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- 02. December 2013.
Laura looks for more laurels in Dubai
Laura Davies has reached a landmark age this year, but the number has only strengthened her resolve to claim another trophy. England’s greatest ever golfer turned 50 in October but the winner of more than 80 titles around the world believes that there are still more to come, especially if she can improve her pace putting this week in Dubai.
“I never look back. All I want to do is win my next tournament,” said Davies ahead of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, starting on Wednesday at Emirates Golf Club.
“I remember what my last tournament win was (the 2012 ISPS Legends Tour Open), but I want to know what my next one is. I see myself playing golf for another five or six years, trying to win tournaments. If I had a goal it would be to win a major championship because that would get me into the Hall of Fame – and would shut up a few doubters who probably think once you get to this age, you should scurry away.
“Fred Couples or Vijay Singh, I use them as examples. They are both well over 50, but people don’t ask them when they are retiring. It’s slightly different in the women’s game, there is always that question,” said Davies, who is also a golf in DUBAi ambassador.
Since 2001, Davies has been just two points shy of gaining entry to the revered home of greatness. That’s when she won the Wegmans Rochester International, her last LPGA title.
With 25 Hall of Fame points, Davies needs to win two more LPGA events -- or one major championship -- to gain the 27 points needed to qualify for induction as an active tour member. She could have easily achieved the two points, had she not given up on about 10 tournaments a year for 20 years during the height of her powerful game to support the Ladies European Tour.
“I really want to win more on the LPGA Tour, but I haven’t got close to winning an event for nearly 18 months. I need to be consistent in putting and that has been my goal. I am not going to give up any way – shape or form,” said Davies, one of the most outspoken and fun-loving and entertaining golfers in women’s golf.
Davies recognises that the face of women’s golf is changing with the large numbers of fun and talented young players coming through on the global stage.
“It’s great and shows women’s golf is in a really good state. When I turned pro, I think, I was 21 and that was considered a bit daring in those days. But now we have girls, aged 15 or 16, who are not just competing and making up their numbers – they are winning events.
“Lydia Ko (of New Zealand) winning back-to-back Canadian Open titles is ridiculous really. She is already a star.”
And so is the case of fellow Liverpool FC fan, Charley Hull. “Although there is a huge age gap, Charley is like a mate. We do the same things. When you playing professional sport, age doesn’t matter,” said Davies, who was given a pair of tickets for her birthday and hopes to take Hull along to Anfield for the first time.
Davies hopes that Hull will earn her breakthrough victory “sooner rather than later,” although, “not at my expense!” and believes that defending champion Shanshan Feng from China is the player to watch this week.
“There is a lot of strength at the top of the field – and that’s always a good thing for galleries. They want to see the Stacy Lewises of the world. I think Shanshan Feng will be the one to beat.”
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS