Karrie Webb doesn’t want to put any expectations on herself as the five-time Australian Open winner returns to playing in the hope of maybe making it six this week.
But if the seven-time major winner takes her recent form against current men’s world No.3 Cameron Smith in to the historic dual-gender event, she could be in with a serious chance.
Webb, 47, revealed British Open winner Smith made good on a bet to deliver her a “bottle of wine” when the head-to-head battle they were playing in the US in Florida at Pine Tree Golf Club in June was rained off after 14 holes, with Webb in front ensuring sher was declared the winner.
“Well, I mean, he paid off the debt but it was sort of, we got rained out. So I was ahead but it was right before he headed off to the Open Championship,” Webb said on Monday.
“The bet was for a bottle of wine and he brought over a bottle of Grange, that’s what he ended up paying me with.
“I had him sign the bottle and said I‘m not going to drink this until one of us wins a big tournament and then two weeks later he did (at the Open) so now we’ve got to have a drink to celebrate.“
Webb said she was “one or two in front” when they were forced off the course, but sported a wry grin when it was suggested she played Smith into form before his major breakthrough.
“Yeah, I must have,” she laughed.
“But it was on my home course, so I had the edge.”
Webb won two of her five Australian Opens at Victoria and Kingston Heath, the sites for this week’s tournament but is limiting her expectations given she’s no longer a full-time player, and the field is stacked with three current major champions.
“I‘m trying not wear myself out as I’m not playing as much golf now so I’m cautious of not being exhausted when I tee off on Thursday,“ Webb said.
“I feel like I‘ve played enough sand-belt golf over my career that if I get off to a half-decent start and get the juices flowing and feel good out there you never know what might happen.
“I don‘t put any expectation on it but I think if I get into a good rhythm I have a chance to win – I wouldn’t play a tournament that I don’t think I have a chance.”