Simon Win Oz Open Amateurs

Karrie Webb of Australia with her trophy at The MFS Women's Australian Open, Royal Sydney Golf Club, Sydney, New South Wales. February 1-4, 2007. Picture: Tristan Jones / LETSouth Africa’s foremost amateur golfer Ashleigh Simon has completed the Women’s Australian Open at the Royal Sydney Golf Club on Sunday to finish as winner among non-professionals, but expressed dissatisfaction, having completed the tournament out of the top 10.

“Yes, I’m happy to win the amateur,” Simon said on Sunday. “But I’m a bit disappointed with the way I finished in the field overall, because I was lying top-10 in the whole week before today, but still, live and learn, yes, finish the job, all in all I suppose I should be happy.

But a year away from studies will help her to focus on several home and away important tours, and improved form since the disappointing return in the Women’s World Cup of Golf in Sun City during January.

“I’m playing next week at the Masters ANZ, so I’m happy about that, and I go home, have a week off , and then. I have four pro tournaments back at home and I’ll be defending one of them, so I’ve got to get my game up, and I’m basically booked until May and we’ll take it from there.

Karrie Webb of Australia with her trophy at The MFS Women's Australian Open, Royal Sydney Golf Club, Sydney, New South Wales. February 1-4, 2007. Picture: Tristan Jones / LETMeanwhile, overnight leader Australia’s Karrie Webb cruised to a six shot victory, after carding a final-round 72 to reach 10-under-par to fend off Taiwan’s Yun-Jye Wei and claim her first title of the new year.

Spain’s Paula Marti (69) and Finland’s Minea Blomqvist (69) shared third place at two under. America’s Brittany Lincicombe was one shot further back with South Korea’s Ji Yai Shin (fifth).

Australia’s Katherine Hull of Queensland fired a course record seven-under-par 65 in the final round, with six birdies on her back nine for an inward total of 30.

Webb, 32, who won five tournaments in 2006, lifted the Patricia Bridges Bowl for the third time having previously won the title in 1999 and 2000 at Yarra Yarra Golf Club. She earned a first prize of $75,000 Australian, (£30,000 or €50,000).

"It’s a great start to the year," said Webb after landing her 45th tournament win in a 13-year professional career. "It was a bit of a struggle today. I didn’t feel as though I had as much control over my swing as yesterday but I managed to keep it under control."

Simon expressed confidnce in her improved form, but was cagey about the timing of her transition to the professional ranks. “Yes, I’ve been playing pretty good this week. My short game picked me up out there. I was up and down from everywhere.

“Hopefully (I’ll) play a few more pro tournaments and I’m learning as I go along and get more confident every time I enter. I’m not going to do the college thing, I just want to play golf.

“I’m going to wait to see what happens at the end of this year, so see how my year has been, and then we just take it from there.”

Tournament champ Webb led by one after her second round and began the final round four shots ahead of Wei, her only real title challenger in the final round.

Wei, who is ranked 39th in the World and who has won three tournaments on the Japanese tour, challenged Webb on the front nine but fell away on the back nine.

She was three adrift at the turn, having recorded two birdies at the second and seventh holes, but was four-over-par on the back nine. Webb birdied the long 13th coming home but then dropped two shots at the 14th and 17th holes. It was all over for Wei after she double bogeyed the 15th hole.

All eyes will turn to Webb next week as she contends for the ANZ Ladies Masters title at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast. The last time she won both Australian titles was in 2000, which turned out to be the best year of her career.

