Fearsome Webb warns of world conquest

Karrie Webb secured the greatest prize in the women's game on Sunday evening when she won the US Women's Open in Libertyville, near Chicago. The Australian then said that her motivation to dominate the game was as strong as ever, despite having accomplished her main aim at the age of 25, just over four years after turning professional.

Karrie Webb secured the greatest prize in the women's game on Sunday evening when she won the US Women's Open in Libertyville, near Chicago. The Australian then said that her motivation to dominate the game was as strong as ever, despite having accomplished her main aim at the age of 25, just over four years after turning professional.

"Holding up trophies like that, that's got to keep you motivated. Winning golf tournaments is, to me, what I'm out there to do," she said. "There's still a lot more to achieve, and I think I can only get better and improve my game."

Those words are sure to strike fear into the hearts of other LPGA Tour players - just as they did their male counterparts when Tiger Woods expressed similar sentiments after his Open victory on Sunday.

Much as the comparisons might annoy her, Webb is being talked of as the Woods of the women's game. Despite closing with a one-over 73, she finished at six-under par to win the Open by five strokes and has now won three of the last four majors - just as Woods has.

At 24, Woods was the youngest player to win the career grand slam. Webb needs only the LPGA Championship to complete hers, and has until 2009 to win it to be the youngest woman to win the modern-day slam.

"I think it's kind of cool to be compared to Tiger Woods, especially after what he's been doing," said Meg Mallon, who tied for second place with Cristie Kerr at one-under 287. "Karrie has been fabulous. Sometimes when a player makes it look as easy as she does, it's hard to appreciate how great she is. She's not going to go away for a long time."

"Every year as I look back at what I've achieved, I just shake my head and can't believe I've done so much so soon," Webb said. "The fact I've added two more notches on the belt and I'm not yet 26, it's really hard to believe I've done this already."

Webb won $500,000 (£330,000) for the victory, the largest prize ever in women's golf. She also gets a $250,000 bonus for winning two majors. The victory takes her earnings for the year to $1.486m and needs just $106,324 to break the LPGA single-season earnings record, which she set last year.

However, the money is not what drives her. It is the thrill of winning and the feeling of grasping the trophy. "There's a sense of fate in it all," Kerr said. "When people tee it up with Tiger, they're playing for second. When Karrie plays well, we kind of all feel like that."

Laura Davies finished as the leading British player, joint ninth overall, on three-over par 291 after a 75. Kathryn Marshall and Janice Moodie, both of Scotland, were the other Britons in the top 20. They both finished on six-over-par 294.

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