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Australia secure inaugural Women's World Cup

Australia's Karrie Webb wrapped up her season the same way she started it -- with a win.

Webb teamed with countrywoman Rachel Hetherington to capture the inaugural $1 million Women's World Cup Golf event today at the Mines Resort and Golf Club.

"It is great to win the first Women's World Cup and the first time that we have got to play together to represent Australia," Webb said. "It is great that our names are the first on the trophy and the first in many years. It is exciting, and I really enjoyed the three days that I played with Rachel, better than old times. The format that we played today, with the aggregate of the two scores, the lead can change so quickly. We saw that the first couple of holes. We went from three behind to six behind (after three), and then before you knew it, we were leading the tournament. It is just one of those things."

Webb fired a 4-under-par 68 in today's singles competition while Hetherington carded a 1-over 73. Their combined total of 141 enabled them to make up five strokes on Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam and defeat the Swedish sisters by two strokes.

"I give Rachel a lot of credit because she didn't get off to the greatest start, but then really stuck to her guns and played some really good golf," Webb said. "I think we both got a little tired coming in, a six-hour round in that heat seems forever out there. It didn't feel like we were ever going to get to the 18th tee. And then we got to the 18th tee, we still had a little bit of work to do, so it kept us going until we both made par on the last. It has been a great week and I have really enjoyed it."

The Australian tandem won with a total of 13-under 275 and split the $200,000 first prize.

"I am very excited that we have won the World Cup -- that it is inaugural event and the only chance we get to represent Australia, so I am pretty pleased that we won," Hetherington said. "I didn't play that good today. I hit some good shots, hit some bad shots. I guess most of the time I was playing poorly Karrie was playing well, and then it was kind of vice versa, so we gelled pretty good today, even though I didn't play that great."

Webb, who is skipping the final event of the year, the Hyundai Team Matches, began the season by winning The Office Depot. She went on to post six more victories, topped the money list with a record $1,876,853 and won LPGA Tour Player of the Year honors for the second straight season.

"I don't like to compare tournaments. I have had such a wonderful year. This is just the icing on the cake," Webb said. "It has definitely been one of my most enjoyable wins, playing alongside Rachel, and having to play not only for myself, but for her and for Australia. It is a little different to playing for yourself, and it means a little bit more."

Annika Sorenstam again was a runner-up to Webb after finishing second during the season in victories (5) and earnings ($1,404,948). She and her younger sister started the final day with a three-stroke lead, but Charlotta struggled to a 4-over 76 that included five straight bogeys on the front nine.

"That shows what golf is, especially in this format when both of scores count. A lot can happen on just a few holes," Annika Sorenstam said. "We were six shots ahead after three holes and things were looking really good and then we came to the seventh and I made a double bogey on the eighth, which hurt and then Lotta made a bogey and Rachel made a long putt. So, suddenly we had a change of four shots on one hole. But we tried and we fought to the end and that is just the way it goes. I am just glad that we fought back and made it exciting."

Meg Mallon and LPGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster, the only American duo in the 16-team field, climbed to third at 8-under 280.

"Juli and I are disappointed. We feel we could have played a lot better than we did," Mallon said. "It just didn't happen for us. We just didn't make the putts when we needed to and maybe struggled a little bit with our iron game when usually that is our strength. The two of us weren't playing well, but we gutted it out to finish well today and birdied the last three holes and helped our effort."

Lorie Kane and A.J. Eathorne of Canada were fourth, seven shots off the lead, while the Peruvian team of Jenny Lidback and Alicia Dibos was next at 5-under.

This tournament used different formats for each of the three days. The first day consisted of foursomes (alternate shot), followed by Saturday's four-ball format.

The Mines Resort and Golf Club is a par-72 layout that measures 6,242 yards.

 

275K Webb & R Hetherington (Aus) 68 66 141

277A Sorenstam & C Sorenstam (Swe) 67 64 146

280M Mallon & J Inkster (USA) 73 66 141

282L Kane & A-J Eathorne (Can) 73 70 139

283J Lidback & A Dibos (Per) 72 66 145

286H Kobayashi & Y Fudo (Jpn) 72 67 147

287J Moodie & C Matthew (Sco) 71 71 145

289L Yu-ping & W Yun-jye (Tpe) 72 69 148

291L Sun-hee & P So-young (Kor) 72 72 147

292L Davies & T Johnson (Eng) 73 69 149

293M McGuire & L Brooky (Nzl) 75 68 149

294M Monnet & P Lebouc (Fra) 77 68 149

296L Siew Ai & L Ai Lian (Mas) 76 70 150

299M Baena & C Baena (Col) 72 66 159

299J Rosales & MG Estuesta (Phi) 78 67 154

303S Cavalleri & G Sergas (Ita) 77 72 154

 

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