Monday, January 09, 2012


By Tony Jimenez
Laura Davies turns 50 next year but the former World No 1 has no plans to hang up her spikes and believes she is capable of mixing it with golf's elite for several more seasons.
"I can really see myself going on into my mid-50s, especially on the Ladies European Tour," the 48-year-old English player told Reuters in an interview today.
"I think I've got another four or five good years left in America as well. I just love competing, love mixing with the youngsters and spending time with them.
"My whole life has been competitive sport and I don't want to turn my back on it yet. I still think I am good enough. I had five wins in 2010 so clearly I'm good enough."
The long-hitting Davies, widely regarded as England's finest ever female golfer, has accumulated 77 victories around the world, including 20 on the LPGA Tour. She has picked up at least one trophy every season as a pro, except for 2005, and the enthusiasm she has for the game is as infectious as ever.
"When you wake up in the morning and you're no longer genuinely excited and nervous about the day ahead on the course, on the range or the practice green, that's the day you want to hang up your spikes," Davies said.
"It happens to everyone some day but so far it hasn't happened to me. Being as stubborn and as competitive as I am, I can't see it happening for a good four or five years or maybe more," the four-times major winner added.
"I wake up every day nervous and looking forward to it all."
Davies needs one more major victory, or two regular LPGA Tour triumphs, to enter the World Golf Hall of Fame and is using American great Tom Watson's exploits at the 2009 British Open as inspiration.
"He was 59 when he nearly won the Open," she explained. "I'm not saying I'm a 'Tom Watson' but I've won a lot of tournaments over the years.
"Golf is a unique sport. You can play when you're 10 and when you're 80. We are very lucky as pros that we can play so long."
Davies is the only player to have featured in the Solheim Cup -- the women's equivalent of the Ryder Cup -- in each of the 12 editions of the biennial team event. The Englishwoman was a member of Europe's triumphant side last season but it proved a rare high point in a generally disappointing personal campaign.
"I won a small tournament in Perth (Western Australia) at the start of the year and I played well generally but my short game wasn't up to scratch," said Davies, who has a nine-hole course at her home on the outskirts of London.
"I didn't putt very well overall although I putted really well at the Solheim Cup. I don't normally practise much but I've been going to the local driving range recently and doing a bit of putting at the house.
"I just hope I can make enough putts this year to be competitive."
World No 1 Yani Tseng certainly made her share of putts in 2011, winning the LPGA Championship and British Open to take her haul of major victories to five, and Davies said the 22-year-old Taiwanese was on the road to greatness. "I put Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam at the very top of our tree of modern-day players, with Karrie Webb, Beth Daniel and possibly myself on the next level," said Davies.
"Yani is in between those two levels at the moment. She's surpassing the great players and coming up to the elite two. "I only see more success for her."
(Editing by Sonia Oxley)