Karrie Webb wins for first time in two years in Phoenix

By Associated PressMarch 29, 2009, 4:00 pm
LPGA Tour _newPHOENIX ' Karrie Webb has been one of the most prolific winners in LPGA history. Yet she was wondering whether she would ever win again.
 
Her two-year drought ended Sunday, when she shot a 5-under 67 on Sunday for a two-stroke victory in the J Golf LPGA International.
 
The 34-year-old Australian earned her 36th career LPGA title, finishing at 14-under 274. Third-round leader Jiyai Shin of South Korea shot a 70 to finish second.
 
Karrie Webb
Karrie Webb celebrates her 36th career LPGA victory. (Getty Images)
You know you still have the ability to do it, but youre just not putting the scores on the board that indicate you can still do it, Webb said. Even less than a month ago I was still questioning that.
 
Another South Korean, In-Kyung Kim ' the leader after the first and second rounds ' finished three strokes back. She had a 70.
 
Webb had an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys in breezy conditions on the 6,711-yard Papago Golf Course. She started the day one shot behind Shin, but took the lead just after the turn, then capped her day with a near-eagle on No. 18.
 
The $225,000 first prize raised Webbs career earnings to just over $14.5 million, second only to Annika Sorenstam.
 
Webb ended any doubt by knocking her second shot about 10 feet short of the cup on the par-5, 475-yard 18th. She missed the putt, but tapped in for birdie, then threw her fist in the air in celebration.
 
She had not won since her five victories in 2006.
 
But it was no nerve-racking effort. Webb called her week at Papago probably the most calm Ive been in my entire career.
 
I know thats probably a big statement, she said, but I never really got ahead of myself and I really was very good this week about staying right in the present and worrying about the shot that I had.
 
Webb started the day one shot behind the third-round leader Shin and briefly took the lead with an eagle on the par-5, 513-yard sixth hole, hitting a 3-wood 20 feet from the hole, then sinking the putt. Kim, though, had birdies on the sixth, seventh and eight holes to move in front.
 
Kim made the turn with a one-shot lead at 13 under but hit it in the water on the par-5, 544-yard 10th hole and wound up with a double-bogey 7. Webb stormed through the opening, knocking in a birdie putt on the 10th to go to minus-13, then making another on the par-4, 355-yard 11th to open a two-shot lead on her playing partner Shin, winner of the HSBC Womens Champions event in Singapore three weeks ago.
 
I kept waiting for Karrie to make a mistake, Shin said, but she played very well.
 
Webb did have a bogey on No. 15 to fall back to 13 under, but Shin had a bogey there, too.
 
Im pretty lucky that she didnt have her best putting day, Webb said of the young South Korean star. Ive definitely seen her make a few more putts than she did today.
 
The tournament, a longtime stop on the LPGA, lost its sponsor and its home course a year ago. The LPGA stepped in to save the event, moving it from the scenic Superstition Mountain Golf Club east of Phoenix to the newly renovated Papago municipal course in the city.
 
I missed the cut three times at Superstition Mountain, Webb said. Im sure Im one of the only players who wasnt disappointed to not be going there this year.
 
The course was closed for most of last year and didnt reopen until December, so crews had to scramble to get it in shape for a professional event. The brown-tinged greens were especially hard because the grass hadnt had a chance to grow.
 
Two-time defending champion Lorena Ochoa had her best round of the week at 70 to finish at 4-under 284.
 
Michelle Wie, in her second tournament of the season but first in more than a month, was over par for the fourth consecutive round, a 73 to finish at 8-over 296.
 
The event was a tuneup for the seasons first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship next week in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Webb won the tournament in 2006, the last of her seven major titles.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Phoenix LPGA International
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.