MFS Women’s Australian Open
The Royal Sydney Golf Club

1st – 4th February 2007
Final Scoreboard
 
278 – Karrie Webb (AUS) 67 71 68 72
284 – Yun Jye Wei (TPE) 68 71 71 74
286 – Paula Marti (ESP) 74 69 74 69, Minea Blomqvist (FIN) 71 72 74 69
287 – Brittany Lincicome (USA) 70 73 75 69, Ji Yai Shin (KOR) 72 73 73 69
288 – Bettina Hauert (GER) 70 75 73 70, Sun Ju Ahn (KOR) 70 72 74 72
289 – Katherine Hull (AUS) 72 75 77 65
290 – Hee Young Park (KOR) 69 77 71 73, Virginie Lagoutte-Clement (FRA) 74 70 72 74, Marta Prieto (ESP) 75 69 72 74
291 – Eun Hee Ji (KOR) 74 77 70 70, Louise Stahle (SWE) 70 75 75 71, Ya-Ni Tseng (TPE) 75 69 75 72, Nadina Light (AUS) 72 73 73 73
292 – Lindsey Wright (AUS) 70 73 78 71, Becky Brewerton (WAL) 71 77 72 72, Sarah Kemp (AUS) 66 78 71 77
293 – Ayako Uehara (JPN) 71 75 77 70, Da-Ye Na (KOR) 73 71 78 71, Karen-Margrethe Juul (DEN) 76 67 77 73, Amy Yang (KOR) 69 73 77 74, Ashleigh Simon (Am) (SA) 69 74 75 75
294 – Michelle Ellis (AUS) 75 72 76 71, Kristie Smith (Am) (AUS) 75 70 77 72, Ran Hong (KOR) 76 76 70 72, Sophie Sandolo (ITA) 73 72 75 74
295 – Sophie Giquel (FRA) 79 72 71 73, Tamie Durdin (AUS) 74 72 75 74, Linda Wessberg (SWE) 71 73 75 76
296 – Maria Hjorth (SWE) 74 76 75 71, Rebecca Stevenson (AUS) 74 71 74 77
297 – Joanne Mills (AUS) 78 72 76 71, Loraine Lambert (AUS) 74 77 74 72
298 – Sarah-Jane Kenyon (AUS) 72 76 80 70, Kirsty S Taylor (ENG) 73 76 73 76
299 – Ana B Sanchez (ESP) 79 68 80 72, Carlie Butler (AUS) 74 76 73 76, Rachel Hetherington (AUS) 75 72 74 78
300 – Na Yeon Choi (KOR) 76 72 80 72, Nikki Campbell (AUS) 67 73 82 78, So Hee Kim (KOR) 73 75 74 78
301 – Emma Bennett (Am) (AUS) 77 73 77 74, Leah Hart (AUS) 76 75 75 75, Federica Piovano (ITA) 73 73 79 76, Laura Davies (ENG) 73 77 74 77
302 – Alison Whitaker (Am) (AUS) 73 78 78 73, Hae-Jung Kim (KOR) 75 76 77 74, Georgina Simpson (ENG) 75 77 76 74, Eleanor Pilgrim (WAL) 71 77 74 80, Natalie Gulbis (USA) 74 75 72 81
303 – Ji Na Lim (KOR) 76 75 77 75, Karen Lunn (AUS) 78 73 72 80
304 – Sarah Oh (Am) (AUS) 75 76 77 76, Lora Fairclough (ENG) 73 79 76 76, Heidi McCulkin (AUS) 75 77 74 78, Diana Luna (ITA) 75 73 76 80, Kristie Newton (AUS) 73 78 73 80
305 – Bree Arthur (Am) (AUS) 71 76 86 72, Cecilia Ekelundh (SWE) 73 79 79 74
306 – Riikka Hakkarainen (FIN) 77 75 79 75, Danielle Masters (ENG) 70 82 79 75, Kate Combes (Am) (AUS) 73 73 84 76, Rebecca Coakley (IRE) 73 77 80 76, Nathalie David-Mila (FRA) 73 79 78 76, Anna Tybring (SWE) 73 76 80 77
307 – Elin Ohlsson (SWE) 76 76 81 74, Martina Eberl (GER) 70 80 82 75, Stephanie Arricau (FRA) 72 80 76 79
308 – Anna Rawson (AUS) 75 77 81 75, Natascha Fink (AUT) 78 72 80 78
310 – Sarah Nicholson (NZ) 73 79 81 77, Young Tan Jo (KOR) 71 77 83 79
312 – Crystal Fanning (AUS) 74 77 79 82, Kathryn Imrie (SCO) 76 76 78 82
313 – Ludivine Kreutz (FRA) 77 75 81 80

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