Webb wants gov't funding boost for golf

Karrie Webb says Sport Australia should increase its funding for golf after Hannah Green's major victory highlighted the country's wide success in the sport.

KARRIE WEBB of Australia hits an approach shot during the ISPS Handa Australian Women's Open at Kooyonga Golf Club in Adelaide, Australia.
KARRIE WEBB of Australia hits an approach shot during the ISPS Handa Australian Women's Open at Kooyonga Golf Club in Adelaide, Australia. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Australian golf greats Karrie Webb and Jan Stephenson hope Hannah Green's breakthrough major championship victory leads to an increase in Federal Government funding which they believe is grossly disproportionate to other sports.

The 22-year-old Green captured the Women's PGA Championship on Sunday, cementing her status as another rising Australian star in women's golf behind world No.3 and five-times LPGA Tour winner Minjee Lee.

Combined with fellow Australian stars in the men's game - Jason Day, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith - the nation's golfing stocks are healthy.

World Golf Hall of Fame member Webb hopes this success is recognised in Sport Australia's next distribution of government funding, particularly after Green became the third Australian to win a women's major.

Seven-times major winner Webb took aim at the fact established Olympic sports received significantly more funding than golf , which was only reintroduced to the Olympics in 2016 after a 112-year absence.

In Sport Australia's investment allocations for 2018/19, golf received $1.6 million while canoeing received $6.3 million and shooting $2.8 million.

Swimming topped the list at $12.7 million, followed by cycling's $11.8 million injection.

"(Golf's funding) is very low and way too much importance is placed on the Olympics," Webb told AAP.

Webb, a 41-time LPGA Tour winner, said golf deserved more funding given the sport has global appeal and weekly tournaments.

"We're playing against the best players every week," the 44-year-old said.

"Compare golf to other sports that have more funding; those sports might medal at the Olympics but that's only once every four years."

Webb's fellow Hall of Fame member Stephenson, a three-times major winner, said golf's funding relative to other sports "was horrible".

"To focus on something that happens every four years is ridiculous," Stephenson, 67, said.

"Look how well Australian golfers have done with little government funding.

"Imagine if Australian sport put a bigger focus on golf like some of the Asian countries do.

"South Korea recognised the global appeal of golf and now they are dominating the women's game."

Both Webb and Stephenson backed Perth native Green to have a stellar career and inspire young Australians to take up golf.

"The sky is the limit for Hannah; her life changed yesterday and she can go after it now," Webb said.

Added Stephenson: "Hannah probably doesn't realise just yet what that win has done for her confidence and career. I think she will go to another level."


AAP