At the end of what may be called a silent (ish) week for home players at the ISPS Handa Women & # 39; s Australian Open – only Sarah Kemp and Hannah Green can claim that they are even fantasized with the title – the six that the half survived cut (nine others failed) were united in their praise for the tournament and the galleries at The Grange Golf Club. Just like the men, the national Open resonates with the women in a way that is unique outside the big championships.
"This is truly the sixth major for every Aussie," said Katherine Kirk, whose bogey-free final round of 69 left her in a draw for the 33rd place. "When someone asks me about my favorite event, I always say that it is all national Opens, it's the tournaments with the longest history, and there's no child who does not dream of winning their own national Open.
"We have always had a great time here in Adelaide, the crowds are great and the place has a real buzz about it, they cheer a bit more for the home players, which is great, I certainly felt the energy there today and fed. "
The same can be said for Green and Kemp, the pair that tied 10th on eight-sided for the unofficial title of 'low Aussie & # 39 ;. Kemp is following her second place in the last week at Vic Open with another lucrative four days in terms of career. Its combined revenues – in the region of US $ 100,000 – will almost certainly guarantee that they will enter virtually any major event throughout the rest of this year and in turn complete exemption from the 2020 LPGA Tour. Not bad for someone who had little or no status two weeks ago on the world's most lucrative circuit.
"It was great," she said between broad smiles. "I could never have thought of that as early as the beginning of the year, but it's pretty cool to rearrange all my plans, but I'm not completely surprised, I had a good year in 2018 during the Ladies European Tour. was in 5th place on the money list, so although I did not expect to play well, I was not bad, I came here with a little confidence.
"This week was great as well, as a child I dreamed of winning the Australian Open, if I could win any tournament in the world, it would be a throw between the US Open and this."
Groen was equally satisfied, well, almost, with her last 70.
"It feels good, especially after I played so bad last week," said the 22-year-old from Perth. "That was not how I wanted to play here in Australia, so even though I could have worked a little better today, I'm very happy with my overall result, the pressure was so supportive, they made me feel so comfortable. everyone who came here from far and wide, thankful for my support. "
The best of the home team was, predictably enough, world number seven, Minjee Lee. Pausing for the fourth time – a performance linked to only five others – the 69 point Western Auntie-aunt her in the top-15 on seven-under-par.
"My week got better when it went, but only a little," was the immediate statement of 22-year-old Lee. "I feel like I can hit the ball pretty well, but I have not been able to empty many putts, that was the difference between where I am on the leader board and win, and I needed a few extra putts every day to drop. I feel like I'm heading in the right direction, and I enjoyed my week, playing in our national championship is always special, every Australian wants to win it, I know it has a special place in my heart. "
Speaking of body parts, an Aussie suffered more than a little during the final round. On the eve of the last round, Karis Davidson suffered a deep cut in her right forefinger, which left the Queenslander in Scotland with more than a bit of pain and discomfort. Not that it seemed to influence her performance unlawfully, even if it meant an adjustment to her grip.
"Today was more interesting than it could have been," she said with a creepy smile after a breakthrough for a 69, her best score of the week and a T-27 finish. "I actually removed a piece of my finger, but it worked pretty well, I had a few putts in the hole, so it could have been even lower, but in general I hit the ball pretty hard. my day. "
Predictably, the largest home massage reception was reserved for Karrie Webb, whose slot 73 left her behind on three undersized and T-38. Five-time winner of this event, the 44-year-old Queenslander reached the legendary status in Australia a long time ago. And everywhere else really. Yet, despite everything that she expressed her appreciation for the obvious affection that came from the galleries, the competitor seemed to be in her as well.
"The weekend was disappointing," she said. "I just did not play as well as I wanted, the greens did well today, I hit a few over the green and I was in the back of the prison, and there was not much on the greens, but I loved every minute of it. There was so much love for me It was very good When we play Australians overseas, we do not get that kind of treatment, so it's fun when we do it It's great to play at home I've never had a Women & # 39; s Australian Open missed and I will never do it. "
All in all the perfect example of the number one ambassador of Australian golf. And the ideal epitaph at the end of a great week for the ladies game in The Grange.