Golf: Webb becomes $1m woman

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The Independent Online
The Australian Karrie Webb capped her first season on the LPGA Tour by becoming the first woman golfer to earn more than $1m (pounds 600,000) in a year when she won the LPGA Tour Championship in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Webb's fourth victory of the year was worth $150,000, boosting her 1996 earnings to a record $1,004,000. She pipped Britain's Laura Davies by more than $75,000 to become the first rookie to win the LPGA money title since Nancy Lopez in 1978.

The 21-year-old fired a seven-under-par 65 for a four-round 16-under total of 272 at the Desert Inn Golf Course and a four-shot victory. "At the start of the week, winning $1 million was the farthest [thought] from my mind," Webb said. "My goal at the start was to win." But she added: "No rookie on the men's tour has ever earned $1 million in a season."

Webb was in the top 10 in almost every statistical category and led the Tour with 15 top-10 finishes in 25 events. Four wins tied her with Davies and Dottie Pepper for the LPGA lead.

Davies shot a 67 and settled for a fifth-place tie with Juli Inkster and Brandie Burton at 277, 11 under par. Davies had already been named the LPGA Player of the Year. "The money title was the whole year, more important than Player of the Year and Vare Trophy," Davies said.

The world No 1, Greg Norman, is to take a three-month break from golf because of a back problem. Norman, who won his fifth Australian Open title on Sunday, will stop playing after appearing in his own tournament, the Greg Norman Classic, starting in Melbourne on Thursday.

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