Webb Again a Major Factor

By George WhiteJune 28, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 U.S. Womens OpenNEWPORT, R.I. -- Karrie Webb may have been a victim of her own success in recent years. You see, she won the U.S. Womens Open in back-to-back years in 2000 and 2001, and she hasnt won one since.
 
Annika Sorenstam made the Open her very first victory in 1995, then repeated the feat in 1996. Incidentally, she, also hasnt won one since.
 
Karrie Webb
Karrie Webb's win at the Kraft Nabisco sent her games to new -- and old -- heights.
Sorenstam said Tuesday that she felt as though she submarined her chances at No. 3 by putting so much pressure on herself to succeed. And Webb sees many similarities between herself and Sorenstam in not only their Open records, but their Open attitudes as well.
 
Obviously, Annika and I did the same thing, going for three in a row and missed the cut, said Webb. But I think for Annika, too, those two U.S. Opens came pretty quickly. And I guess they came pretty quickly in my career, probably not as quickly as hers.
 
But you know how big a tournament this is and what it takes to win, and I think you just know that you're capable of winning another one. It comes down to obviously playing well with a bit of luck and good timing to win another one. I think we probably both hold this as the biggest tournament of the year, and you just want to experience that feeling again of winning the U.S. Open and having the trophy in your house for a year.
 
Of course, the U.S. Open championships are where the similarities end. The past couple of years, Webbs career went downhill before being reborn in 2006. Sorenstam has streaked like a meteor with a total of 67 wins on the LPGA alone.
 
For Webb, the holes in her game came little by little, agonizing bit by agonizing bit.
 
I think it was over time, said Webb. And I guess when I say I lost confidence, I never lost the belief I could win on any given week. So I still believed and the thing was - I still, in my practice, showed that I definitely had the game, too.
 
And I just wasn't taking it out on the golf course, and I guess within the last six months well, probably the last 18 months working with Ian Triggs, but in the last six months really, understanding that I had to relearn and teach myself to get away from the technique once I get on the golf course. And I picture the shots that I want to hit and then step up and do it.
 
Webbs lifetime instructor, Kelvin Haller, is marooned in Webbs home country of Australia, the victim of an accident which paralyzed him. Webb has since become a student of Triggs, who has worked with Haller in tutoring Webb, but who has considerable influence over her swing now. Webb got into some bad habits the last couple of years, and it is to Triggs credit that Webb has returned to the form that got her into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
 
And now, after having won the seasons first major with a dramatic wedge hole-out at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and then a birdie, she says she is a better player than when she won the back-to-back Opens.
 
I think I'm definitely a better player, Webb said. I think I know more about my game. I'm a better ball striker now when I trust myself than I was when I won both Opens.
 
But I think I say that just from experience and what I know and what I've learned. And I think when I won both those Opens, as much as I think I knew what I was doing, I think I know more now what has to be done than I did when I actually won.

But her Open drought has been accompanied by hard times on the golf course. And it was during that period that Webb hardened into a seasoned professional.
 
I think when I was going through my few struggles - and it wasn't that I just wasn't winning, I wasn't really giving myself a chance to win and to enjoy the feeling of being in the hunt on Sunday, said the Australian.
 
I guess I look back at when I was playing really well and felt like I didn't really enjoy it as much as I should have. So to be back in the thick of it again, that's what I wanted - to just get back and have a chance to win each week, and just to really appreciate that those opportunities don't come along as much as I thought they did. Because they were always there at the start of my career.
 
Webbs statistics are sparkling this season. Shes second in money won behind Lorena Ochoa, second in scoring, tied for second in putting and fifth in the rankings in greens in regulation. And to think that it all happened after her first three tournaments when the best she could do was a tie for 24th.
 
Then came the Kraft Nabisco and the thrilling hole-out to push it into a playoff, and then Webb prevailing on a birdie. Since then she has won again and finished second three times, including at the McDonald's LPGA Championship, where she narrowly missed winning her second straight major, losing in a playoff to Se Ri Pak.
 
And now, though she is still just 31, she qualifies as a real veteran. She has been to the top and been to the bottom, and now she is back near the top. But never will she forget what a thrill it was as a young player, winning time after time.
 
I think because I got off to such a great start in my career that I gained the respect from the old players pretty quickly, she said. And I think, well, I think I was pretty humble about it all and I wasn't big-naming myself. I gained a lot more respect, as well.
 
So I never really felt, although I was in awe of the fact that I was playing alongside all of these players, I never felt uncomfortable being around them in a way that they made me feel uncomfortable. If I did feel awkward at any stage, it was just that I couldn't believe who I was playing alongside.
 
Now she is the veteran, and a lot of younger players look up to her. Karrie Webb, they say, is a real pro.
 
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.