Su Oh must have been sick of the questions about finally winning again after seven years at Royal Queensland throughout this week. The Victorian answering in the most emphatic fashion by claiming the inaugural Karrie Webb Cup on Sunday.
After opening with an impressive five-under round of 66, Oh had an up and down week and a seesawing battle with new pro Grace Kim during the week of the inaugural Fortinet Australian WPGA Championship. That was until Kim made six at both the par-4 13th and par-5 15th as Oh recorded birdie in the group behind at the 13th and a cherry on top three at the par-4 last to sign for a 10-under total and four shot win over Kim.
Playing alongside PGA Champion Jed Morgan and runner-up Andrew Dodt, Oh once again was unsure of her place in what became a head-to-head battle with Kim, after Sarah Jane Smith turned in one over to eventually finish two shots back of Kim in third on her own. Oh’s lack of her place in the 24-player event this time by design.
“I purposely didn’t look at the leaderboard. I could have on 9 and a few other holes. I saw my name at the top on 11, but I didn’t check the score and I obviously just heard that she was playing really well, and I knew Grace was going to play well,” Oh said sitting alongside Morgan after the round. “She wasn’t going to just give it away, but I just prayed and hoped that my good golf is going to be good enough.
"I felt like I gave it my all today and if it came up short, then that just means someone’s played better; it would have been Grace. But yeah, I was glad I kind of got it done.”
Getting it done must have come as a relief for Oh, who had not claimed a win since taking out the no longer Australian Ladies Masters in 2015 having just turned professional.
Still just 25 years of age, Oh has gone close to ending her wait for a second title. And despite the added pressure of being the betting favourite, and marquee player after the withdrawals of Hannah Green, Steph Kyriacou and Sarah Kemp, she was solid when the pressure was at its highest on Sunday afternoon.
The winning feeling that has eluded her for so long taking on a different form this time around.
"I’m sure we can mix something up in there, it’s pretty big, so we’ll all have a drink out of that.” - Su Oh.
“I think it was different. When I won at RACV Royal Pines, I didn’t really go into the week trying to win, I just played. It was like my first pro event and I ended up winning,” she said. “So, it was kind of like, oh, okay, but this week, when I decided to play, I really wanted to come and win and hopefully put my name on the Karrie Webb Cup.
“I think it made me be a bit more, you know, a bit of confident in myself that I could get it done and it was a small field, but we had good players and it really came down to the last six, seven holes I think.”
Kim will be disappointed with her finish but will once again take plenty away from pushing an LPGA Tour player to the final nine holes in her burgeoning pro career. Her own first win seemingly around the corner for the Sydneysider who will surely be a favourite to claim a win of her own as the Australian summer of golf continues.
“Honestly, it’s probably the most fun I’ve had for a while,” Kim said of the final day. “Obviously, as a home game, to have that many people out there cheering on for you, regardless of your score, it’s just so nice to be able to see all that support. Honestly, you can’t even get mad because that party hole is so good. I just enjoyed myself, even though I had a couple of bogeys out there.”
Kim’s enjoyment of the day was matched by Oh and her father SJ, who now has a second career win as a caddie after looping on the Gold Coast in 2015. The World No.90 set to continue enjoying the spoils, including a drink out of the Karrie Webb Cup with its namesake when she returns to America.
“I know we both like gin, Four Pillars, so maybe I’ll buy a bottle of that and take it with me. But she likes her wine. She always does a really nice steak whenever we’re over. I don't know, it’s actually more like a pizza oven, so maybe she’ll put that in. I’m sure we can mix something up in there, it’s pretty big, so we’ll all have a drink out of that,” Oh said of her planned celebrations with seven-time major winner Webb.
Oh suggesting finally securing another win to add to her resume could just prove the tonic to claiming a first win on the LPGA Tour where she has gone so close before and celebrated the victories of compatriots Green and Minjee Lee in recent times.
“I don't think it will change a lot,” she said of the victory changing her approach when back stateside. “I would still try and do the same things, maybe a little bit more confident in myself, which is neat, yeah, but hopefully my game will be good enough and the timing will be good and things will fall in the right place at the right time and there’ll be a U.S. win hopefully.
“It definitely feels nice. Hopefully more to come.”