28 Jan 2022 | Professional golf |

Webb impresses in return to LPGA Tour

by PGA of Australia

Karrie Webb during her first round in her return at Gainbridge.

By Tony Webeck

Expect anything different?

To steal Dan Hicks’ description of Tiger Woods’ putt on the 72nd hole of the 2008 US Open, Karrie Webb’s one-under 71 in her first start on the LPGA Tour since 2020 was exactly what you would expect of a Hall of Famer.

Playing with recent Karrie Webb Cup winner Su Oh, Webb was appearing in just her second LPGA Tour event in America since the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship won by fellow countrywoman Hannah Green.

Given her status as a seven-time major champion Webb was never going to arrive at the Gainbridge Boca Rio tournament close to her home in Florida without having put in the work and ended day one in a tie for 47th and well inside the cut-line.

Starting from the 10th tee, the 47-year-old began her first competitive round in 14 months with eight straight pars before a bogey at the par-4 18th.

She bounced back immediately with a birdie at the par-5 first and then added a second at the very next hole to get back into red figures and with high hopes of playing all four days.

Like Webb, Oh began her first round of the new LPGA Tour season with eight consecutive pars but birdies at 18, one, three and eight saw her sign for a three-under par round of 69 and a share of 25th position.

Another former world No.1 looking to recapture former glories, Jason Day played his way into the top-10 of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines with a round of seven-under 65 on the North Course.

Tied for sixth at nine-under through two rounds, Day holed out for eagle at the 322-yard par-4 seventh and then made a crucial up-and-down for birdie at nine as he chases a third win in the tournament.

“It was a nice chip-in on seven, I was pretty pleased with it. Nice to be able to cap it off with a 20-footer on the last,” said Day, now ranked 129 in the world and without a top-five finish since the 2020 US PGA Championship.

“It's good momentum going into tomorrow's round. It's more so the putt that was more important than the actual chip.

“I watched a few guys that were over there yesterday when I was putting and it looked like they weren't trying to hit it too hard and it seemed like they kept on hitting it past the pin.

“Unfortunately, it rolled out too far, but then it was nice to be able to cap it off with a good putt there.”

Also playing the North Course, Day’s Shark Shootout teammate and 2020 champion Marc Leishman shot 67 on day two to be tied for 23rd with two rounds to play while Cameron Davis (72) also finished inside the cut-line at four-under.

Three Aussies are under par through the opening round of the DP World Tour’s Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic, Adam Scott and Maverick Antcliff both posting three-under 69 on day one.

Scott rattled the flag with his wedge shot from the right rough before making birdie at the par-4 second, adding five more birdies and three bogeys to be tied for 15th heading into the second round.

Antcliff had four birdies as he sits alongside Scott in a tie for 15th while 2020 champion Lucas Herbert is a shot further back in a tie for 27th, the highlight of his round an eagle from just 10 feet at the par-5 13th.

Scott Hend (76), Wade Ormsby (76) and Jason Scrivener (78) need to produce something brilliant in the second round if they hope to advance to the weekend rounds.

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