Webb Inkster Among Leaders

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PORTLAND, Ore. -- Karrie Webb shot a 5-under-par 67 Friday to grab a share of the lead after the first round of the Safeway Classic. Webb was joined atop the leaderboard by Juli Inkster, Rosie Jones and Donna Andrews.
 
Danielle Ammaccapane, who won this event in 1998, finished two back, alongside Kelly Robbins, Jenna Daniels, Penny Hammel, Denise Killeen and Karen Stupples.
 
Webb opened in spectacular fashion at Columbia Edgewater Country Club with a chip-in birdie at the par-3 second. She hit an 8-iron to 20 feet for birdie at the fourth and left herself with an eagle try from the same distance at the par-5 seventh. Webb two-putted for birdie to quickly reach 3-under.
 
'I missed a couple of fairways and a couple of greens early on,' said Webb. 'But I managed not to do too much damage on those holes.'
 
The Australian struggled with a three-putt bogey at the ninth, but regained her form after she chipped to four feet for birdie at the par-5 12th.
 
Webb, who won the Women's British Open in August, knocked a 5-iron inside two feet for birdie at the 16th and capped her round with a 15-foot birdie putt at the very next hole to grab a share of the lead.

The 27-year-old got off to a rocky start in 2002, but has since picked up her game.
 
'I really feel like I can finish this year off better than I finished any of the years off,' said Webb, who has three top-10 finishes in her last four starts, including her win in Turnberry.
 
Inkster, who titled at this tournament in 1999, also has a major title to her name this season, the U.S. Women's Open. Inkster started her day with a birdie at the second and picked up steam with an eagle at the par-5 seventh after she left her second shot inside eight feet.
 
The 42-year-old added a birdie at the following hole to make the turn at minus-four. Inkster rolled in a 15-footer for birdie at the 10th and took the outright lead at 6-under with a 20-foot birdie at the par-3 13th.
 
Inkster held her lead late into the round until she found trouble at the closing hole. She hit her second shot at the par-4 18th into a bunker behind the green and failed to get up and down for her only bogey of the day.
 
'I played pretty well today,' said Inkster. 'I putted well today, and it was kind of a good solid round.'
 
Jones, the runner-up at this event in 1991, used a strong finish to take her share of first. She made the turn at 2-under and continued her climb with birdies at the 13th and 15th. Jones hit a 8-iron to six feet at the 17th and made the birdie to finish at 5-under with a high opinion of the course.
 
'The course is beautiful,' said Jones. 'It's wonderful. The best golf course we played in a long time.'
 
Andrews had eight birdies on her round to go along with three bogeys to complete the logjam.
 
'I have been working really hard this week on my putting and it paid off,' said Andrews. 'I haven't made that many putts all year.'
 
Annika Sorenstam, who earned her seventh victory of 2002 at last week's Williams Championship, collected four birdies and one bogey to finish at three-under-par 69. Sorenstam was joined by Emilee Klein, Laura Davies, Lorie Kane, Laura Diaz, Beth Bauer, Suzann Pettersen, Jamie Hullett, Gloria Park and Michele Redman in a tie for 11th.
 
The 2001 edition of this event was canceled following the tragedies of September 11th. Mi Hyun Kim, who won in 2000, carded a 1-under 71 to finish four shots off the lead.
 
Full field scores from the Safeway Classic