Webb Tries to Get Back on Track

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04 John Q. Hammons Hotel ClassicBROKEN ARROW, Okla. -- Karrie Webb will come back to the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic in another slump -- a slump only by her lofty standards.
 
But Webb is playing much better than a year ago, when her nine-stroke victory at last year's Hammons Classic broke a streak of 23 straight starts without a win.
 
This year, she's got a title -- the Kellogg-Keebler Classic in Aurora, Ill., in June -- and three top 10 finishes as she continues to work through adjustments to her swing.
 
'The changes I've made in my swing, they're working really well,' the Australian said Monday in a conference call with reporters. 'It's just not on a consistent basis right now.
 
'I really feel like I'm probably about a year away from really nailing everything down to where I'm comfortable and trust my swing day in and day out,' Webb said.
 
Webb will defend her Hammons Classic title Sept. 10-12 in a 54-hole tournament against a field of top LPGA players including Juli Inkster, Meg Mallon and Cristie Kerr but without Annika Sorenstam, the 2002 champion.
 
This year's Hammons Classic tournament will be at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow instead of at the Tulsa Country Club, the course north of downtown where previous three LPGA events in Tulsa were played.
 
'The golf course looks good, looks challenging, pretty tight off the tee,' third-year LPGA player Natalie Gulbis said Monday at media day. 'It looks like the greens are going to be in good shape.'
 
Both Gulbis and Webb said the new course will require some getting used to after tour players became accustomed to the Tulsa Country Club. There'll be longer practice sessions and more study, both predicted.
 
'It's tough but I think it's sometimes also good because you don't know where the danger is,' Webb said. 'So sometimes playing a course for the first time you get a free-for-all and just hit it where your caddy tells you to.'
 
Webb began working on her swing at the end of 2000, right after she won consecutive Rolex Player of the Year honors and Vare Trophies and 12 of 29 tournaments.
 
Her play has been spotty in recent years, and she admits 'a little disappointing' because she thought she had everything back in shape after winning in Aurora in June.
 
'I have one part of my game let me down every week, but it's not the same every week,' she said. 'One week, it's ball striking and the next week it's putting or my short game.'