Webb Only Wants the Attention on Sunday

By Associated PressJuly 2, 2003, 4:00 pm
NORTH PLAINS, Ore. -- Karrie Webb is fine with all the attention given to one-time rival Annika Sorenstam and 13-year-old phenom Michelle Wie as the U.S. Women's Open gets under way this week.
 
Webb just hopes the focus turns to her Sunday.
 
'It doesn't particularly offend me if I'm not in the paper now,' she said. 'As long as I'm in the paper on Monday morning holding up the trophy, then I'll be very happy.'
 
Webb, a two-time Open winner, is hoping her game will come together at just the right time to steal the spotlight from Wie and Sorenstam in the Women's Open, which starts Thursday on the Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.
 
Sorenstam, a two-time winner of the Open, became the first woman in 58 years to play in a PGA Tour when she appeared in The Colonial in May.
 
And Wie has made a splash not only because of her age, but because of her 300-yard drives. Two weeks ago, she became the youngest player to win a USGA adult title at the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links.
 
Webb knows a little about attention herself.
 
The 28-year-old Aussie won the 2000 Women's Open at the Merit Club near Chicago by five shots, then added an eight-stroke victory in 2001 at Pine Needles.
 
Last year at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., Webb was vying for an unprecedented third straight Open title -- and even boasted how she felt great going into the event -- but then failed to make the cut.
 
Juli Inkster won with one the best closing rounds in Women's Open history, a 4-under 66 for a two-stroke victory over Sorenstam.
 
'I think that I tried to put it in the back of my mind, but I obviously knew what it meant if I had won last year,' Webb said Tuesday.
 
Webb played nine holes of the Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge earlier in the day after playing all 18 on Monday.
 
The course, nestled in rural farmland west or Portland, was also the site of the Open in 1997, when Alison Nicholas edged emotional favorite Nancy Lopez, whose career remains devoid of the most cherished prize in women's golf.
 
Webb finished fourth in 1997.
 
Back then, Sorenstam was in the same position Webb was in last year: The 32-year-old Swede had won the Open in 1995 and `96.
 
Sorenstam missed the cut, too.
 
'I had a chance for a three-peat, which nobody else had done,' Sorenstam said. 'I think coming here I just couldn't handle the pressure.'
 
Webb admitted she didn't remember much about the Witch Hollow course, which will play to a par 71 and up to 6,550 yards, making it the longest course in the Open's history. The purse is $3.1 million.
 
'Actually, it's quite unusual,' she said. 'I usually remember -- especially U.S. Open courses, I remember a lot of the holes.'
 
Webb has won six major golf championships and 22 other LPGA tournaments since turning pro in 1994. But she has admittedly struggled this season, still seeking her first LPGA Tour victory. She did win the LPGA Skins Game in Wailea, Hawaii, at the start of the year.
 
'What I've learned throughout this year is how close excellent and good and pretty good is,' she said.'
 
Webb said she's been playing pretty well, but hasn't been able to string together the four good days needed for a victory -- and those four good days are essential for a major.
 
This week, she hopes she finally puts it together, and steals a little thunder from Sorenstam and Wie.
 
'I've played great in a major and not won,' she said. 'It's a matter of timing, it's a matter of luck and it's a matter of playing well.'
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage of the U.S. Women's Open
  • More LPGA Tour Preview Information

     
    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


    Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

    Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

    Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

    Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


    Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

    Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


    Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


    Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

    Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


    The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


    Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


    And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

    Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


    Photo Galleries: Best of ...

    Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

    Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.