Webb wins fourth Women's Australian Open in playoff over Shin Ji-yai

Webb wins fourth Women’s Australian Open in playoff over Shin Ji-yai

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Karrie Webb won her fourth Women’s Australian Open title with a 10-foot birdie putt Sunday on the second hole of a playoff against South Korea’s Shin Ji-yai.

Webb, who won last year’s title at Royal Sydney, and Shin finished with closing 67s at Kingston Heath and 8-under totals of 284.

Both players parred the 18th on the first hole of the playoff before Webb’s winning putt on the same hole 15 minutes later in the joint Australian-European tour event.

When Webb’s putt dropped, the Australian raised her head towards the sky, then pumped her fist twice. Shin applauded Webb’s winning putt from across the green, clapping her hands vigorously.

Webb birdied the 16th and 17th holes of her final round to force the playoff. Shin had birdied four of six holes on the back nine and was in the clubhouse with a two-stroke lead when Webb rallied with her late birdies.

Webb, who started the final round two shots off the lead, said she hadn’t looked at the leaderboard late in her round.

“I was quite surprised on the 15th green that I was two shots behind,” Webb said. “I knew that Shin wasn’t going to make any mistakes coming in.”

Webb said she enjoys the pressure of tight finishes and playoffs.

“I love it,” she said. “That’s why I work so hard and you want to put hours in so that you can do it as many times as possible.

“It doesn’t always work out, but you love to put yourself in a position to make shots under pressure.”

England’s Melissa Reid finished third, four strokes back after a 70, while South Korea’s Amy Yang was two shots further back, also with a closing 3-under 70.

Four-time major winner Laura Davies of England, whose 79 Saturday put her out of contention, shot a 74 Sunday and finished at 10-over 302, 18 strokes back of Webb and Shin.

Both Webb and Davies will play next week at the Australian Ladies Masters at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast in Queensland state, where Webb is also the defending champion. Shin and Japan’s Ai Miyazato are also in the field.

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