Karrie Web wins her 5th Women’s Australian Open Title
Karrie attributes much of her win to her strong mental game on the final day of the Women’s Australian Open.
The stress and pressure of the final day got to seventeen-year-old Australian amateur Minjee Lee, the co-overnight leader, had seven bogeys and a double bogey in an error-filled final round of 78. She finished in a share of 11th place. Read more from golf.com
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Karrie Webb won the Women’s Australian Open for the fifth time Sunday, shooting a 4-under 68 in the final round to beat Chella Choi by one stroke.
Webb birdied the 18th hole to take the outright lead, then watched as Choi, who shot a course-record 62 on Saturday to take a share of the third-round lead, pushed a 10-foot putt wide of the hole at 18 to miss the chance for a playoff.
Webb, who clinched her 40th LPGA title, finished at 12-under 276 overall. She previously won the Australian Open in 2000, 2002, 2007 and 2008.
“I got off to a great start and I just did a great job mentally today,” Webb said. “I can’t think of another time when I held myself together as well as that.”
The win marked a remarkable change of fortune for the No. 8-ranked Australian, who was disqualified from last week’s Australian Ladies Masters after signing an incorrect scorecard. She had been the defending champion at the event.
“I was happy to see the conditions were going to be a little tougher today,” Webb said. “I felt like that gave me a chance to make up some ground.”Webb started five shots off the lead Sunday, but made six birdies and only two bogeys as the other leading challengers struggled in a strong wind on the Victoria Golf Club course.
Choi had played 14 holes and was at 11 under when Webb finished her round, leaving the Australian with an anxious wait to see whether her score would hold up. But the South Korean, who had two eagles and six birdies in her record-setting third round, couldn’t make a birdie on the back nine Sunday.
“When you’re on the course you feel like you have some control, but when you’re done you have no control and you just have to wait and see,” Webb said. “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.”
Choi was trying to win her first LPGA title.
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McIlroy’s Game all in the Mind
Rory McIlroy has, by his own standards, had a disastrous year on the PGA Tour. New clubs, an international engagement and worsening results have led to zero titles in 2013. His fall through the world rankings has surprised many but now, as the season draws to a close, there is reason to believe in McIlroy once again.
A tied second place at the Korea Open a fortnight ago showcased the Northern Irishman’s quality and he backed that up with a one-shot win over Tiger Woods at a lucrative exhibition round in China this weekend. His form is slowly creeping back to where it was this time last year when he won in Dubai and, with that tournament now just two weeks away, McIlroy is a good outside option in the golf betting to clinch the season-ending showstopper.
McIlroy this season has come to epitomise the mental frustrations players find themselves under on the PGA Tour. Anyone, whether you’re a professional or occasional amateur, gets stuck in a rut from time to time and it’s how you react through the adversity that defines your success on the other side. McIlroy has reacted well. He’s kept calm and composed during the tough days this summer when he carded a disappointing US Open finish and missed the cut at the Open. A 59th place at the BMW Championship in September plunged his ranking further, yet the 24-year-old has stuck to his way of playing gung-ho golf.
And it’s finally working. While a change to Nike clubs frustrated his attacking approach play earlier this season, now he’s used to the gear his mind is more settled. McIlroy attacked the field in Korea and the tactic almost yielded a title. Should he score highly in Shanghai this weekend that will be enough to see him into Dubai, where he will be full of the confidence golf betting fans have come to expect from the two-time major winner.
Ko’s Confidence the Key to Turning Pro
New Zealand golf sensation, Lydia Ko, is about to experience a whole new way of playing the game. The 16-year-old is applying to join the LPGA Tour, hoping her excellent promise as a teenager will convince the association to lift its age limit for the young star.
Despite her age, Ko won the New Zealand Open in February and now plans turn professional. However, should she get the go-ahead to compete on Tour, she will have to adapt to an entirely new ball game in the States and elsewhere.
For any young player, boy or girl, developing your game at an early age is of course crucial. The hours of practice on the local course and off the driving ranges hone your skills so you can beat your age group.
Ko, of course, is no different but as anyone who enjoys betting and has played to a decent standard will tell you, that the jump from amateur to professional is enormous. Suddenly, you have to balance pressure, scheduling and media responsibilities with your golf. You have less time to perfect your swing and more chances of failure of difficult courses.
