Karrie Webb leads the Australian quarter in Beijing.
Australian great, Karrie Webb is gunning for her ninth Volvik RACV Ladies Masters this week, however it won’t be an easy task on the RACV Royal Pines Resort layout.
The likes of American Jessica Korda, former world no. 1 Yani Tseng, Swede Caroline Hedwall, South Korean Chella Choi and South African Lee-Anne Pace will be trying to spoil her party.
Korda, had a change in equipment and coach over the off-season, which brought her immediate success when she won the opening LPGA event of 2014 in the Bahamans two weeks ago. The talented America has in just a couple of years on tour has risen to number 24 on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
“I changed the shafts in my irons, made them a lot lighter.”
“The difference was huge, especially on my body. I didn’t have to be taped up and I wasn’t so tired after each round and my swing didn’t leave me after the second round. “
“I don’t feel sore all the time and the best part is my wrist and my shoulders don’t hurt.”
When asked about spoiling Webbs’ party, she responded, “I’m going to try my best, it’s hard to beat Webb where she is really comfortable. Last year I played with her and she holed a chip on one of the par 3 on 14th and then I think on the 16th she hit this unbelievable chip shot, she hit it to like a foot and all I could do was just stare at her, I was so amazed.”
“Throughout last year I played with her a lot and I think she is one of my biggest idols.”
For the eight-time champion, she spoke about why this tournament is so special to her.
“Well it’s in Queensland to start off with, it’s always been close to home and I’ve always had a lot of friends and family come out so that’s always been fun.”
“It’s where I won my first event in Australia so that you know, up until I won, I think I had been a pro for three years and you guys thought that was taking too long to win! So it’s a special memory that you know I felt like I got that pressure off my back when I won in Australia.”
“It was the first time that my family and friends had really seen me play so you know ever since then, even before that as an amateur I played well here. I really can’t pin point what it is about the course but maybe it’s just the relaxed atmosphere of the Gold Coast and the resort style here, that has made me come in here, really not putting a whole lot of pressure on myself but just enjoying the golf.”
Pace, is the leading LET player in the field this week. The three time winner in 2013 has been working on getting more distance over the break.
“We, my coaches, have worked on getting a little more distance off the tee and also my irons.“
“I changed clubs also and I have more distance on my driver, which I’m happy with.”
“I am working on a squat move which is difficult to get if my timing is not quite there, but once it settles in, it will be really good”. Said Pace
When asked about the course, she replied “The course is playing a little longer, a little tougher. The changes made have made it a better layout than previous years, more competitive.”
The South African will be looking to get off to a quick start in 2014, she is known for not getting out of the blocks to quickly.
Webb is paired with last year’s runner-up South Korean Chella Choi and fellow compatriot Stacey Keating. They are out early on Thursday morning, followed by Korda, Sarah Kemp and Caroline Hedwall.
Tseng, Pace and Queensland’s Katherine Kirk will be another group to watch out for, they tee off in the afternoon.