24 Jul 2022 | Professional golf |
Webb, Sorenstam reprise old rivalry
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck
One of golf’s great rivalries is headed for another Sunday showdown as Karrie Webb moved out to a two-stroke lead at the Senior LPGA Championship in Kansas.
The seven-time major champion went bogey-free in the second round of her maiden Senior LPGA Championship, playing the back nine at Salina Country Club in four-under for a round of six-under 66 and nine-under total with one round to play.
Her nearest challenger is fellow Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam who shot 68 on a Saturday in which the name at the top of the leaderboard changed on a number of occasions.
Between them the pair have 17 major championships and 113 LPGA Tour titles, going head-to-head regularly at the turn of the century.
With both now teeing it up on the senior circuit and in select LPGA Tour events, a new chapter in their rivalry is set to be written.
“When we play against each other, even if we’re going out for a social hit, we’d probably bring the best out of each other,” said Webb, the pair to be joined in the final group by Round 1 leader Lisa DePaulo.
“I think that’s what’s happened the past couple of days.”
Sorenstam had seven birdies – including a run of four on the trot from the 11th hole – to move from a tie for fourth to solo second.
While she’s excited to compete with Webb once again, Sorenstam doesn’t count anyone out and knows she’ll have to bring her best on Sunday.
“I have a lot of respect for Karrie,” said Sorenstam.
“As you know, we’ve been playing quite a few rounds together. Not just these two, but we go way back when we were competing at our heyday.
“She’s one of the better ones out here, so I look forward to going head-to-head with her.
“There are some players right behind, so it’s going to be a tight race tomorrow.”
Webb missed opportunities for birdies at the early par 5s at one and three but gathered momentum as she approached the turn.
Following a birdie at five she picked up another shot at the par-4 ninth and then birdied the par5 11th.
Birdies at the par 3s at 13 and 15 moved her into the lead, pushing her advantage out to two shots with a birdie at the final hole.
“It was very challenging today,” said Webb.
“I managed my game really well. I actually didn’t play the par 5s great – I only made two birdies on those – but bogey-free on a day like today is a pretty good effort, so I’m happy with that.
“There’s plenty of birdies out there. I’m going to keep playing aggressively and give myself as many chances as I can.”
As Webb moved into championship contention at the Senior LPGA it was a very different story at The Amundi Evian Championship in France.
Eleven shots back at the start of the third round, defending champion Minjee Lee’s hopes of going back-to-back were effectively ended with a triple bogey at her opening hole.
The 26-year-old recovered to post a two-over 73 but is now tied for 58th with one round to play.
Two closing birdies saw Hannah Green shoot two-under 69 to be the best-placed Australian through three rounds, her score of four-under putting the West Australian in a tie for 37th and 13 shots back of Canadian front-runner Brooke Henderson.
Sarah Kemp dropped back to a tie for 44th with a third round of three-over 74 with Steph Kyriacou a shot further back in a tie for 51st after a one-under 70 on Saturday.
Stuart Appleby has moved into a tie for fifth at the Senior Open at Gleneagles thanks in large part to his hot start in the third round.
Defeated in a playoff at the 2002 Open Championship, Appleby birdied three of his first four holes in a round of three-under 67.
At six-under he is three strokes back of England’s Paul Broadhurst and 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke, Kiwi Steven Alker and American Jerry Kelly tied for third at eight-under.
Peter O’Malley (70) and John Senden (72) were the only other Aussies to make the cut and will start the final day in a tie for 37th at even par.
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