Webb Vaults Into Lead at Australian Ladies Masters


Karrie Webb carded a flawless round of 7-under 65 to grab a commanding lead after Saturday's third round of the Australian Ladies Masters, the season-opening event on the 2001 Evian Ladies European Tour.
Webb birdied her last three holes to move to 14-under-par 202, five shots clear of overnight leader Lynette Brooky of New Zealand. Brooky, who began the day with a four-stroke advantage and a six-shot edge over Webb, struggled to a 40 on the back nine Saturday on her way to 4-over 76. She is alone in second at 9-under, while Scotland's Kathryn Marshall shot 4-under 68 for sole possession of third place at minus eight.
Despite the fact that she yet to notch a victory in five starts on the LPGA Tour in the U.S., Webb is on the verge of an unprecedented fourth consecutive win in this event at the Royal Pines Resort.
'The key was not getting in too much trouble and I also hit a lot of greens,' said the 26-year-old Australian. 'Saturday is always moving day and I was glad to see a little wind out there. A 65 in these conditions was really pleasing.
'I had a good early start and didn't struggle to get into my round like I did yesterday, which was a bit frustrating. But I've been working on a few things recently, and today was probably the first time this year that it's all come together.'
Webb posted back-to-back second-place showings in January, finishing runner-up to Sophie Gustafson at the Memorial of Naples and second behind Grace Park in The Office Depot event.
Germany's Tina Fischer, American Kelly Robbins and Rachel Teske of Australia share fourth place at 6-under par, while Aussies Alison Munt and Fiona Pike are next at minus five.
England's Diane Barnard, the leader after Thursday's opening 18, rounds out the top-10 at four-under 212 with Catriona Matthew of Scotland and local product Corinne Dibnah.