Karrie Webb’s quest for a ninth title at the Australia Ladies Masters was brought to an abrupt end last Friday when she signed off for an incorrect scorecard.
Much of the pre-tournament hype was centred around Webb’s potentially history-making week at Royal Pines. Webb has an incredible eight wins at the Australian Ladies Masters, something Tiger Woods and Sam Snead have also achieved in their career.
Only Peter Thomson has more victories at the same golf tournament, nine wins at the New Zealand Open.
Webb did not start the tournament well though. She shot an opening round 1-over 74 but appeared to have made the cut when she posted a second round 2-over 75. But Webb somehow signed off for a 74, a breach of Rule 6-6b, and was disqualified from the golf tournament.
So what happened?
Webb made a bogey on the par-5 12th hole at Royal Pines but a par was recorded on the card – presumably by her playing partner who was marking the card. Royal Pines has recently changed from a par-72 to a par-73 and so presumably Webb thought she was signing off for a 2-over 74, instead of a 75.
According to Will Swanton at The Australian, it was Webb herself that realised the error and returned to the scorers hut soon after:
Ladies European Tour tournament director Fraser Munro said it was Webb herself who had brought the error to official’s attention before she flung her clubs into the back of a 4WD and drove away from the course.
“Golf being a game of integrity, she did the right thing, came straight away and brought it to our attention,” Munro said.
“Initially she just wanted to get to the bottom of the problem. I think as soon as we established she had a five on her card (at the 12th) she was obviously upset.
Webb will most likely be clearing things up at her press conference tomorrow ahead of the Women’s Australian Open at Victoria Golf Club but for now she has only issued an apology via Twitter.
To all the sponsors and fans of the Volvik Australian Ladies Masters, I sorry 4 letting u all down
— Karrie Webb (@Karrie_Webb) February 7, 2014
It is not the first time a high-profile golfer has made an innocent mistake to sign off on an incorrect score. One of the most remarkable was Roberto De Vicenzo’s mistake at the 1968 Masters when he signed off for a higher score than what he recorded for his final round. It meant he missed out on a playoff and a shot at the green jacket.
With a history-making moment at stake, it’s understandable that Webb was obviously in no mood to talk about the gaffe. We will hear more from her on the incident this week but Webb is a long way from retirement with more victories to come in 2014.
Don’t be surprised to see Webb bounce back strong this week at Melbourne – or record her ninth Australian Masters victory next year.