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LPGA: Karrie Webb earns her 39th career LPGA victory at the ShopRite LPGA Classic

LPGA: Karrie Webb earns her 39th career LPGA victory at the ShopRite LPGA Classic

photo credit: LPGA.com

LPGA and World Golf Halls of Famer Karrie Webb shot a 3-under 68 on Sunday to claim a two-shot victory over 2012 Wegmans LPGA Championship winner Shanshan Feng. Webb finished at 4-under par for the week and earned her 39th career LPGA win.  This is the Queensland, Australia native’s first victory on the LPGA Tour since the 2011 RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup.  Kerr now moves into sole position of 11th all-time on the LPGA Tour career win list. Rounding out the top five finishers were Hee Young Park, Jenny Shin, four players tied for the fifth place finish.

Webb got her day off to a hot start, making birdie on the second hole and following it up with an eagle on the par-5 third.

“It was hard,” said Webb. “You know, after that eagle I had to really try and get the adrenaline to calm down a little bit, and you know, I played the next few holes quite scratchy, but I managed to only make one bogey.  So I made some good par putts after that as well.”

It was an emotional victory for Webb, who dedicated the win to her grandmother, Merion, who is currently in the hospital back in Australia. Webb had tears in her eyes as she recounted the tale of her grandmother telling her just to win this week for her when they weren’t sure if her grandmother would make it through the week.  “When my grandma, when I spoke to her, I think it was Wednesday night or Thursday morning, she told me that I needed to win this one for her,” said Webb. “I was like, this isn’t the one that you tell me that I have to win for you because I was like I’ve never really even had a shot to win here.

“So when I got off to that start, I was like, oh, my God,” said Webb. “Well, when she started to make a turn for the better, my dad said, look, she’s going to make it, so the pressure is off, you know.  He felt for me after she told me I had to win it for her.  But you know, I was in contention and in the lead today.  I was like, wow, I might actually be able to do this for her.”

Webb would have her only bogey of the day come on the par 4 sixth and had pars across the board until she birdied her final hole to push her to 4-under par. She was playing two groups in front of the lead group which included Feng, who was 2-under heading to the 18th hole. Feng carded her third bogey of the day on the 17th and failed to make any spectacular shots on her final hole to force a playoff.

One day after firing a 4-under 68 to take the second-round lead, Feng had trouble getting anything going in Sunday’s final round. She shot a 4-over 75 to finish in solo second place. Although she didn’t finish on top this week, she’s looking forward to defending her major championship next week at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.

“Second place is my best finish so far this year,” said Feng. “When I was actually coming off the 18th green, my caddy this week said to me, you’re ready for next week. So I think I’m ready and I’m really looking forward to go back.”

But Feng was hardly the only player to struggle with the difficult scoring conditions in Sunday’s final round. Steady winds near 20 mph with gusts even greater made it a very tough day for all of the competitors on the Bay Course at the Stockton Seaview Golf Club. A total of 10 players were under par at the start of the day but only three remained there when play was completed on Sunday evening. Only a total of 13 players were able to shoot rounds under par in the final round.

Webb joined Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr for low-round honors with a 68. Gerina Piller (T5) and Alison Walshe (T18) both carded final-rounds of 2-under 69.  “I would say a 68 is a really, really good score today,” Feng said of Webb’s round.

South Korea’s Hee Young Park shot even-par 71 to claim solo third place at 1-under par and Jenny Shin (70) finished fourth, earning her first top-5 of the year.

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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