Webb spins another major victory

Karrie Webb proved unstoppable during a four-day run through the LPGA's best players.

Webb shot a 2-under 70 to win the Nabisco Championshipin Rancho Mirage, California, by 10 shots over defending champion Dottie Pepper on Sunday in the tournament's largest margin of victory ever. The previous best was Amy Alcott's eight-shot win over Pepper in '91.

Last year, Pepper ran away from the field, setting a 72-hole record with a 19-under 269 total that beat Meg Mallon by six strokes.

This year, it was Webb's turn.

The Australian led wire-to-wire and finished at 14-under 274. She has finished either first or second in seven consecutive LPGA events, dating to the AFLAC Champions last October. She has four wins and three seconds in those events.

The highlight of Webb's round came on the par-3 5th hole, which she aced using a 6-iron from 170 yards. The ball bounced once on the green and Webb looked away to get her tee out of the ground, then she jumped in joy as it rolled into the hole. At the green, Webb plucked the ball out of the hole, kissed it and tossed into the cheering crowd.

Pepper, bothered by back spasms after she slipped on wet grass at the practice range Saturday, never made a serious run. She shot par-72 for the third straight day to finish at 4-under 284, one shot ahead of Meg Mallon.

Cathy Johnston-Forbes and Michelle Redman tied for fourth at 2-under 286. Helen Dobson and Chris Johnson tied for sixth at 1-under 287.

Aree Wongluekiet, the 13-year-old Thai sensation, wound up tied for 10th at 1-over 289 after a 75.

Webb continued a Nabisco tradition by jumping in the murky water at the 18th green, with a friendly shove from Pepper. Webb jumped in feet first, followed by her caddie. Singer Celine Dion waded in to shake hands with both of them.

Leading final scores from the Nabisco Championship in California (USA unless stated):

274 K Webb (Aus) 67 70 67 70 (187,500) 284 D Pepper 68 72 72 72 (116,366) 285 M Mallon 75 70 73 67 (84,915) 286 C Johnston-Forbes 74 71 71 70, M Redman 73 73 69 71 287 H Dobson (GB) 73 74 72 68, C Johnson 73 68 73 72 288 R Jones 74 71 74 69, K Saiki 72 77 68 71 289 J Lidback (Per) 75 72 74 68, W Doolan (Aus) 73 73 69 74, P Hurst 72 72 70 75, (a) A Wongluekiet (Tha) 75 71 68 75 290 K Albers 77 71 72 70 291 S R Pak (Kor) 73 71 77 70, J Moodie (GB) 74 72 70 75 292 S Steinhauer 73 71 77 71, C Sorenstam (Swe) 75 75 70 72, A Sorenstam (Swe) 76 72 73 71, K Robbins 79 69 73 71, K Higo (Jpn) 76 72 73 71, J Inkster 76 71 74 71, N Bowen 75 72 73 72, N Scranton 78 70 71 73, C Koch (Swe) 79 70 70 73, B Mucha 77 71 70 74

Other scores included:

293 C Matthew (GB) 72 77 73 71, A Nicholas (GB) 71 74 74 74 294 C McMillan (GB) 73 74 74 73 295 L Davies (GB) 71 74 78 73 299 C Nilsmark (Swe) 77 71 76 75, E Dahloff (Swe) 78 73 74 74, H Alfredsson (Swe) 72 77 77 73 301 K Marshall (GB) 77 74 74 76 306 L Neumann (Swe) 75 74 75 82 DQ T Johnson (GB) 72 71 78

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