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Webb Sweeps to Home Victory


Karrie Webb leapfrogged the field, carding her second straight 4-under 68 over the weekend at Victoria Golf Club to win the the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open for the fifth time.

The 39-year-old Queenslander, 40-time LPGA Tour winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member totaled a 12-under 276, one stroke ahead of 54-hole co-leader Chella Choi, who slipped into second following a 74.

Webb took the lead for good with a birdie on the par-5 18th hole. She then watched as Choi, who shot a course-record-tying 62 Saturday to begin the final round tied for the lead, miss her matching birdie that would have sent the tournament into a playoff.

Webb carded three birdies and a bogey on both her front and back nines. "I got off to a great start and I just did a great job mentally today," said Webb, who also won the Australian Open in 2000, 2002, 2007 and 2008.

Conditions were tougher on Sunday than in the third round, a change that Webb thought gave her an edge. "I was happy to see the conditions were going to be a little tougher today," she said. "I felt like that gave me a chance to make up some ground."

After posting seven birdies, two eagles and a bogey Saturday, Choi cooled considerably Sunday. After a birdie, double-bogey and bogey start, the 23-year-old South Korean posted 15 straight pars.

Webb was surprised Choi's final putt from 10 feet didn't drop. "I actually thought once Chella had that putt on the last, I've played with her quite a bit and I was expecting that one to go in," said Webb, who earned $180,000.

American Paula Creamer closed with a 68 to share third at 10-under 278 with France's Karine Icher (71) and New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko, who carded a 73.

South Korea's Jenny Shin tied for sixth at 279 with Americans Stacy Lewis, Amelia Lewis (no relation), Morgan Pressell and Gerina Piller.

Australian amateur Minjee Lee began Sunday tied for the lead with Choi, but stumbled to a 78 to end up tied for 11th at 281.

World No. 2 Suzann Pettersen of Norway also had a tough outing. Starting out only three back of the leaders in fourth place, Pettersen had three double-bogeys en route to an 80 and a T-28 finish.

For all the scores, visit www.lpga.com.