Veteran Karrie Webb is hellbent on securing a sixth national title at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open this week, but the 43-year-old is moving to a part-time playing schedule in 2018 for the first time.
Webb told ABC Grandstand that she would not play a full schedule on the LPGA Tour this year, the first concession to the grind of the tour that she has made after 23 years on the road, so that she can be at home.
“I’m looking at transitioning here at some point,’’ said Webb, who has been an LPGA Tour member since 1996. “I don’t think I’m going to play as many this year and … I’d like to spend more time back in North Queensland, maybe go to a few North Queensland Cowboys games.
“Probably (there will be) periods in the middle of the year when I’ll play quite a bit, but other times where I’ll have a couple of months where I’m not playing at all. That for me is trying to see what life’s like not travelling and playing professional golf with the year-long commitment that it is.
“I feel like if I play a limited schedule I get both worlds, I get the chance to compete – which I’ll never tire of that – but obviously the grind and the hard work that goes in, after 23 years of doing it you do tend to tire of that. I want to see what life looks like on the other side of the ropes.’’
Webb has spent time back in Queensland after finishing up her playing schedule last September, aside from the Queens Cup teams event in December in Japan.
Webb has spent some time in Queensland recently and did not play either of the women’s events that formed the lead-up to the Australian Open: the Oates Vic Open and the Canberra Classic. So her form will be a mystery at Kooyonga in Adelaide this week.
“It’s been a while since I actually had to write down 18 scores and sign a card at the end of the day, but my practice has gone pretty well. I feel pretty good about things so we’ll see what happens once the gun goes off.’’
It is her first visit to play at Kooyonga since the 1992 Australian Amateur, a gap of 26 years.