Notes Webb Officially in Hall of Fame

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2005 McDonaldHARVE DE GRACE, Md. -- One of Karrie Webb's shortest putts of the day meant the most.
 
The 30-year-old Australian rolled in a 2-foot par putt to cap a 2-over 74 in the opening round of the LPGA Championship on Thursday, and when the ball dropped into the cup, Webb officially became a Hall of Famer.
 
Completing the round was the final requirement to reach the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame for Webb, the winner of six major titles and 30 overall LPGA Tour events.
 
``It's amazing,'' she said. ``I've known for a few years that all I had to do was stand upright for 10 tournaments a year.''
 
Webb earned the required 27 points to qualify for the hall with her victory in the 2000 U.S. Women's Open. She repeated as Open champion the following year and needed only to play on the LPGA Tour for 10 years to qualify.
 
``I've had time to reflect and realize what I've achieved,'' Webb said before being overcome by emotion.
 
Webb is the only player to win the ``Super Slam.'' She won the Kraft Nabisco (2000), U.S. Open (2000-01), LPGA Championship (2001) and du Maurier Classic (1999). The Women's British Open replaced the du Maurier in 2001, and Webb won at Turnberry a year later. She also has won at least once every year on tour.
 
``You are to go down in history as one of the greatest golfers the game has ever known -- not women golfers, but the game of golf,'' LPGA commissioner Ty Votaw said.
 
Webb was paired Thursday with good friends Meg Mallon and first-round co-leader Laura Diaz, and received hugs after the final putt fell.
 
``There are only a handful of people I would have loved to play with today, and that was two of them,'' Webb said.
 
Webb made the turn at 1 under, but bogeyed No. 10 and made a 7 on the par-3 12th. She bounced back with birdies at Nos. 15 and 17 before playing the hole that would get her into the hall.
 
``I was trying to get myself back closer to par, and I guess I wasn't really thinking about it until I hit into the green because ... you're focused on today and trying to keep myself in there with a chance for this week,'' she said.
 
ON THE BAG:
Jimmie Johnson ordinarily would not have been available to caddie for Michelle Wie at the LPGA Championship, especially with Nick Price playing down the road at Congressional this week.
 
But Johnson said Thursday during a storm delay that he no longer works for the three-time major champion.
 
``It was time to part ways for both of us,'' Johnson said.
 
He would not say what the Wie family is paying him to caddie, calling it ``charity work,'' but he will work with the Hawaii teenager next week in the U.S. Amateur Public Links qualifying, the U.S. Women's Open at Cherry Hills, followed by the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour.
 
Johnson caddied for Wie last year at the Samsung World Championship, and they get along well. But that doesn't mean the veteran looper is looking for a permanent job with her.
 
He said he likely would return to the PGA Tour to find work sometime in late July.
 
AN EYE FOR HISTORY:
It was only fitting that Meg Mallon played with Karrie Webb on Thursday when the Aussie officially completed her 10th year on tour to qualify for the World Golf Hall of Fame.
 
Mallon was paired with her and kept her card when Webb won the 2000 U.S. Women's Open outside Chicago to earn enough points to get into the shrine.
 
``Pretty cool isn't it? I had her card today, too,'' Mallon said. ``She's a good friend and I'm proud of her.''
 
But that's not all the history that involved Mallon.
 
Mallon was also paired with Annika Sorenstam when she shot a 59 in Phoenix in 2001, and she played with Se Ri Pak in 1998 when the rookie shot what was then the lowest score in LPGA history, a 61 in the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic.
 
Dottie Pepper shot the lowest score in relation to par at a major, a 19-under 269 in the 1999 Nabisco Championship, and Mallon was at her side. And later that summer, Juli Inkster completed the career Grand Slam by winning the LPGA Championship. Yes, it was Mallon keeping her card that day.
 
COMMISSIONER'S AWARD:
Herb Lotman and Frank Quinn, founders of the tournament that was elevated to the LPGA Championship, received the LPGA Commissioner's Award for their unique contribution to the tour.
 
Lotman and Quinn founded the McDonald's Kids Classic in 1985, and the tournament has evolved into one of the tour's four majors.
 
``Throughout the years, Herb and Frank have led by example,'' LPGA commissioner Ty Votaw said. ``They have developed and advanced the event throughout the decades and the legacy and charity contributions they have established are unrivaled.''
 
The award was last presented in 1999, to Jamie Farr, the star of the television series ``MASH'' and host of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic in Toledo.
 
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