Webb waltzes to US Open victory

Karrie Webb, the women's No 1 from Australia, won the US Women's Open first time at the Merit Club here yesterday hours after her male counterpat, Tiger Woods, completed his grand slam by winning the Open at St Andrews.

Karrie Webb, the women's No 1 from Australia, won the US Women's Open first time at the Merit Club here yesterday hours after her male counterpat, Tiger Woods, completed his grand slam by winning the Open at St Andrews.

Webb finished only six under par, compared with Woods' 19-shot margin over the course, but she was just as dominant. A birdie at the last gave her a closing one-over-par 73 and a five shot victory on 282 over Cristie Kerr, one of the promising young players on the Tour, and Meg Mallon, who had led going into the third round. Kerr finished with a 70, whoile Mallon had a 73 to end the tournament as the only other players to break par.

Webb started the day four shots clear of Mallon and after Saturday's performance, it looked like being a Sunday stroll for the Queenslander. But she stuttered on the outward nine, dropping a shot at the fourth and running into trouble at the short seventh, where she ran up a double-bogey five.

However, she started for home with as birdie and was never under serious threat as she parred her way to the last, where she had another birdie, finishing with a flourish.

Webb dislikes being compared to Woods but this weekend's events will do nothing to dent enthusiasm for making that comparison, especially as they have both now won three of their last four major championships. Webb has won 10 times since the start of last season, while Woods has collected 13 titles in the same period.

"It is uncanny, our careers seem to be parallel," Webb said. "But that's about as far as it goes. He plays on the PGA tour. I play on the LPGA tour. It is hard to compare two players who don't play against one another."

But Webb is exerting the same dominance as Woods and her victory here qualifies her for a place in the LPGA Hall of Fame, even though she still needs to play another five years on tour before induction.

Webb described that as "something that is overwhelming" and said she had not taken it for granted. "I am glad there's a waiting period [10 years on tour]. There are far too many great players in there to put my name alongside them just yet."

Webb, like Woods, effectibely clinched the title with her brilliance on Saturday. The heads of her rivals dropped as she posted one birdie after another on the leaderboard on the longest course - 6,540 yards - in the history of the championship.

Her charge faltered when she laid up in the rough at the par-five eighth for a six but she snapped back with a birdie from 20 feet at the 10th, and rolled in a six-yard putt for another at the 15th. That sent her to eight under par before an errant drive cost her a stroke at the penultimate hole.

Final-round scores from the $2.75 million US Women's Open at Merit Club (players US unless stated, a-amateur): 282 Karrie Webb (Australia) 69 72 68 73 287 Cristie Kerr 72 71 74 70, Meg Mallon 68 72 73 74 288 Mi Hyun Kim (South Korea) 74 72 70 72, Rosie Jones 73 71 72 72 289 Kelli Kuehne 71 74 73 71, Grace Park 74 72 73 70 290 Beth Daniel 71 74 72 73 291 Kelly Robbins 74 73 71 73, Annika Sorenstam (Sweden) 73 75 73 70, Laura Davies (Britain) 73 71 72 75 292 Pat Hurst 73 72 72 75, Jennifer Rosales 75 75 69 73, Dorothy Delasin 76 68 72 76 293 Pak Se Ri (South Korea) 74 75 75 69, Kellee Booth 70 78 75 70 294 Janice Moodie (Britain) 73 77 75 69, Shani Waugh (Australia) 69 75 73 77, Lorie Kane (Canada) 71 74 72 77, Kathryn Marshall (Britain) 72 72 77 73 295 Jackie Gallagher-Smith 71 77 73 74, Wendy Doolan (Australia) 77 69 74 75 297 Donna Andrews 73 75 79 70, Kristi Albers 71 77 73 76, Juli Inkster 70 74 73 80, Michele Redman 74 74 73 76 298 Joanne Morley (Britain) 73 72 74 79, A.J. Eathorne (Canada) 73 77 73 75, Charlotta Sorenstam (Sweden) 75 74 76 73, Silvia Cavalleri (Italy) 72 73 75 78 299 Tina Barrett 72 78 75 74, Jenny Lidback (Peru) 73 74 76 76, Kate Golden 75 72 76 76, Emilee Klein 77 72 75 75, Sophie Gustafson (Sweden) 72 78 71 78, Carin Koch (Sweden) 75 73 73 78, Hiromi Kobayashi (Japan) 77 72 70 80, Danielle Ammaccapane 72 73 79 75, Fiona Pike (Australia) 72 74 77 76 300 Mary Beth Zimmerman 77 72 75 76, Val Skinner 74 76 75 75, Michelle Ellis 76 74 81 69, a-Naree Song Wongluekiet (Thailand) 74 76 73 77 301 Catriona Matthew (Britain) 74 75 78 74, Jill McGill 73 77 77 74 302 Nancy Lopez 76 74 77 75, Leta Lindley 73 77 81 71, Betsy King 71 70 82 79, Jan Stephenson 73 74 77 78, Nancy Scranton 80 70 78 74, Sara Sanders 72 78 73 79, Jae Jean Ro 74 76 74 78 304 Jean Zedlitz 73 76 77 78 305 Marisa Baena 73 76 78 78, Anna Macosko 73 76 77 79 306 a-Hilary Homeyer 73 75 80 78 307 Carri Wood 73 77 78 79 308 Barb Mucha 74 75 77 82 310 Pearl Sinn 74 76 77 83 311 Michelle McGann 77 73 79 82

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