HUGGAN: Davies a bona fide legend

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Laura Davies signs on the 2019 ISPS Handa Women & # 39; s Australian Open.

Legend. It is a word that is used far too much in a world where everyone and everything seemingly wonderful. But there are times when it is appropriate. And this is one of them. Dame Laura Davies is a bona fide legend of the game that has been her professional life

That indisputable fact is true everywhere and always, but especially in Australia. In the 34 years that Davies rippled for money, she has won six shores on these shores, including the 2009 Women's Australian Open at Metropolitan in Melbourne. That is just one of the 87 victories she has collected around the world, a record that is still inexplicably falling short of her two points in the LPGA Hall of Fame.

"Australia has always been great for me," says Davies. "I love to come here, I love the people, I love the courses, I have had success, and it has always been fun, so I keep coming back, I especially love the Sandbelt courses in Melbourne and The Grange reminds me a little bit this week, I love the bunkers, the sharpness of the edges, it's just a look that I really enjoy, there's no downside to get here, as far as I'm concerned . "

Davies has arrived here in Adelaide for what her 586th performance in an LPGA event will be by missed in the Vic Open last week. And it is 18 years since she last won a victory on the largest female circuit in the world. However, do not imagine that this apparently timeless 55-year-old has given up giving up a 21st LPGA title to her already amazing CV. Only last year she was second in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, her highest finish in nine years. Yes, she recognizes the depth of expertise at the end of the ladies' game. But according to her, this is more a technology development than anything else.

"The best players are now no better than those who were there when I played at my best," says Davies. "If you gave Patty Sheehan, Betsy King, I, Karrie Webb and Annika Sorenstam the equipment of today in our heyday, we would all be competitive, but the equipment makes such a difference … If you have great clubs, a great ball and a really good swing makes the game easier.

"I always came down with players to see where they could take a picture here or there, no more, they just hit every fairway and every green, and most of them also put down brilliantly, but it's a different kind of brilliance. from what we saw 20 years ago. "

So what else has changed?

"The hybrid clubs have made such a difference in our game", continues Davies. "The men too, but not quite to the same extent, but I do not like them, I love my 2-iron and my 3-iron, I love playing golf, I played in a shoot-out at the Moroccan Open. years – the men and women play simultaneously on courses that are close together – and when I took out my 2-iron to take the second photo after my partner (ex-Ryder Cup captain) Paul McGinley & # 39; s drive, he could not believe it, but it is the best club in my bag. "

Unfortunately, as she admits quickly enough, the same can not be said of the shorter clubs that stick out of Davies's bag. Her short play and moves are not quite what they were, at least in proportion to her competition.

"I beat the ball," she claims. "My long game is still very good, I miss fairways, but again, I always did, I hit a lot of greens, but maybe not as many as the best players, it all comes down to my work on and around the greens. not as sharp as it was, my chipping and pitting is not as good as the best players, I'm just not quite at their level.

"Last week I ran five and six shots worse than the two girls I played with, which was the result of my short game, so for me to win now I have to have a perfect week, almost last year. if part of my game is turned off, I'm not going to win, I can only cut back, in fact, that's my goal this year – do not miss so many cuts, and when I do, I know my self-confidence will grow. what I need more if I want to have that perfect week. "

Let's hope she can make it happen. Again. It would be a whole story. Legendally real.

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