Annika Sorenstam, who missed the cut, said playing a women's major championship at Turnberry validated the ladies game. Karrie Webb, the champion, said she grew up dreaming of playing Turnberry because two of her favorite players, Greg Norman and Nick Price, won British Opens here. Not a negative word all week.
It really is a stunning place. The links sit beside Turnberry Bay and the Firth of Clyde leading out to the Atlantic Ocean. On a few clear nights we could see the east coast of Northern Ireland out on the horizon. The views from high atop the course at the Turnberry Hotel are amazing. The lighthouse on No. 9. The Ailsa Craig sticking straight out of the water off No. 8. The sun starts setting at 8 and there's still light in the sky at 10.
Which leads us to our champion for the week. Karrie Webb doesn't receive the notoriety that Annika Sorenstam does, but how about her record! She now has won six major titles. She is the only player to win the Women's British Open three times, although the first two the tournament wasn't a major. She is now the only player, male or female, to win five different professional majors. I know the Women's British has only been a major for two years, taking the place of the du Maurier in 2001, but five DIFFERENT majors is still an awesome feat. Ninety-nine percent of golfers who have ever competed professionally would trade their entire career to win five majors.
Karrie was amazing all week. She opened in 66 and closed with the same number. Down by three beginning the final round, she quickly birdied three of the first six holes to catch the leaders. It was over from there. Experience in majors is a killer. Once the four-letter word WEBB appeared on top of the small yellow leaderboard next to each green, Carin Koch and Jennifer Rosalis, who played in the final group, were probably using their own four-letter words.
The only thing missing was a duel at the end for Karrie from Annika, Se Ri or Juli. The Inkster/Sorenstam battle at the U.S. Women's Open will go down as the best moment of the year so far, but this week at Turnberry was special.
Sports memories last forever for a number of reasons, least of which are the venues that host the events. We build new stadiums in the U.S. - tearing down classic stadiums, arenas and ballparks is almost commonplace now - and it's sad. In Scotland, the older the better. Preserve, don't demolish. Turnberry did itself proud this week. In the words of champion Karrie Webb as she addressed the crowd after her win, 'Thanks for inviting us. We had a great time.'
Full coverage of Weetabix Women's British Open