McKay wins Women's Aussie Open with final-round 67

Updated: March 2, 2003, 3:32 PM ET
Associated Press

SYDNEY, Australia -- Scotland's Mhairi McKay wasn't about to let go of the winner's trophy at the women's Australian Open, especially after four second-place finishes and six winless seasons.

McKay made four straight birdies on the back nine and shot a 5-under 67 Sunday for a one-stroke victory over England's Laura Davies at the Terrey Hills Country Club for her first career title.

McKay finished at 11-under 277, while Davies had a closing 72.

''I can't believe it's finally happened; it's great,'' McKay said. ''They wanted to take the trophy off me after the presentation but I wouldn't let them.

''This has been my dream. I've just always wanted to win a professional event.''

Australia's Rachel Teske was third at 9 under after shooting a 69, while England's Samantha Head and former champion Marnie McGuire of New Zealand shared fourth at 7 under.

The 27-year-old McKay, who was tied for third, four shots behind the leaders after three rounds, birdied Nos. 8 and 9 and made consecutive birdies on holes 13, 14, 15 and 16.

Davies, who held at least a share of the lead after the first three rounds, led by five shots in the final round, but struggled with her driver on the back nine and fell from 12-under to 10-under with bogeys at 12 and 13. She had a chance to force a playoff at No. 18, but pushed her birdie putt past the hole.

Davies said McKay was too good on the day.

''To make those four birdies when it counted -- that was something special and I couldn't match it,'' Davies said.

''I didn't realize it was her maiden victory. She's such a good player I couldn't believe she hadn't won before.''

Defending champion Karrie Webb had a 3-over 75 to finish tied for 20th.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press