Sports Outside the Beltway

Karrie Webb wins her fourth Women’s Australian Open

She defeated Ji-Yai Shin on the second hole of a sudden death playoff.

MELBOURNE, Australia – Karrie Webb won her fourth Women’s Australian Open title with a 3-meter (10-foot) birdie putt Sunday on the second hole of a playoff against South Korea’s Shin Ji-yai.

Webb, who won last year’s title at Royal Sydney, and Shin finished with closing 67s at Kingston Heath and 8-under totals of 284.

Both players had parred the 18th on the first hole of the playoff before Webb’s winning putt on the same hole 15 minutes later in the joint Australian-European tour event.

Webb birdied the 16th and 17th holes of her final round to force the playoff. Shin had birdied four of six holes on the back nine and was in the clubhouse with a two-stroke lead when Webb rallied with her late birdies.

Webb won one of the Australian pre-LPGA events in 2007, causing me to speculate she would have a bigger season than in 06. Was I ever off the mark, Karrie didn’t win an LPGA event in 2007. Karrie’s best days on the LPGA are likely behind her, but I wouldn’t bet against her winning in 2008.

Shin is emerging as one of the top players in the world. Dominating the KLPGA for the last two years in a row, plus contending at last year’s US Women’s Open. Ji Yai isn’t due to attempt qualifying for the LPGA till the fall of 2008. You can already mark her down as the heavy favorite for 2009 Rookie of the Year.

Talking about the LPGA, there is less than two weeks till the first event of 2008. Three months without the women’s tour, boy am I suffering withdrawal. LOL.

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