Being made an honorary member of Royal Melbourne Golf Club is a “great honour” Karrie Webb says ahead of this week’s Women’s Australian Open.
And she hopes the accolade will give her extra motivation when play gets under way on Thursday.
“I was thrilled when they informed me they would like to do that,” Webb said this week. “I did not have to think twice about accepting it.”
After fitting a couple of rounds on the sandbelt course ahead of the $1.1 million comp, Webb described the greens as “intimidating”, but said she was pleased with how her year had started.
“I have not had a bad round yet this year. It’s been great,” she said. “We’ll see what happens. Things are feeling pretty good. I made a few swing changes starting in October last year (and) actually liked what I saw (during practise round) yesterday.”
And the woman Webb – and everyone else – will be trying hard to beat this week, world No.1, Yani Tseng, said she too had made alterations to her swing in the off season to make it more consistent.
She has also been working out a lot to get physically stronger.
The result? “I have more power. I don’t swing as hard as before. I feel I am swinging easier and striking the ball better,” Tseng said.
She said she was very happy to be back in Australia and was thrilled to be playing at Royal Melbourne, which she got a glimpse of from her TV set during the Presidents Cup.
“It is an unbelievable golf course,” she said, describing her practice round earlier in the week as “pretty tough”.
“The greens were fast. I am very excited and can’t wait to go out and have fun.”
Tseng won 12 events last year and said she was not sure what she could do to better that performance. But she has adapted well to being the best woman golfer in the world, she added.
“I feel very relaxed. It has been a year. I think this week is my one year anniversary No. 1 (and) it is great,” she said. “In the first couple of months I felt a lot more pressure. But I enjoy it. It was one of my goals last year and I reached it. I feel very happy. I’ll still keep working hard because there so many great players here.”
Asked what we should expect for the event for which she has claimed the last two titles, Tseng said: “I think it going to be fun. You are going to use a lot of imagination to play on this course”.