Webb Cruises to Seven-Shot Victory

By Sports NetworkMay 14, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Michelob Ultra OpenWILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Karrie Webb closed with a 1-under 70 on Sunday to finish off an impressive wire-to-wire victory at the Michelob Ultra Open.
 
Webb finished at 14-under-par 270 for a seven-shot win over Hee-Won Han and Lorena Ochoa, claiming her second title of the season after the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the 32nd victory of her career.
 
Karrie Webb
Karrie Webb has now won two titles thus far in the 2006 season.
The win netted Webb a $330,000 check, moving her past Ochoa for the top spot on the women's money list this year. She became the first wire-to-wire winner on the LPGA Tour this season, and her 270 score smashed the tournament record by five shots.
 
Han also shot a 70 in her final round for her best finish this season, while Ochoa reached 7-under-par 277 with a 1-over 72.
 
Ochoa, who won the Takefuji Classic and finished second in a playoff to Webb at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, now has five-runner up finishes this year and three at this event.
 
Reigning Rookie of the Year Paula Creamer, 2005 champion Cristie Kerr and Pat Hurst tied for fourth place at 6 under. Creamer fired a 69, while Kerr and Hurst both struggled to 73s.
 
The old tournament scoring record was 275, set by Grace Park in 2003 and matched by Se Ri Pak the next year. Webb collected 21 birdies with seven bogeys over her four rounds to break the mark, and in the process moved into 15th place alone on the LPGA's all-time wins list.
 
It was almost too easy, as Webb entered the final round with a five-shot lead.
 
Still, she wasn't comfortable until late in the day.
 
'It's just hard to play with that sort of a lead than a one-shot lead or one behind, because you're trying to keep yourself in the same game plan as you have had for the last three days,' Webb admitted. 'But at the same time, you don't want to make too many mistakes.'
 
Ochoa was one of three players who began five shots off the lead. She birdied the first hole to get within four strokes.
 
'Out of everybody that was chasing me, Lorena was probably the one that worried me the most,' Webb said. 'She went out and birdied the first hole, so I knew it was game on from there.'
 
Webb responded with a birdie at the par-5 third after knocking a pitching wedge within 15 feet, then rolled in a 15-footer at the par-3 fifth to reach 15 under.
 
A three-putt bogey at the sixth was followed by another bogey at the eighth, but Webb was at 14 under around the turn after sinking a 25-foot putt at the par-4 ninth.
 
Bad weather moved into the area, delaying the round 1 hour and 42 minutes until 2:30 p.m. local time.
 
After the break, Webb played the back nine at even-par. She found a bunker and dropped a stroke at No. 15 before recouping the loss with a birdie putt at the par-4 16th, where she knocked a 6-iron within 15 feet.
 
Webb finally relaxed after that.
 
'After the putt,' she declared.
 
Reilley Rankin and Mi Hyun Kim shot matching 69s and shared seventh place with Jeong Jang (72) at 4-under-par 280. Jee Young Lee (67), Shi Hyun Ahn (67) and Joo Mi Kim (72) were knotted one stroke further back in 10th
 
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    Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

    Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

    Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

    In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

    Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

    “I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

    Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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    Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

    In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


    Made Cut

    Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

    Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    September can’t get here quick enough.

    Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

    There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

    In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

    “I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “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.”

    The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

    Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

    Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

    The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

    The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

    “My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


    Missed Cut

    Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

    After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

    It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

    Tweet of the week:

    It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

    The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”