Webb rallies to victory in Australia
Victoria, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Karrie Webb closed with a 4-under 68 on Sunday and that helped her rally to win the Women's Australian Open.
Webb finished at 12-under-par 276. This was her 40th title on the LPGA Tour.
"I feel very fortunate to have won today, but I liked my chances at the start of the day because of the wind picking up," said Webb. "If we had another day like we had the first three days, I probably was a little too far back to have a chance, so I was thankful for the weather changing and I played as good as I have in a very long time."
Chella Choi, who shared the third-round lead, stumbled to a 2-over 74 to end one back at minus-11 at Victoria Golf Club.
Paula Creamer shot 4-under 68 on Sunday and she finished in a tie for third at 10-under-par 278. She was joined there by Karine Icher (71) and Lydia Ko (73).
Stacy Lewis closed with a 3-under 69 and that helped her soar 17 places into a share of sixth. She ended alongside Morgan Pressel, Jenny Shin and Amelia Lewis, who all shot even-par 72 in the final round.
Australian amateur MinJee Lee, who shared the third-round lead with Choi, faltered to a 6-over 78, which dropped her into a share of 11th at minus-7.
Lee traded a birdie for a bogey from the first. She stumbled to three straight bogeys from the fifth. Lee fought back with birdies at eight and nine, but she bogeyed the 11th and double-bogeyed the 12th to fall from contention.
Choi moved to 14-under with a birdie on the first. She tripped to a double- bogey on the par-4 second and followed with a bogey on the third. That dropped Choi to minus-11, and she ended there as she closed with 15 consecutive pars.
"Today there was a lot of wind. On the second, I went out of bounds on the right hand side and that was a really big problem for me," said Choi.
Ko had her chance to win, but she double-bogeyed the par-4 sixth to fall to 9- under. She mixed three birdies and two bogeys in the rest of her round.
Webb, who played six groups ahead of the leaders, opened with back-to-back birdies to get to 10-under. She tripped to a bogey on the fourth, but erased that mistake with a birdie on the par-5 eighth.
Around the turn, Webb gained a share of the lead when she birdied the 11th. Two holes later, she grabbed the lead by herself with a birdie on the par-4 13th.
"I was obviously pumped up that I made the putt (on 11), but then of course I made that to tie for the lead. I had a little bit of trouble calming myself down on the next hole, I didn't hit a very good tee shot, but I ended up making a really good par, so that sort of settled me down," Webb admitted. "It was a little up and down coming in, but the conditions were so difficult that it was hard to hit some quality shots and know exactly where the wind was coming from."
Webb stumbled to a bogey on the 16th, but bounced back with a birdie on the par-5 closing hole to seal the win.
NOTES: Webb earned $180,000 for the title ... Creamer improved 20 places with her closing 68 ... Webb, Creamer and Gerina Piller all shot 68 to tie for the low round of the day ... The tour heads to Thailand next week for the Honda LPGA Thailand, where Inbee Park will defend her title.