by Mark Hayes
The pain was stark for Karrie Webb as she missed her first ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open cut in her 21st consecutive appearance.
The record-holding five-time champion’s competitive streak remains as fierce as ever and she was clearly hurt in blemishing her unprecedented streak.
“It hurts to miss any cut and I don’t like that at all,” said Webb, who rued a couple of early missed putts that robbed her of the chance to build momentum in her even-par 73.
“The putter wasn’t great, but yesterday (Thursday’s 76) left me behind the eight ball today and with conditions being tough, I just was trying to play catch-up all day.
“I had a couple of makeable putts on the front nine that if I’d made those might have changed things around.
“But my whole game was better today, so I feel a lot better about things than I did yesterday, so that’s a good sign.
“It’s not the start I was looking for this year, but it’s a long year. I started off well last year and didn’t have a good year, so maybe if I start off poorly it will change to good.”
At the other end of her career, Perth’s Hannah Green finds herself in a late group tomorrow – but it could have been even later.
The Perth 20-year-old “made a complete mess” of her final hole, taking a double-bogey six hot on the heels of an eagle on the 17th that momentarily had her in a share of second.
But her six-under total, good for a share of ninth, left her in a buoyant mood in her first national championship as a professional after her T20 finish as an amateur last year at The Grange.
“I wanted to play in the last group, but that silly double up the last cost me,” Green said.
“I’m quite happy with my results this week, hopefully it can keep going over the weekend … I’m really excited.”
Green vowed to attack when possible in the third round.
“We’ll see where the pins are and I’ll have a go at a few of them, but I’ll lay back when I have to, as well – it probably depends on the wind and conditions and I won’t know until we get out there,” said Green, who was enthused by the strong Australian presence on the leaderboard.
“I really want an Aussie to win this week and hopefully there’s a good chance of that happening now.”
Aside from Green, Katherine Kirk at -7 and leader Sarah Jane Smith at -9, there’s a strong green and gold flavor to the leaderboard.
Rebecca Artis fired a 70 to sit T13 at -6, Minjee Lee shot the same score to sit at -4, Su Oh a 73 to be -3, local Steph Na a 71 to sit -2 along with Whitney Hillier who fired the same score and Sarah Kemp shot 72 and is -1.