Ladies World number one Karrie Webb fired a nine-under par 64 to win her first Australian Open title at Yarra Yarra Golf Club in Victoria.
Queenslander Rachel Hetherington who made six straight birdies in a late bid to reel her in finished in second spot behind a rampant Webb. Webb's 22-under total of 270 following earlier rounds of 71-66-69 and was enough for a three stroke win from Hetherington with last weeks Los Angeles Open winner Laura Davies third two shots further back.
With six victories on the US LPGA Tour last year and two British Open titles already to her name, Webb had never won her National Championship. "It has to be definitely right up there," Said Webb. "The Australian Masters was the first time I won in Australia, but it felt really good today just walking down the last hole knowing that I'm going to win the Australian Open. It does rank up there as one of the most special."
Webb started the day with a two shot lead and it was Davies who posed the biggest threat early until Hetherington began holing everything from the tenth hole. Webb picked up shots at the third and fourth holes to stretch her lead over Davies to four shots but by the 10th she trailed by one. But birdies at the 11th, 13th and 14th holes followed by a key up and down save for par at the 15th sent her back in front.
And with a chip-in from 45 feet for an eagle three at the par five 16th, she continued to show her mettle with two closing birdies and blitz the field. "Just to close like that and know that Laura and especially Rachel, who shot 29 on the back nine...I just had to keep at it. I don't think either of us knew what we shot on the back nine," said Webb.
Webb collected $A58, 000 for her victory.