home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 2, 2006

Karrie Webb


COLIN CALLANDER: We have Karrie Webb here. She comes into this tournament having won last week at Evian and in very good form considering she's won twice this year.

You must be looking forward to this week.

KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, I always look forward to the British Open. It's obviously one of my favourite tournaments. I said earlier to a couple of people, it's where I won my first tournament as a pro, so it's always got special memories for me, and I've traditionally played pretty well here over the years.

So obviously, feel good about my game this year and feel good that I played great last week to come into this tournament with a lot of confidence.

COLIN CALLANDER: You've won this title three times, both on inland courses and the links course at Turnberry; which do you prefer? Do you like the challenge of links?

KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, I do. There's not many days that we get weather like we did today and you feel like you had a pretty enjoyable day. I don't think I'd like to play in weather like this all the time, but it really gets my creative juices flowing.

I really like the fact that there's probably ten or 15 different ways you could actually play the shots if you so chose. That's what I had to get back no my game this year was getting back a little bit more of that feel and creativity and, you know, I really feel like the work that I've done on that, it's really made these first two practice rounds and Pro Am really good because I've tried out some really creative shots. I wouldn't be too bothered if it blew this hard for the next four days.

COLIN CALLANDER: You had a great year. What's changed?

KARRIE WEBB: Obviously the ball is getting in the hole a little sooner. I've been working on a few things in my game and I think what it boils down to is just the mental side of my game, getting it to the level where I was trusting myself on the golf course and backing myself every time I stood on the first tee.

Q. How much did you win in that first tournament?

KARRIE WEBB: I think it might have been 90,000 pounds. I was loaded after that tournament.

Q. By six -- ?

KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, it was, I think six or seven shots I won by.

Q. Inaudible?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, I don't think it was as bad as a lot of people think, but obviously I set standards pretty high. Yeah, I changed a few things technically and it took me a while to just even get a grasp of what I was trying to achieve there. I was getting it down on the golf course, but I lost a little bit of confidence and belief in my game that probably was why I didn't because I started out the year last year thinking that I would have a similar year to the way I played this year, but just mentally I wasn't there last year and I didn't have a lot of trust in my game at all.

So I did a lot of work end of last year and beginning of this year.

Q. When would you say was the turning point?

KARRIE WEBB: When I holed a 116 yard wedge on the 72nd hole at Kraft Nabisco.

Q. That would be the one?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, I had in the tournament before that in Phoenix, I set myself a goal that week to shoot all four rounds under par and I hadn't done that for I don't know how long. It's been a while.

The last round, I think I turned at 3 over and I shot 4 under on the back nine, holed a 20 footer on the last hole to shoot 1 under. Even Mike knew that that had been the goal at the start of the week so he even gave me a pat on the back. I still finished like 25th or something. So I was torn between giving myself a lot of credit for actually achieving that goal or being satisfied with 25th.

I knew that was a turning point. I had made a few putts. The mental stuff I had been working on, I changed my routine at the start of the year, I started to feel comfortable with that. Mission Hills is a course that I've played well on throughout my career. I knew I was going to a course that I was familiar with and that I had played well on, so I was really looking forward to that.

But, you know, I put myself in there after two rounds with a chance to win and had a very bad mental day on Saturday. Started off really well but a couple hiccups on the 7th and 8th hole and that was pretty much it for me mentally that day and I decided that I wasn't ready yet to win but I knew that I still had a good opportunity to win the next day, or have a good tournament at least.

I don't know if you read, but the one thing that got me going that morning was that in the locker room when I read the paper, which I don't normally do, but I read that the writer of the article was suggesting that Annika still had a chance to win because she was only nine shots back. (Laughter) I was seven shots back, so I figured that if she could swap me two, I would still have a bit of a chance, as well.

And at that point it there was only three people ahead of me, so it's not like you had to jump 20 people in the field. So when it's only three and I got off to the start that I did I really believed then on the back nine that I had a chance to win. You know, obviously, holing that shot will probably be the memory. Unless I do something more spectacular than that for the rest of my career, I think that will be the shot that I remember for the rest of my life.

Q. Were you starting to think you would never win again?

KARRIE WEBB: No, it was never like that. Every week I felt like I could win because my practice was so good.

Traditionally when I play my best golf, my practice was very poor. For whatever reason, I was able to heighten my senses and play really well when, you know, the gun went off.

But last year, my practice was so good that I believed every single week that I could week. It's just I would get on the first tee and the gun would go off and just wouldn't be the same person I was when I played a practice round.

So that's when you know that it's more mental than physical, because I believed that I still have the physical ability last year to win. I was doing all the right things and practicing and preparing myself as well as I could. I just went out and there was no trust or belief in myself.

Q. Do you feel you're a better player now than before?

KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, I do. I think I'm just a bit more of a complete player. Because I didn't hit the ball as well for a couple of years, my short game has gotten a little bit better. And then the work that I've done on my swing, I feel like I can work the ball a little bit better both ways. I think I always I think I've always been able to well, when I was playing my best, I traditionally only could hit a draw. I mean, I could hit a fade, but I had variations of the draw and that's how I played.

But now I can hit it both ways and you know, I feel like that gives me a better advantage. It gives me a great advantage when it's windy like this that I can hit shots against the breeze, which is what you've got to do when it's blowing as hard as it did today.

Q. Inaudible?

KARRIE WEBB: Well I made a double bogey on the 7th hole and it should have really just been a bogey, but I missed a 2 footer coming back. And then I just didn't shake it off and I bogeyed the next hole.

