Webb Back in the Spotlight

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Its not that Karrie Webb is having a bad season'shes 12th on the ADT Official Money list with five top-10 finishes to her credit, including a tie for second.
 
But without a win this season, the 28-time tournament champion has been flying below the radar screen, which is basically the same scenario she faced last year entering the Wegmans Rochester LPGA.
 
In the 2002 event, Webb stormed from five strokes back to win her first event of the season, then was spurred on to capture the Weetabix Womens British Open, achieving the LPGA Super Career Grand Slam.
 
Webb is hoping the friendly fairways of Locust Hill Country Club will once again lead her to her first win of the year and propel her through another successful season. A Wegmans win for Webb would make the Aussie the first back-to-back champion at the event since Patty Sheehan from 1989-90.
 
Also a winner of the event in 1999, Webb would become only the third player to own three or more Wegmans Rochester LPGA trophies in the tournaments 27-year history, joining the illustrious company of Sheehan, who also won titles in Rochester in 1992 and 1995, and Nancy Lopez (1978, 1980-81).
 
Webb will face a full field of strong LPGA players and two amateur standouts at this years event. Past Wegmans Rochester LPGA winners Tammie Green (1993), Penny Hammel (1997), Rosie Jones (1991, 1998) and Meg Mallon (2000) are in the field, as are 2003 tournament winners Wendy Doolan, Candie Kung, Se Ri Pak, Grace Park and Rachel Teske.
 
Paula Creamer, a 16-year-old amateur from Pleasanton, Calif., will compete in the Wegmans Rochester LPGA on a sponsors exemption, as will Danielle Downey, a native of Rochester who is currently attending Auburn University.
 
Creamer is fresh off a win at the AJGA Rolex Girls Junior Championship, where she defeated Jane Park in a sudden-death playoff. Creamer participated in the 2003 Asahi Ryokuken International Championship at Mount Vintage, her first LPGA event, on a sponsors exemption and finished tied for 71st.
 
Downey graduated from Spencerport High School just outside Rochester and, as an Auburn Tiger, is ranked sixth in the nation. She was runner-up for medallist honors at the 2002 U.S. Womens Amateur Championship.
 
At last years Wegmans Rochester LPGA, Webb opened with her lowest round of the season, a 64 (-8), just one shot off the tournament record. But with back-to-back 72s on Friday and Saturday, she was quickly passed by Mi Hyun Kim, who was 13-under-par after three days and held a commanding five-stroke lead going into the final round.
 
Kim hurt her Achilles heel overnight and got very little sleep prior to the final round, and the distraction was evident in her game. She struggled to a two-over-par 74, her first over-par round in two weeks.
 
Webb, however, was pain-free down the stretch, making birdies on 16 and 17 to edge Kim out by a shot. The five-stroke, come-from-behind win was the largest of the 2002 season and largest of Webbs career.
 
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