Open and Shut Case Webb Wins Again
Sunday was not one of those times. The defending champion had her sights set on a win this week and she got it in championship style by capturing a second straight U.S. Womens Open title with a birdie on the final hole to finish at 7-under-par 273.
Karrie Webb comments on her win at the U.S. Open
Her name now joins six other women in the history books who have won two Womens Opens ' Louise Suggs (1949, '52), Donna Caponi (1969, '70), JoAnne Carner (1971, '76), Betsy King (1989, '90), Patty Sheehan (1992, '94) and Annika Sorenstam (1995, '96). She also takes home this years top prize of $520,000.
I feel fortunate enough to have won one, but to win two, back-to-back is -- you just really can't put it into words. It's a dream come true, Webb said.
Pine Needles, a Donald Ross design, commands course management. It was imperative for Webb to keep that in the forefront of her mind during the final round.
Even with a five-shot lead entering her round, the indomitable Aussie was aware that she couldnt let her guard down for a moment. Looking to reclaim her throne, Webb played the final round conservatively, but not without mistakes. She made bogey on the 413-yard par-4 2nd to reduce her lead to four strokes.
Playing partner Se Ri Pak narrowed the margin after making birdie on the 4th to move to 2-under and a mere three shots off the lead.
Webb then held steady with par until the 7th, where she would reclaim ground with her second birdie of the day to move to 6-under-par. Another birdie on the 10th gave the Aussie a six-shot lead as Pak had dropped back to 1-under.
Webb and Pak both bogeyed the 11th and Webb went on to bogey the 15th as well. But Webb recovered with a birdie on the 17th to move back to 6-under-par for the third time Sunday. The winner then closed with a sweet birdie on the last.
'It felt pretty good to walk up 18th feeling comfortable,' said Webb, who carded a Sunday 69.
'If it's the only tournament I win all year, it's the U.S. Open, and no one can take that away from me.'
Pak finished at 1-over 281 (69-70-70-72) taking home $310,000 in second-place prize money.
UP AND DOWN
Michelle Redman started the day tied for 17th and played her way into a tie for 4th during the final round Sunday. However, trouble started on the 14th. At 2-under, she would finish her last five holes with three bogeys and a closing double-bogey to end the round at 2-over. Redman finished tied for 16th at 7-over 287 for the championship.
The miracle Annika Sorenstam was looking for Saturday night never came. Sorenstam (70-72-73-72) completed her 7th Open appearance tied with Redman and Emilee Klein (72-69-75-71) at 7-over-par 287.
Candy Hannemann, age 20, missed the cut at the 1998 Womens Open but faired much better at this years championship. A junior at Duke University competing in her second Open, she received low amateur honors after finishing at 11-over-par 291 (73-73-77-73). The Brazil native won the 2000 Brazil Womens Amateur championship and was a member of Dukes winning 2000 NCAA team.
She will continue to play the amateur circuit until graduation next May. Im going to play a couple of tournaments this summer and return (to Duke) for my senior year, Hannemann professed. After that Ill turn pro.
Amateur Natalie Gulbis (73-71-75-73) finished at 12-over 292, while Stephanie Keever (69-72-83-77) and Christina Kim (73-73-75-75) both finished at 16-over-par 296.
Keever, who is planning on turning pro the day after she graduates from Stanford University, fell into the Donald Ross trap Saturday. Ross designed the greens at Pine Needles with sloping edges that drop as far as 3-8 feet below the putting surface.
Keever, who had a fantastic opening round of 1-under 69, learned all too well how important a short game is on this course. She faltered Saturday - recording a gruesome sextuple-bogey on the 351-yard par 4 12th.
NEWS AND NOTES
- The U.S. Womens Open will return to Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C., in 2007. This will mark the fourth time the U.S. Womens Open will be played at Pine Needles (1928, 1996, 2001). According to The New York Times, the 1928 Womens Mid-South Open Championship, played at Pine Needles, is reported to be the first Womens Open Championship in the United States.
- Three pregnant women participated in this years U.S. Women's Open Championship ' Kristie Albers (6 mo. pregnant), Brenda Corrie Kuehn (8 mo. pregnant) and Jennifer Greggain (5 mo. pregnant). Of the three, Albers, playing in her last event until after the birth of her child, was the only competitor to make the cut. Albers is married to TV sports announcer Fred Albers.
- Thirteen-year-old Morgan Pressel quickly bounced back from not making the cut. She went right from press interviews to Javanoid, a Space Invader-like computer game, which she played on one of the media official's computers.
- Christina Kim of San Jose, CA, along with her caddie, wore rubber-spiked sandals while playing the Open this year.
Full-field scores from the U.S. Women's Open
After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...
Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).
Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.
It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard
On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...
There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.
He sure looks like the real deal, though.
His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.
Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner
Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2
With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.
He picked up one more No. 2, too.
The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.
In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.
Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.
“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”
Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.
Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.
He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.
Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title
Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.
His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.
“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."
Tom Brady, postgame, on wearing the wrap on his hand: “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) January 22, 2018
Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.
Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.
Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder
Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:
Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)
What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.
Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.
Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.
Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.
Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.
Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:
Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry