR WEBB, Latest Sports News - The New Paper


Karrie Webb edged out South Korea's Chella Choi in a "nerve-racking" battle to win her fifth Women's Australian Open and 40th tour title yesterday with a 12-under-par total.

The veteran Australian came from five behind at the start of the day to win by a shot from Choi, the overnight leader who shot a course-record 10-under 62 in the third round.

Webb, 39, thrived in gusty conditions to take her first home Open crown since 2008, finishing with a final-round 68.

The former world No. 1 faced a tense wait as Choi - chasing her first US LPGA title - missed a birdie putt on the par-five 18th which would have forced a play-off.

"It was nerve-racking. I actually thought once Chella had that putt on the last - I've played with her quite a bit and I was expecting that one to go in," said Webb.

"I was happy to see that the conditions were going to be a little tougher today because I felt like that gave me a chance to make up some ground."

Webb, now world No. 8, was disqualified from her title defence of the Australian Ladies Masters last week after signing an incorrect scorecard.

Her latest win was the perfect antidote, and she attributed it to the fact she "got off to a great start" with birdies on the first two holes.

"I just did a really good job mentally today. Probably I can't think of another time that I've held myself together as well as that," said Webb.

She got her break on the par-4 11th, where she birdied a huge 45-foot downhill putt to take the lead.

"I hadn't even got the ball to the hole on that green all week so yeah, it was nice to see that one drop and really got things going."

Choi, world No. 28, started with a birdie but then hit her ball out of bounds on the second hole for a double-bogey six and was unable to birdie again - crucially missing on the 18th in a strong cross-wind.

New Zealand sensation and world No. 4 Lydia Ko, 16, finished tied third at 10-under (73) with France's Karine Icher (71) and American Paula Creamer (68).

Exciting Australian amateur Minjee Lee, 17, runner-up to Tiger Woods' niece Cheyenne at the Australian Ladies Masters, got off to a promising start with a 20-foot birdie putt on the first hole, but a double bogey on the par-four 12th cost her dearly.

Cheyenne finished joint-23rd with a four-under total. - AFP.

Leading final-round scores:

276 Karrie Webb 71-69-68-68

277 Chella Choi 70-71-62-74

278 Paula Creamer 68-69-73-68, Karine Icher 69-68-70-71, Lydia Ko 68-68-69-73

279 Stacy Lewis 71-69-70-69, Jenny Shin 74-67-66-72, Amelia Lewis 71-67-69-72, Morgan Pressel 69-68-70-72

280 Gerina Piller 75-69-68-68

281 Azahara Munoz 68-70-73-70, Jessica Speechley 71-67-70-73, Lee Mi Hyang 72-67-68-74, Minjee Lee 68-67-68-78

I was happy to see that the conditions were going to be a little tougher today because I felt like that gave me a chance to make up some ground.

- Karrie Webb (above) GOLF