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Golf Today exclusive interview with Karrie Webb
by Carly Frost
July 31, 2013

Q. You first began your professional career on the Ladies European Tour back in 1994, how special was it for you to return to playing alongside old friends from the good old days at The Buckinghamshire last week?

A. It was great to be back. I haven't played many LET events outside of the co-sanctioned ones over the last few years but it is great to be back in Europe and it was way better preparation for the British Open to have played in the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters last week than if I had been practising back in Florida.

Q. Congratulations on winning the title, the ideal preparation! You must be pleased with how you are playing? Was it always the idea to play at The Buckinghamshire last week to allow you to adapt to the climate and British weather conditions ahead of the Ricoh at St. Andrews this week?

A. Yes it was great preparation but on top of that it was fun to be playing in an event I hadn't played before, so I was looking forward to that. Doing something different is refreshing; it just sharpens your mind and your skills going into a Major.

Q. What got you into playing golf as a youngster growing up in Australia?

A. My parents and grandparents were pretty keen golfers so I started playing when I was really little. I also grew up in a small town and belonged to a very family-orientated golf club so the kids would go out and hang out while the parents were upstairs having a few beers. I loved the atmosphere of being at the golf club and the fun we had as kids running right on the putting green while they were enjoying themselves! I got my first official set of golf clubs for my eighth birthday and that's when I started to play.

Q. Who taught you to play?

A. My coach Calvin Haller. We didn't have a club professional at our golf club when I was young and he was a good friend of my Mums growing up and one of the best amateurs in the club, so Mum and Dad just asked him if he would keep an eye on me when I was out on the course and that's how our relationship started. I still work with him now.

Q. You have achieved so much in your career already with 7 Major Championships to your name, 39 wins on the LPGA (more than any other active player) do you still set yourself goals, what else would you like to achieve?

A. Yes I do still set goals, but I don't know if they are as specific as they were 10-15 years ago. Honestly I feel like I've achieved more than my wildest dreams for my career were, so it's hard to set specific goals and feel like if I didn't achieve them I'd be disappointed in some way. Obviously long-term I want to be one of the top two players in Australia so that I can represent Australia in the Olympics in 2016. I think that's really what is keeping me out here and keeping me wanting to work hard.

Q. Who is your coach and what are you working on in your game at present?

A. I still work with Calvin Haller but Calvin is a quadrapalegic, and he has been since he was 16, so he doesn't travel outside Australia, so about 10 years ago I also started working with Ian Triggs when I was away. He's another Aussie who I grew up around. He was Queensland State Coach. I've known him since I was about 14 when he asked if he could work with Calvin and I and that's when we became a team. But when I'm back in North Queensland I always practice with Calvin, he'll watch me on the range and then Ian and I work when I'm away from Australia. I was at my home in Florida before travelling to the UK and we put in a lot of hard work there.

Q. What is your best tip for the lady club golfer to help them improve and get more enjoyment from the game?

A. I think to really enjoy playing you just have to set yourself little goals. I think the great thing about golf is the handicap system allows everyone to strive to improve. If you are a competitive person you can work towards lowering your handicap. Aside from that obviously getting good instruction when you are learning golf is the key to improvement.

Q. How important is the role of the caddy and how long have you had yours working for you?

A. Mikey and I have been working together for 12 and a half years now. I think it is really important to have someone on the bag who you trust. Mikey is one of my best friends. When I first asked him to work for me it is because I thought we'd get along well and I think he does a fantastic job and it works well because we can talk about everything out there other than golf. He knows everything about me and I know everything about him and that creates such a bond that in a pressure situation I know I can lean on him and trust that he's going to do a great job.

Q. How do you balance the work life/private life time off away from the course - what do you enjoy doing when you get time-out?

A. It's tough. Golf is an all-consuming sport. I think even when you have down-time you are still thinking about golf as you are conscious of what you can and can't do. There are certain things I'd love to do but you have to be careful that you might get hurt or injured. I'm fortunate to have a great house in Florida where I love to fish and be in the water, so I get to do that as much as I can when I'm at home.

Q. How inspirational was Adam Scott's victory at The Masters and have you congratulated him?

A. It was very inspirational. Meg Mallon tweeted a picture of me when he made the putt in the play-off - I was jumping in the air! I was really excited for him. My first memory of watching the Masters was in 1986 when Jack Nicklaus pipped Greg Norman to the green jacket and then the year after that it was Larry Mize who chipped in to pip Greg to the title, so I've been through all the heartbreaks of the Aussies at The Masters. I emailed Adam after he won because it was just so thrilling. I was in Hawaii at the time, getting ready for the LPGA event over there. That night we went out and had a few beers and I felt like I'd won, that's how happy I was for him.

Q. What would it mean to you to win another Major Championship?

A. It would be fantastic. I hold the Majors as the five most important tournaments that we play in every year and part of the reason I came over and played in the ISPS Handa European Masters last week was to get my game sharper by playing The Buckinghamshire, adapting to the climate conditions and getting ready for this week at The British Open.

Q. Do you have a number you'd like to get to, for example 10 Majors in your career?

A. Again, that goes back to setting goals. The trouble is you'll just be disappointed if you don't achieve them. Am I going to be disappointed if I've only won seven Majors at the end of my career? Obviously if I won three more Majors to end my career that would be fantastic but I don't set specific goals like that anymore. I just go out there and try and play my best.

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