Webb sets LPGA 36-hole record in Olds Classic

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The Independent Online

Karrie Webb, widely considered the LPGA's answer to Tiger Woods, put on a stunning display of golf on Friday, equal to almost any of Woods' heroics.

Karrie Webb, widely considered the LPGA's answer to Tiger Woods, put on a stunning display of golf on Friday, equal to almost any of Woods' heroics.

Webb matched the LPGA's 18-hole record with an 11-under-par 61 in the second round of the Oldsmobile Classic in East Lansing, Michigan. That left her at 17-under 127, breaking the 36-hole LPGA record of 16 under by Michelle McGann last year in the Hermitage Golf Course in Old Hickory, Tenn.

"After I eagled No. 6, I was thinking about a 59," said Webb, who will take a three stroke lead over first-round leader Meg Mallon into the third round Saturday.

Mallon, whose course-record of 10 under on the 6,241-yard (meter) Walnut Hills Country Club lasted only one day, bogeyed the ninth, her final hole of the day, for 68 and a two-round total of 130.

"One day! That's just like her," Mallon said with a laugh. "She's spoiled more than a few parties of mine."

Webb already owns the LPGA records for 54 holes (22 under) and 72 holes (26 under). Lisa Walters set the Oldsmobile Classic record with a winning score of 23 under in 1998. That mark is likely to be shattered before the third round is over.

The shootout between Webb and Mallon was to be expected. Between them, they have won three of the LPGA's four majors.

"Obviously, we're both playing ultra-good golf now," said Mallon, winner of the du Maurier two weeks ago. "You can't make a bogey out here. If you do, you feel like you'll fall back by a touchdown."

Webb and Mallon both started the round on No. 10, with Mallon's threesome right behind Webb's group. As a result, each could see clearly what the other was doing.

"I was really trying to do my own thing out there," said Mallon, who needed 30 putts, compared with 23 in the first round.

Not as happy as Webb, the LPGA's leading money-winner at dlrs 1.5 million, who lists The Nabisco Championship and the U.S. Women's Open among her five tour victories this season.

"Low rounds are always in the back of your mind," Webb said. "But you can't say you're going to go out and do that. You know, 62 or 63 is still a great round."

Webb, starting the day four shots behind Mallon and two back of McGann, wasted no time letting the rest of the field know the chase was on. She knocked a wedge within 4 feet for birdie at No. 10. That set the tone for a record-shattering day.

Webb turned at 11 under, yet still trailed Mallon by one. But not for long.

Birdies at Nos. 2, 4 and 5 got Webb to 14 under, tied with Mallon.

At the sixth, a 460-yard (meter) hole the women play as a par 5, Webb hit a 5-wood within 15 feet (4 meters) of the pin. As her eagle putt curled its way toward the cup, Webb yelled at the ball to stay on line.

She pumped her fist when the ball hit the bottom of the cup, putting Webb at 16 under - and alone in the lead.

"I don't think I knew how special the round was until I had that putt for eagle," Webb said. "Then it dawned on me.

"When I made that putt, I thought that if I didn't get 59, I at least wanted to get 61, because I knew that was a record for our tour."

Annika Sorenstam shot 11-under 61 last year in the first round of the Sara Lee Classic at Old Hickory. Vicki Fergon also shot 11 under in 1984, but that was for 62 on a par-73 course in San Jose, Calif.

The rest of the field was in another universe. Jenny Lidback was seven shots behind Webb and four behind Mallon after shooting 68 for 134. Luciana Bemvenuti shot 67 for 135.

McGann had nothing but trouble during the second. She followed her 64 with a 74 for 138.

LPGA Oldsmobile Classic, Michigan

Second round scores (USA unless stated):

127 K Webb (Aus) 66 61 130 M Mallon 62 68 134 J Lidback (Per) 66 68 135 L Bemvenuti (Bra) 68 67 136 Mi Hyun Kim (Kor) 70 66, C Kerr 68 68 137 B Daniel 70 67, N Harvey (Can) 68 69, T Hanson 66 71, B Iverson 69 68 138 M McGann 64 74, R Hetherington (Aus) 69 69, D Ammaccapane 72 66, A Ridgeway 70 68, W Doolan (Aus) 68 70, A Read 72 66, B Mucha 70 68, K Booth 69 69 139 C Nilsmark (Swe) 71 68, P Sinn (Tai) 70 69, J Rosales 67 72, D Ammaccapane 74 65, M Edge 66 73, C Masterson 69 70, B Burton 68 71, K Williams 72 67, J Jang (Kor) 70 69, D D'Alessio 70 69 140 J McGill 70 70, M Dunn 72 68, E Klein 70 70, A.J. Eathorne (Can) 72 68, A Finney 68 72, M Lovander 70 70 141 S Redman 71 70, K Kuehne 74 67, L Spalding 69 72, N Bowen 70 71, T Green 73 68, D Koyama (Jpn) 71 70, V Skinner 70 71, L West 73 68, K Gant 71 70 142 E Dahllof (Swe) 73 69, A Dibos (Per) 73 69, M B Zimmerman 71 71, H Daly-Donofrio 72 70, F Pike (Aus) 72 70, S-A Lim (Mal) 71 71, C Mockett 73 69, J Hanna 73 69, Debbie Harmon 69 73 143 J Stephenson (Aus) 70 73 144 M McGuire (Nzl) 75 69, M Yeo 72 72 146 C McMillan (Gbr) 73 73, L Hackney (Gbr) 72 74, G Park (Aus) 72 74, Yu Ping Lin (Tpe) 70 76 150 J Park (Kor) 73 77 152 L Earley (Can) 74-78, A M Palli (Fra) 74 78