Karrie guns for fourth Open title

KARRIE Webb is chasing a record fourth victory in the Women's British Open and says winning over the Old Course at St Andrews would make it even more special.

This week's $A2.51 million Open marks the first time that the world's best women professionals have competed over the world's most celebrated course.

"Everyone is so excited to be here this week," said Webb yesterday.

"It's a big step forward for women's golf and all the players have been talking about if for ages."

Many of the players are undertaking a crash coure in the intricacies of the Old Course ahead of Thursday's first round but Australia's former world No.1 Webb believes she has a secret weapon in longtime bagman Mike Paterson.

"I played the Old Course socially a few years ago," said Webb.

"But I'm also lucky because I have a Scottish caddie and he was here a few weeks ago and has played the course many times.

Webb won her first two Women's Opens in England - at Woburn in 1995 and at Sunningdale in 1997 - before winning at Turnberry in 2002, the first time the championships had been played in Scotland.

"I hope its a good omen," she said with a smile.

"I've obviously got great memories of Turnberry. In fact, the Women's British Open has always been very good to me."

She comes into the championship with her game in fair shape.

She's had a mixed season, with the highlight having been a second place behind Suzann Pettersen at the LPGA Championship in June and is coming off a tie for 12th when defending the rich Evian Masters in France last week.

"I wouldn't say its been brilliant," said Webb. "I've had putting problems."

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