05 Feb 2016
As it turned out, the drama passed as if it were a sun shower.
But for 15 tense minutes, the storm clouds must have looked almost cyclonic for Golf Victoria officials.
Karrie Webb, the Oates Vic Open drawcard extraordinaire, teetered on five over, a number which appeared certain to be the halfway cut mark for much of the second afternoon at 13th Beach Golf Links.
Then, suddenly, BANG!
The rumblings emanating from the 17th green when the champion Queenslander’s par putt lipped out sent a shiver of unease around the course as she crashed to six over.
To all, apparently, bar Webb herself.
The seven-time major champion later said she was blissfully unaware of the scoreboard drama unfolding.
While the cut line moved to six over half an hour after Webb finished, everyone else at the time thought she had to birdie the par-five 18th to reach the weekend.
And, just as champions do – even those unaware of their predicament – Webb held up her end of the deal and calmly chipped her third shot to within 50cm to partial delight from the crowd and partial relief for GV’s bosses.
The one-over-par 74 to sit at five over and 12 off the lead of English surprise packet Georgia Hall was far from Webb’s best.
But she didn’t rule out a weekend charge if she could continue the improvement on her opening 77.
“It’s just tough, I’ve only had four birdies in two days and when it’s windy, you’re going to make mistakes,” Webb said.
“I’m not making enough birdies to feel comfortable out there because then you’re just worrying about mistakes when the putts aren’t going in.
“So it’s been a bit of a grind, but it’s good to hear I made the cut and we’ll see how it goes on the weekend.
“(Tomorrow I’ll) just enjoy playing this course again … and (hopefully) making strides in my game and feeling comfortable hitting the shots I need to hit and if I put a low one together tomorrow, who knows what could happen?”
Webb praised the Beach Course which she’d previously played only in practice earlier this week.
“When you play it with not a lot of wind (as in practice rounds), it’s not set up all that difficult, but when it’s blowing like this you’ve got to be on top of your game,” Webb said.
“That’s the beauty of a course that’s designed well – it can change every day and you don’t play it twice the same in a week.”
Laura Davies was the chief beneficiary of the late cut line movement, finishing at +6 after a back-nine 40 on the Creek Course threatened to give her the weekend off.
But sadly a 72 for 2013 champ Stacey Keating wasn’t enough to keep her around having left just too much ground to make up after he opening 81 consigned her to seven over.