Karrie Webb comes from five shots down to win Australian Open

She was hardly on the radar all week.

In fact, a difference of opinion between her and a top Golf Australia official on a potential rule violation on the first hole of the first day was the most focus Karrie Webb had received at Victoria Golf Club … until Sunday.

Swept up in the possibility of a 17-year-old Karrie Webb Scholarship winner becoming the first amateur to win the Women's Australian Open, the probability of the golfing great rewriting history was overlooked.

Perhaps it was the hope of something different. After all, Webb herself had earlier in the week lamented the gap between her status near the top of world golf and our emerging youngsters such as Minjee Lee, the scholarship holder and joint-overnight leader chasing history.

But Webb knew what might happen. As soon as she walked on to the driving range and felt the stiff crosswinds that this respected course usually wears as armour, the 39-year-old knew the ridiculous scores of minus 10 on the first three days would be blown away.

More than that, she knew those winds would blow the balance of power in the direction of those who have been there and done it before on pay day.

Those who knew how to save themselves with deft chip-and-run shots around the greens when the wind was suddenly starting to blow their approach irons 10 metres off the green, instead of three metres from the cup.

It was not a day for someone such as Lee.

Her lack of experience proved an unexpected blessing on day three, for she was unburdened by the years of ''tour grind'' that compelled her professional peers to sniff an opportunity they rarely get and overreach in ''can you top this'' golf.

But on Sunday, the youngster could have used the stuff ''tour grind'' gives you - the mental and physical will to get out of jail in pressure situations.

She wasn't alone in falling short, eventually finishing at six over for the day.

New Zealand's 16-year-old sensation Lydia Ko, although now professional, is similarly inexperienced and her one-over round was enough only for equal third, having started the day outright second.

Webb, though, knows these sandbelt courses as well as her putter, and it was the little sticks that made the difference for the world No. 8 on Sunday.

She made clutch putts to save par and sometimes bogey, and drained a 14-metre putt for birdie to give the crowd reason to believe.

But it was her ability to stop the ball near the hole when chipping that was the difference.

In the end, she was the last woman standing. And in hindsight, even though she started five shots back, the fact it was two girls who had never won before in the final group - the other being Korean bolter Chella Choi - was all part of Karrie's web.

Not that Choi didn't give it one hell of a run. It wasn't until the final putt of the tournament that Webb, the clubhouse leader, knew a fifth Australian Open was hers.

Coming down the 18th fairway, 23-year-old Choi needed a birdie to force a play-off and gave herself every chance by splashing a sweet chip shot over the bunker to within 2.4 metres.

But the putt didn't roll. Choi could not miss on Saturday when she set a course record 62. On Sunday, she couldn't buy a putt.

Riding that final putt hard was Choi's father, who will not retire as her caddy until she wins. For Mr Choi the tour grinds on.

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