Webbs Stellar Play May Warrant Repeat


The skies cleared just as players started the third round of the U.S. Women's Open Saturday. A round in which Australias Karrie Webb picked up right where she left off Friday.

I started out pretty much the way I left off yesterday, swinging the club very well and making a lot of birdie opportunities, said Webb following a 1-under-par 69 at the Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C.
I really feel good about my round. I probably had just a couple of loose iron shots coming in, but I cant be too hard on myself today. I shot 1-under and there werent too many other red numbers up on the board.
I was really impressed with the job the greens superintendent and his crew did. The course was in great shape today. You would never know that there was that much rain yesterday. There wasnt one part on the fairways where you felt water under your feet. The greens were probably a little bit softer that they were yesterday but we had a breeze today that dried them out.
Webb completed her second round Friday at 5-under-par 135 and in sole possession of the lead.
I put a lot of emphasis on the Majors now. I always have, Webb said in a press conference Friday. Youre not ever going to win every single time you put yourself in contention, but the more times you put yourself in that position, the more chances you have and maybe you get lucky a couple of times.
Of the 21 times Karrie has held the final-round lead, shes won 13 times, finished second seven times and tied for seventh once.
Webb made three birdies Saturday and was 8-under for the tournament with 5 holes left in her round when she made her first bogey in 32 holes on the 401-yard par-4 14th.
Another bogey on the 429-yard par-4 17th brought her back to 6-under-par, where she finished the day.
However, the defending champion still holds a very comfortable five-stroke lead over Se Ri Pak, who stands at 1-under-par after a third-round 70.
'I missed so many great birdie chances for 34 holes. I kept missing putts. I misread or missed speed,' Pak said. 'It was a little confusing. But I just - actually, I find out something on the 18th hole that I'm going to be working on tonight. And I think tomorrow everything will go into the hole.'
Pak has been working on her putting with Tom Creavey, formerly with the David Ledbetter Academy.
Pak is one stroke ahead of Catriona Matthew.
Inclement weather forced Matthew to complete 36-holes today. Im delighted with 2-under for my 36 holes. I played well this morning and shot 2-under, Matthew said Saturday evening. And really played well this afternoon. Overall Im pretty pleased.
Stephanie Keever, one of four amateurs to make the cut, gave her caddie a hug on the 1st, and then ripped a drive down the center of the fairway.
Her caddie this week doubles as the proud father of Stephanie. Pride in his daughter was never more evident than upon the completion of her second round Friday. While Stephanie and the rest of her group made their way to the 18th green, Stephanies dad, Larry, was spotted taking a picture of the leaderboard with his daughter's name and score on it.
Keever completed the third round at 13-over-par after recording a disastrous 10 on the 351-yard par-4 13th.
Juli Inkster had a tumultuous third round; consisting of five birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey on the 401-yard par-4 14th.
After three disastrous holes on the backside, Inkster made a birdie on the 429-yard par-4 17th.
It gave me a little hitch in my giddy up, said Inkster, who is at 1-over after a 71.
Annika Sorenstam arrived at the course at 5 a.m. to finish her second round. She was not pleased with the early performance. And after recording her worst score this week, 3-over-par 73, she was equally as dismayed with her afternoon effort.
Im really disappointed with my play today. I expected to do better, Annika said just off the 18th green. It just didnt go my way and thats the way it is.
The first group tees off at 9:10 a.m. Sunday morning. The final twosome of Se Ri Pak and Karrie Webb tee off at 2 p.m.
Full-field scores from the U.S. Women's Open