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No retirement plans for Laura Davies
February 2, 2011

English veteran Laura Davies is playing some of her best golf at age 47 and finds herself among the favorites in a strong field for the Australian Women’s Open starting Thursday.

Davies, who powered her way to European No. 2 in 2010, joins world No. 1 Jiyai Shin, fourth-ranked Yani Tseng and four-time winner Karrie Webb at the at the par-73 Commonwealth Golf Club.

With five victories last year, Davies says she is puzzled by the persistent question about when she’ll retire.

“I’m always asked the same question—whenever I win a tournament the first question is ‘when are you going to retire?”’ she said Wednesday. “And I always answer ‘I just won the tournament, why would I retire?”’

Davies says golf is a game you can play until whatever age you want, “and if you’re playing well and you’re competing, and not making a mug of yourself, why not keep out there doing it?”

“Hopefully (her 2010 season) will keep the people quiet that think that when you’re 47 you should retire,” she said. “Tom Watson nearly won the (British) Open at 59.”

Tseng will be aiming for back-to-back titles after winning last year’s Australian Open by three shots from Davies.

Seven-time major-winner Webb will be hoping to use this tournament to kick-start her year in her home event, while laying to rest some demons from 2010, including a disappointing 17th-place finish at last year’s U.S. Open.

“I know how well I can play, it’s really letting go of the reins and also just getting on a roll,” Webb said.

“You have consecutively good weeks and a couple of wins and it doesn’t seem that much more of a stretch to continue doing it—it’s just getting to that point,” she said.

Australian Women’s Open has a two-tee start, with Tseng, Australian Katherine Hull and Frenchwoman Gwladys Nocera forming a group teeing off early from the 10th hole.

Davies, Lindsey Wright and Melissa Reid will be in the following group, while Webb will start her opening round at after lunch on the 1st tee alongside Alexis Thompson and Stacy Lewis.

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