A 71st hole double bogey at the Ladies Scottish Open has cost Karrie Webb her first LPGA victory in more than three years.
The 42-year-old led the field into the final round at Dundonald Links and she appeared set to return to the winner’s circle when she pulled two strokes clear with a chip-in eagle at the 14th hole.
But South Korea’s Mi Hyang Lee, playing ahead of Webb, applied some pressure with a superb six under 66, to set the clubhouse mark at six under, 282.
Webb fell back into a share of the lead with Lee when she three-putted the 16th green for bogey. The seven-time major champion then fell victim to the fickle bounces of links golf when her 3-wood tee shot at the par-4 17th hole kicked into a deep fairway pot bunker.
“I bent down, picked my tee up – thought I hit a perfect drive there,” Webb said. “When I stood up, I went to tell Johnny (her caddie) that I absolutely knotted my 3-wood exactly how I wanted and he said it kicked into the bunker. I have no idea how it did that.”
The World Hall of Famer was forced to hit her bunker shot backwards out of the sand. From there, she took four more shots to complete the hole and the resulting double bogey left her two strokes adrift of Lee.
On the 18th hole, Webb needed to hole a greenside bunker shot for eagle to force a play-off, but made an up-and-down for birdie, leaving her one shot short of a play with her final round 73.
“Very gutted,” a disappointed Webb said. “I was on a high, making the eagle, and then I had a very nice up-and-down on the next. Obviously there were nerves there, but there was a good calmness there.
“Even on 17 tee, I hit – like I said, the exact tee shot I wanted to get it down around those bunkers, and I'm not quite sure what happened to it, how it ended up where it did.”
Webb was critical of the tournament organisers not having a leaderboard on the 18th green, saying without one she didn’t know she needed to make an eagle on the final hole to tie.
“No leaderboard on the last, so I didn't know I had to make that (bunker shot),” Webb said.
“I just assumed when I made my putt that it wasn't a huge cheer, so I assumed it wasn't to tie. So yeah, it's pretty bad to not have a leaderboard on the last.
RIGHT: Webb rolls in her final hole birdie but falls one short of a play-off with Lee. PHOTO: Getty Images.
“Well, that's the first time I've ever been (to a tournament) that hasn't had a leaderboard on 18.”
Webb said she hoped her form would carry over into the Women’s British Open later this week.
“I played really well. I drove the ball great and hit my irons really well, and the creative shots I played really nicely and actually trusted my feel and creativity rather than being so technical about it,” Webb said.
“So I felt really good about how I played this week and I actually felt good about how calm I was today, considering it's been a while since I've been in contention. Hopefully that bodes well for next week.”
Of the other Australians who played the weekend, Minjee Lee had a closing three under 69 to finish eighth – four strokes behind Lee. Su Oh also finished with a 69 to be five over and T31. Queensland’s Sarah Jane Smith grabbed a share of 63rd and was 12 over for the tournament.