GOLF: The queen of Australian golf Karrie Webb is to become a part-timer.
Entering her 23rd season on the tour, Webb said she was finally ready to make life choices away from golf and spend more time in Australia after decades based in the US.
Watching NRL club North Queensland Cowboys live, rather than online, was high on her list of priorities.
And the 43-year old, chasing her sixth Women's Australian Open crown when she tees off in the first round at Kooyonga on Thursday, has admitted she could have dedicated herself to another sport had women's cricket been relevant when she was growing up in North Queensland.
"When I was 11 I told my parents I wanted to be a professional golfer,” Webb said.
"That was followed shortly later by 'I wanted to be a professional golfer or play cricket for Australia'.
"Playing cricket for Australia when I was 11 wasn't even a possibility, women's cricket was not even on the radar.
"If I was 11 now and said that, what direction would I have taken, would I have played golf or cricket?”
While Webb decided golf was her path, she is now looking to rein in her busy schedule with golf not the total focus.
Webb's life has been dictated by her golf commitments and she is hoping a less demanding schedule will allow her to arrive at tournaments feeling mentally refreshed.
"In the last handful of years I have not felt good about always choosing golf,” Webb said.
"I'm trying out the part-time schedule this year, I've watched Steve Stricker do it for a couple of years and he does it pretty well.
"Hopefully I can take part in some life events and still play some golf. I still feel there is a little left there and I'm not quite ready to put the clubs away.
"I've been overseas as long as the Cowboys have been around and in all those years I've seen four or five games. This year I might see that many live.”
Webb is uncertain what shape her game is in, having not played an event since September.
And she is unsure if she will ever say the word retiring.
What she does acknowledge though is the culture in golf must change, dress standards relaxed and golf clubs be not so intimidating for youngsters if participation, especially among females, is to grow.
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