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

3/2/2003

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.