Webb Wins Super Slam at Womens British
Weather was a key factor Sunday, and Webb, who shot 33 on the front nine in tough conditions, knew that the others' inexperience would be a drawback.
Yesterday, you know, I asked for a little bit of bad weather today and I got my wish for about five or six holes, I guess, she said.
More from Webb on her sixth major win.
The LPGA veteran started the day three strokes off the lead set by 23-year-old Jenny Rosales and Carin Koch. The Aussie quickly made up ground, carding three birdies through the sixth while both Rosales and Koch struggled with their games.
Heading back to the clubhouse, Webb had her own struggle when she was informed her group was on the clock for slow play.
Fortunately, I kept things going and obviously made a great par save at 16, which really was a big key and then birdied 17, which I didn't know at that stage, but probably put the last nail in the coffin, she said.
Webb finished the day at 15-under, having recorded a final round 6-under 66 on a day when others struggled just to stay under par. She earned her sixth major championship over the last five years.
This was the last title the former two-time Weetabix champion needed to complete the 'Super Grand Slam.' This accomplishment is achieved when a player has won every major within his or her playing career.
Webbs former wins at this event did not count towards the 'Super Grand Slam' since the Weetabix was not officially a major until 2001.
I don't think it's still sunk in yet, the three-time British Open champion said. I knew that coming into this week I did have a chance to win all five majors on the LPGA. It feels great. It's not a feat that everyone has a chance to do.
Fiery Spaniard Paula Marti tried to put the heat on Webb all day, but the best she could manage was a second-place tie at 13-under 275 with Australias Michelle Ellis. Candie Kung, Jeong Jang, Catrin Nilsmark and Jenny Rosales finished tied for fourth place at 11-under 277.
Former U.S. Open champion Meg Mallon had a great day, shooting 70 to finish at 10-under 278. She tied with 17-time AJGA winner Beth Bauer and Koch.
Koch, still without a major win to her name, disintegrated on the back nine, making consecutive bogeys on the 12th and 13th and finishing with a disappointing 2-over for the day.
Marti insured herself a spot on the European team for this year's Solheim Cup with her spectacular display of golf on Sunday. Marti recorded four birdies and a sole bogey on the 379-yard, par-4 13th after missing the green left and leaving her chip shot six feet short of the hole.
It was tough out there today, I can tell you, said Marti, who had never before shot four consecutive rounds in the 60s. The first three holes it was blowing and it was raining a lot. I just told myself to be patient. And, as you can see, I made, like, seven pars in a row. Andy (my caddie) and I, we were just so patient on the course today. I knew I was putting good and I knew I was playing good. I knew the birdies were coming, so I just needed to wait and don't rush, and that's what I did.
For Marti, who will join the LPGA Tour in the near future, Sundays second-place finish was a turning point in her career.
I think I just showed myself that I can play with the big ones. So if I can do it here in Europe, I can do it in America. That gives me a lot of confidence in my game and I'm going to go for everything now, she said.
Marti has two wins on the Evian Tour.
Ellis has finished third twice this year on the AustralAsian Tour, yet doesnt have a single top-10 finish this season on the LPGA Tour. Her previous best finish on the LPGA Tour was a tie for 11th at the Areus Electrolux.
In all, she made seven birdies - two on the last two closing holes - and three bogeys to record a final round of 68 and come within two strokes of Webb.
Karrie is a great player and to be up into her category and looked at in her category is pretty awesome in itself,' Ellis beamed. 'But we all strive to beat Webbie and Annika. And that's what we're out there to do. I love Webb to death, but she is a rival when we get out on the golf course.
Final results from the Weetabix Women's British Open
McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi
It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.
Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson.
Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.
“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”
Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.
“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.
This was his first competitive round in four months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.
Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59
Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.
While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.
He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.
"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."
Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.
"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."
Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot
When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.
Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.
"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"
The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.
Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.
"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."
DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.
Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.
"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."
Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.
Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.
"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."
Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.
"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."