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Webb wins U.S. Open by big gap

Posted: Monday, June 04, 2001

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -- The brief hibernation is over for Karrie Webb, who returned to the spotlight Sunday by winning the U.S. Women's Open in a runaway for the second year in a row.

Webb picked the toughest championship in golf for her first American victory of the year, turning in another command performance at Pine Needles with a 1-under 69 for a nine-stroke victory, the largest margin at a Women's Open in 21 years.

''To have a comfortable walk coming up the 18th again is a dream come true,'' Webb said. ''It's even more special to repeat.''

The 26-year-old Australian, who ruled women's golf the past two years until Annika Sorenstam pushed her aside, finished at 7-under 273. Webb was the only player to beat par on a difficult Donald Ross course, and she made it look easy.

Se Ri Pak gave her a brief scare by getting within three strokes after four holes, but faded at the end with and finished with a 72, eight strokes behind.

It was the biggest blowout in a Women's Open since 1980, when Amy Alcott finished nine strokes ahead of Hollis Stacy. The record is 14 strokes by Louise Suggs in 1949.

Dottie Pepper closed with a 69, and finished at 282, the best American finish. International players now have won six of the last seven U.S. Women's Open.

Memorial

DUBLIN, Ohio -- Three straight Memorials came easy enough for Tiger Woods. Next up is a streak that was once unthinkable -- five straight majors.

Woods continued his almost methodical dominance of golf, seizing control with a brilliant 2-iron on the 5th hole on his way to a final round 6-under-par 66 and his third Memorial Tournament win in a row.

Woods' final tuneup before the U.S. Open at Southern Hills was all but over by the time the leaders headed for the back nine, making the final holes a playground for Woods as he romped to a seven-shot victory over Paul Azinger and Sergio Garcia.

The Open begins in Tulsa, Okla., a week from Thursday.

The key shot was a 2-iron that flew high 249 yards over land and water before dropping softly on the 5th green and leaving Woods only a 4-foot uphill putt for eagle.

BellSouth Senior Classic

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Sammy Rachels, whose bad back forced him off the PGA Tour in 1985, had two eagles and held off Hale Irwin by four strokes for his first tour victory ever at the BellSouth Senior Classic.

Rachels shot a 9-under-par 63 as he became the second rookie to win this year, winning in his 15th event. The man who had four eagles through 14 events had two Sunday to go with five birdies in a bogey-free final round for a 54-hole total 199.

Irwin was trying to defend his title, win for the first time on his birthday and extend his Senior PGA Tour-leading victory total to 32. But he just couldn't keep pace with Rachels despite closing with a 66.

Tom Kite (66) and Bruce Fleisher (66) tied for third at 204, while Gil Morgan (64) and Allen Doyle (68) tied for fifth at 205.

British Masters

WOBURN, England -- Thomas Levet of France won the British Masters when he birdied the third playoff hole for his second career victory on the European tour.

Levet captured a four-man playoff that also featured Robert Karlsson and Mathias Gronberg of Sweden and David Howell of England.

The four players completed 72 holes in 14-under 274.

Hy-Vee Classic

JOHNSTON, Iowa -- Colleen Walker won the Hy-Vee Classic with a final-round 74 to five her a two-day total of 2-under-par 142 in the senior tournament.

Walker, who collected $75,000 for the win, was a three-shot winner over Elaine Crosby. Walker's only birdie of the day -- a 15-footer on No. 17 -- broke a tie with Crosby, who bogeyed the hole.

Dale Eggeling tied Crosby for second.

Resorttrust Ladies

NARUTO, Japan -- Aki Takamura shot a 5-under-par 67 to win the $416,000 Resorttrust Ladies by three strokes.

Takamura, teeing off two shots off the pace, sank five birdies in a bogey-free round over the 6,599-yard, par-72 Grandee Naruto Golf Club.

JCB Classic Sendai

SHIBATA, Japan -- Toshiaki Odate won his second career tournament, this time by two strokes in the $833,000 JCB Classic Sendai.

Odate, a 10-year pro, had not won since taking the 1993 Yonex Hiroshima Open.



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