Webb first to win `Super Slam'

Monday, August 12th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TURNBERRY, Scotland (AP) _ Karrie Webb waited until the year's final major to set a couple of records and join some impressive company.

The 27-year-old Australian had a 6-under 66 Sunday to win the British Open by two strokes and become the first player to capture the ``Super Slam'' _ winning the four tournaments that are currently regarded as majors as well as the du Maurier, which lost its major status in 2000 after 21 years.

Webb, the first three-time winner of the British Open, also extended her streak of consecutive years with an LPGA major to four.

``At the start of the year, I knew that coming into this week I did have a chance to win all five majors on the LPGA,'' Webb said. ``It feels great. It's not a feat that everyone has a chance to do. There's not a lot of players on tour that have a chance of doing it even, so I feel pretty honored and feel great that I've been the first player to do it.''

The two-stroke victory over Michelle Ellis of Australia and Spain's Paula Marti was Webb's sixth major title. At 27, she is the second fastest to that number, about 15 months older than Mickey Wright was in 1961.

Webb's four-year run with a major is second only to Wright's run of at least one every year from 1958-64.

``I didn't know that,'' Webb said. ``That feels great too.

Webb's other majors were the du Maurier in 1999, the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2000, the U.S. Open in 2000 and 2001, and the LPGA Championship in 2001.

She didn't have a bogey in Sunday's round and she finished 72 holes at Turnberry, one of golf's toughest courses in 15-under 273.

``It's one of the best rounds that I can remember,'' said Webb, who also won the British Open in 1995 _ her rookie year_ and 1997. ``The first major I won, the du Maurier Classic, I shot 66 in the final round as well, and I birdied four out of the last five holes so it wasn't as solid a round as it was today.

``Just right from the word, `Go,' I was hitting good iron shots and making a lot of putts.''

Webb, whose other win this year was in Rochester, N.Y., in June, started the round at 9 under, three strokes behind co-leaders Jennifer Rosales and Carin Koch.

Webb had three birdies over the first six holes to catch the leaders, and then started pulling away with birdies on Nos. 10 and 12.

Although Ellis and Marti briefly got within a stroke, Webb extended the lead to three with a 12-foot birdie putt on 17.

Marti and Ellis both birdied 17, but Webb was already in the clubhouse anticipating her 28th LPGA Tour victory. She won $236,383 and moved up one place on the money list to fifth with over $750,000.

Ellis had a 68 and Marti a 69.

Rosales finished in a four-way tie for fourth at 11 under after a 73. Koch had a 74 and wound up tied for eighth at 10 under with Meg Mallon (70) and Beth Bauer (71).

The other major winners this year were Annika Sorenstam at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Se Ri Pak at the LPGA Championship and Juli Inkster at the U.S. Open.

Webb missed the cut at the last major, the U.S. Open five weeks ago, but had no real explanation for her return to form.

``You work hard and you keep at it and hopefully the things that you've been working hard at work out,'' she said.

She admitted being fired up by the Turnberry links course which is on the rotation for the men's Open.

``I've really enjoyed playing Turnberry,'' she said. ``There have been a lot of great champions here at the (men's) British Open. To win here on such a great golf course is a dream come true.''