Webb breaks own 54-hole LPGA record in Oldsmobile

Karrie Webb, with nothing left to prove, has her sights on LPGA Tour records.

Karrie Webb, with nothing left to prove, has her sights on LPGA Tour records.

The Australian star, already the No. 1 female player in the world and widely considered the LPGA's answer to Tiger Woods, continued her assault on the tour's record book on Saturday, breaking her own mark for 54 holes in the Oldsmobile Classic.

Webb, who matched the LPGA's single-round record Friday with an 11-under-par 61, followed that with a 66 for a 193 total on the Walnut Hills course. Her 23-under total broke the record of 22 under that Webb set last year in the Australian Ladies Masters.

Cristie Kerr and Meg Mallon were tied for second at 201, eight strokes behind Webb. Kerr shot a 65, and Mallon, playing with Webb, had a 71.

And more records are almost certain to fall.

The LPGA record for 72 holes is 26-under 262, also by Webb in the 1999 Australian Ladies Masters.

"Hopefully, I can play solid tomorrow," said Webb, who has five tour victories this season, including two majors. "I can take a shot at the record. But, I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. I don't want to do anything stupid."

Lisa Walters set the Oldsmobile Classic record of 23 under in 1998. Webb's play has been so superior that she has tied that with 18 holes left to play.

"It's fun to see someone play that well," said Mallon, who applauded along with the fans when Webb rolled in a 6-foot putt for birdie on the final hole.

Mallon, whose course-record of 10 under in the first round on the 6,241-yard layout lasted only one day, started the day three strokes behind Webb.

But not for long.

Webb, striking the ball as well as she ever has, birdied three of the first four holes and was clearly on her way. Only the fact that she bogeyed Nos. 5 and 15 kept Webb from widening her lead any more than she did.

Perhaps the thing that made the bogey at No. 5 noteworthy was that it was so unexpected. Her second shot on the 511-yard hole landed in a slight divot and Webb couldn't pitch it out cleanly.

The ball landed 20 yards short of the green, and her chip ran 30 feet (9 meters) past the hole.

"That was a little careless, a little untiddy," Webb said. "But I came right back with birdies after both of my bogies today."

Webb drove into a bunker on the right side of the fairway on the 397-yard 15th. Her shot from the sand was just short of the green. Webb chipped within 12 feet, but couldn't get the saving putt to fall.

Webb has held a final-round lead 20 times and gone on to win 12 of those tournaments. She finished second seven times and tied for seventh once.

Even Mallon, who has an impressive record of comeback wins, conceded that this match was just about over.

"Yeah, I've had some runs, but I can't remember overcoming an eight-shot lead," Mallon said.

Third round scores from the Oldsmobile Classic, Michigan (USA unless stated):

193 K Webb (Aus) 66 61 66 201 M Mallon 62 68 71, C Kerr 68 68 65 203 Mi Hyun Kim (Kor) 70 66 67 204 J Lidback (Per) 66 68 70, A Read 72 66 66 205 B Iverson 69 68 68, K Williams 72 67 66 207 R Hetherington (Aus) 69 69 69, D Ammaccapane 72 66 69, A Ridgeway 70 68 69, L Bemvenuti (Bra) 68 67 72 208 P Sinn (Tai) 70 69 69, B Daniel 70 67 71, J Jang (Kor) 70 69 69 209 C Nilsmark (Swe) 71 68 70, M McGann 64 74 71, J McGill 70 70 69, K Kuehne 74 67 68, B Burton 68 71 70 210 S Redman 71 70 69, A Dibos (Per) 73 69 68, W Doolan (Aus) 68 70 72, T Green 73 68 69, M Lovander 70 70 70, K Gant 71 70 69 211 M Dunn 72 68 71, T Hanson 66 71 74, D Ammaccapane 74 65 72, C Masterson 69 70 72, B Mucha 70 68 73, V Skinner 70 71 70, K Booth 69 69 73 212 L Spalding 69 72 71, M Morris 72 72 68, N Harvey (Can) 68 69 75, N Bowen 70 71 71, K Saiki 72 71 69, J Rosales 67 72 73, M Edge 66 73 73, M Yeo (Kor) 72 72 68 213 D Koyama (Jap) 71 70 72 214 J Stephenson (Aus) 70 73 71, F Pike (Aus) 72 70 72, S-A Lim (Mal) 71 71 72 215 M McGuire (Nzl) 75 69 71, E Dahllof (Swe) 73 69 73 216 A.J. Eathorne (Can) 72 68 76

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