I got up and down from dead on 9, as well, to stop another bogey. So just there wasn't any freedom in my swing. I felt really tight. None of the shots that I tried to pull off were I lose a little bit of distance and I don't hit it as far because I'm a little bit tight, and that's all mental than physical because I could go to the range at the end of the day, relax off the golf course and get my distances and hit my shots.

It was just a poor and I still have days where mentally I'm not as good, but it's probably because I don't feel like my swing's as good. So then most people have a hard time trusting their thing when they don't feel like it's good. My swing was good and I wasn't trusting it.

You know, I feel like I've gotten over that hurdle, for the time being, anyway. I did a lot of I was actually really proud of the way handled myself mentally on last two rounds last week because we had a lot of people out there with cameras and there was quite a bit of noise and stuff. I did a really good job mentally there, too.

So you know, those sort of things I really take notice of now, whereas before when I was playing well, I sort of just did it. I didn't question why I did it. I just went out there. I think that's probably why it took me so long to understand why I wasn't playing as well. It's because I didn't have anything to draw upon. I had all of these great moments in my career and all of these great wins, but I couldn't say why I did it. I just went out and did it and didn't stop to take notice.

Q. Your chances to finish on top of the Money List and to win Player of the Year?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, I know I'm in a position to win the Money List. I know that I'm capable of being No. 1 in the world because I have been before. But both those things can be stopped by someone else's golf and I can't control how anyone plays. But I definitely have given myself an opportunity to do both of those.

I think I'm still a long way off of catching Annika for No. 1. But in the short term future, obviously I'd like to finish off the year strong and have a chance to win the Money List and Player of the Year at the end of the year.

Q. Playing with her at Evian, what do you see in Michelle's game

KARRIE WEBB: I think she's definitely coming along. You know, it's only time before she wins. She's definitely very, very talented. And as far as you know physically talented, she's probably the most talented person out here as far as the gift that she's been given as far as her height and strength and everything like that. Because she's been given great coaching at such a young age, she's got all the shots.

And she's learning to win the hard way, where we learned to win golf tournaments as juniors and amateurs; she's getting that experience, just at the biggest level in the world.

So I think it's all good learning experience for her. I think that like I said, it's just a matter of time before she wins. And she could have won. She played very well on the last round last week and she could very easily have won. That's the thing with golf and what a lot of people don't understand is if you go through a few years where you win everything, people think it must be pretty easy to win. But it's such a fine line between winning and finishing second or even fifth, 10th.

You know, I have no doubt that she'll be a force to reckon with throughout the next ten, 20 years.

Q. Can you compare Michelle now with what you were like at that age?

KARRIE WEBB: There's no comparison. I was playing junior golf and represented Australia for the first time at 16 but I wasn't even thinking about turning pro or competing against the best women in the world, let alone competing against the men as well. I don't think there's many 16 year olds that you can really compare Michelle to.

Q. Inaudible?

KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, probably both I would say. The golf that Annika has played over the last five or six years I think is, you know, has been really undervalued. I don't think it's been appreciated nearly as much as it should have.

Before the U.S. Open, she was having a horrendous year according to a few people, and now she's probably only having an okay year because she's only won twice, which is just silly. She's set such high standards, but you know, I know that I have the ability of maybe putting one or two years together that I mean, I can't say I could never do it for five or six years, but I find it very hard to believe that I could sustain that sort of golf for five or six years. So you're judging who the best player is over the last two years and that's Annika hands down.

Q. When you say she's undervalued, any idea why?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, you guys could write about her more and say how good she is.

Q. Undervalued in

KARRIE WEBB: Well, I don't think her golf is underappreciated by the players out here. I think everybody understands how difficult it is to produce one of the great years that she's had, let alone the five or six in a row that she's had.

Q. Inaudible?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, what I've really loved watching over the last ten or 11 years is the control that you guys have over what people people go and find Michelle Wie. If you didn't write about her, she'd still be the same talented player that she is, but she wouldn't draw near the attention that she has. People only follow because they read what you write.

Yes, I think Annika has not been written about enough and been appreciated enough. She gets appreciated to the point where, each year, okay. But then it's very easy then to say that she's not having a good year this year and I think that's really unfair.

Q. When you talk about the fine line, what do you mean by that?

KARRIE WEBB: It's something that only get experience by doing. I had my worst year as a professional by what you see in my results. But I didn't feel like I was that far away. Some of my shots if I had finished two shots better over 72 holes that would have given me a fifth place finish instead of a 15th or a 20th. It's hard.

And golf, too, it's a momentum thing. So sometimes you're playing really well the first six holes, you give yourself, you know, six birdie chances inside 15 feet and you don't miss the fairway, and seven you miss the fairway, you make bogey, and you're 1 over through 7 and you're really not playing that badly. It's not necessarily just having all of the right things going. It's everything else.

You have to have a bit of luck. You've got to make some putts. Sometimes it's just momentum. Instead of making bogey, you make a par and you feel, all right, let's get things going. It's hard to explain to someone that, you know, even for someone that only plays, if they play five tournaments a year, it's hard when you're doing it 25, 30 tournaments a year, those one or two shots here or there tend to add up to a lot at the end of the year.

Q. Inaudible?

KARRIE WEBB: I think if you looked at my swing when I first came out to now, you would be able to tell the difference.

I used to have a really big turn off the ball and a big head move back. I'd say it probably moved at least three inches, maybe four inches off the back of the ball. And now it's probably maybe half an inch. And I used to swing a lot with have a lot of leg drive and a lot of up and down movement as well. You know, that's all minimized, and I swing a lot more with my core of my body now.

COLIN CALLANDER: Thank you very much. Look forward to you playing well this week.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297