Webb streaks ahead at Royal Sydney
BY iseekgolf.com | ALPG Tour | 2007 Women's Australian Open | Round Three | 03 Feb 2007
Australia’s Karrie Webb increased her lead to four strokes heading into the final round of the AUD$500,000 MFS Women’s Australian Open at Royal Sydney Golf Club.
Webb, the World no.3, was looking unbeatable after a third round 68, which was the best score of the day. She finished on a total of 10-under-par 206 after 54 holes, four shots clear of Taiwan’s Yun-Jye Wei, who had a 71.
“I am very, very happy,” said Webb, 32, who has won this tournament twice, in 2000 and 2002. “I hit a lot of very good golf shots today. My distance control came back. I was hitting a lot of solid shots. I hit some loose tee shots but other than that my iron play was very good.”
After 36 holes and rounds of 67, 71, Webb led by one stroke but was not completely satisfied that her form was where it was at the end of the 2006 season, when she won five times including the Kraft Nabisco Championship – her seventh major.
Before teeing off in her third round she admitted that was already feeling confident: “I had some nerves on the first couple of days but I did some good work on the range yesterday and I warmed up better today. Any doubts that I had in my swing were erased pretty early on,” she said.
Webb led by one stroke heading into the third round but she quickly gained a two stroke lead after birdying the first two holes in her third round. She then birdied the par-four eighth hole and had reached nine-under-par with a two stroke lead by the turn.
On the back nine, she gained further ground despite the tough conditions. She bogeyed the tenth after her tee shot found the lateral water hazard on the left side of the fairway and she was forced to play a safety shot out onto the fairway, but Wei also dropped a shot and Webb kept a two stroke advantage.
At the 11th, Webb holed a long curling downhill putt for birdie and she moved back to nine-under-par with a three stroke lead over Wei, her only real challenger.
Both she and Wei dropped shots at the par-four 12th but Webb birdied the long 13th and gained a four stroke advantage.
Wei replied with a birdie at the 15th but then Webb birdied the long 16th.
When asked if she thought anyone could overtake her, Webb said: “Hopefully not if we have conditions like this tomorrow. It’s still a course for big numbers so I’d just like to have the same focus tomorrow that I had today.”
Wei provided the only real challenge to Webb on a hot and breezy afternoon when many of the other players fell down the leader board, although there was a bold effort from Sarah Kemp, the young Australian who carded a 66 in the first round and led by one only to drop down to 12th place after a second round of 78.
Kemp, 21, fired a 71 and was one of only seven players to shoot under par. Marta Prieto of Spain and Virginie Lagoutte-Clement from France both shot level par 72s for a share of fourth position with Sun Ju Ahn of South Korea, who had a 74.
Kemp admitted that she had been inspired by Webb and she said: “I was lucky enough to play with her for the first two rounds of the ANZ Ladies Masters last year and she was really lovely. In fact, she was so nice that at the end she gave me her email address and said if I ever needed anywhere to stay in the States then to give her a ring. Every time I see her we have a good chat. She’s a good Aussie!”
At the beginning of the week, Kemp said that she hoped to be in one of the last matches on the final day because she would be in contention and she would enjoy the limelight. She will head out with Prieto in the penultimate match tomorrow, while Webb heads out with Wei again.
Source – LET
Photo – Anthony Powter