Adaptation is key if Ko is to simply bed in on the LPGA Tour. She needs a good coach, which she has, and thankfully already has experience winning at a professional level.
She must take that confidence from the New Zealand Open and display it with full pride on an LPGA Tour that is flourishing right now. The competition is fierce but Ko has proven capable of handling that pressure when an unknown, so it will be interesting to see how she does as a professional.
Don’t expect too much from her – members of the golf betting world would advise you to back other players right now – but Ko is certainly one for the future. Let’s just see how she copes with the step up first.
Watch the tee-shot pros this PGA Tour Championship
Developing a steadfast mental game is very difficult in golf, a sport that offers you too much time to think when something goes wrong. Many rounds are ruined from one bad hole, not because your score jumps too high but because you carry the frustrations of it into the next five or six.
Learning how to forget what’s just happened and focus on what is coming up is therefore a vital skill if you’re ever to improve your game. Fans who bet on golf saw this at the Open last season as Adam Scott, leading by four shots on the Sunday, got into a mental spiral and lost all control over his game.
Scott learned from that mistake at the Masters this year, winning the tournament on a playoff with Miguel Cabrera. Scott’s final round was near perfect on day four, sinking birdies at the 13th, 15th and last hole. However, he would never have competed for the lead had he not immediately reversed a bogey on hole one that day.
Whereas in previous majors Scott would have crumbled under the pressure of that bogey, this time he pared and then birdied to get his game back on track.
The key for Scott is his tee shots, for a good opening swing and you forget what happened at the previous green. It’s exactly what Brandt Snedeker did when he bogeyed at the Tour Championship sixth last season and how Phil Mickelson buried his head in the sand to win the Open this summer.
Golf betting punters know tee shots are vitally important and, like a serve in tennis, you must go through a routine. Rafael Nadal does the same step-for-step arrangement for his serve whatever happened in the previous point. Golfers must do the same at the tee, for you get into a rhythm that offers security and reliability in your swing.
When practising tees consider your approach, what pocket you tee is in, how you place the tee in the ground, the angle of your hat – anything that sets you up as comfortable as possible. Then, do it over and over again until you feel perfect. Once you know you’re prepared you’ll have confidence in your swing and that is the best antidote to forgetting the previous hole.
Tough Dufner Learns from 2011
Jason Dufner’s victory in the US PGA Championship owes plenty to the likeable American’s natural talent, but it should also be noted how important a role his mental toughness played as he learned from his 2011 capitulation to hold on to his lead on the crucial final day at Oak Hill.
Dufner has plenty of admirers, both from fans and golf betting pundits, and, despite his unconventional swing approach and inconsistency, he remains a top player on his day, capable of competing with the very best.
And he showed it brilliantly on Sunday as he held off the inevitable nerves that come with leading for most of the day in the final stretch of a major, laying the ghosts of a couple of years ago in this very tournament to rest along the way.
Dufner had spoken about how he hoped the experience of blowing a five-shot lead over the last four holes to close friend and rival, Keegan Bradley, in 2011 would stand him in good stead this year – and so it proved as he eventually went on to claim a two-shot victory over Jim Furyk this time around.
The day was not without its hairy moments for people who bet on golf, especially when Dufner bogeyed the 17th and 18th, but thankfully for the golfer, so did Furyk and it was always his title to lose.
The fact there was no repeat of the drama of a couple of years ago speaks volumes about how he has learned to cope with the pressure. Dufner’s development once again underlines the fact that, if you want to win the big trophies, then mental toughness is something you must carry in your bag, along with the best birdie-securing shots when the stakes are so high.
The Ryder Cup star admitted afterwards that he had to pinch himself but clearly hopes the memory of that awful late failure at Atlanta can now finally be erased.
“I can’t believe this is happening to me. To come back from a couple of years ago when I lost in a play-off feels really really good,” he said. “I decided that I was going to be confident and put my best foot forward and play aggressive to try to win this thing.”
Most top golfers, of course, are mentally strong and Dufner has demonstrated he now has the mindset to win the big tournaments; he has also proved he can learn from his mistakes and not get caught short during the drama of a final day at a major. Surely now he can only go from strength to strength.