Five Australians will tee it up at this week’s major tournament, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship but can we expect to see an Aussie winner come Sunday?
It’s been a long time since an Australian woman has won a major golf championship. In fact no Australian has won a women’s major golf championship since 2006 when Karrie Webb’s won the Kraft Nabisco Championship, surviving a playoff against Lorena Ochoa.
Remarkably it was Webb’s seventh career major and she has been the only Australian to win a women’s major golf championship since 1983, when Jan Stephenson won the third and last of her majors.
Webb has come close to winning a few more but only Katherine Kirk and Lindsey Wright are the other Australians who have come close to winning a major in that time; Kirk lost the 2010 Women’s British Open by a stroke to Yani Tseng and Lindsey Wright finished four strokes behind Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist at the 2009 LPGA Championship.
Since Webb’s last major victory, the women’s golf has been dominated by American and South Korean golfers winning all but 13 of the past 38 majors combined, with Australia having very little to cheer about.
Karrie Webb, Katherine Kirk, Minjee Lee, Sarah Jane-Smith and Sarah Kemp are the five Australians teeing it up at Westchester Country Club in New York. Webb has posted two top-10 finishes in the past two weeks and is not without a good chance of winning her eighth career major.
The other golfer to keep a close eye on in Minjee Lee. Lee has shot up to 16th in the Women’s World Golf Rankings thanks largely to her victory at the Kingsmill Championship last month and in doing so became the youngest Australian to ever win on the LPGA Tour.
We wouldn’t be surprised to not only see Lee in contention for her first major championship on Sunday but overtake Webb on the World Golf Rankings sooner than later.
The 19-year-old from Perth looks like a star in the making and while we’re not suggesting Webb’s career is by any means finished, Lee could the one who breaks the Australian drought at major championships over the next few years.