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Webb's grandfather dies just before she returns

Karrie Webb's grandfather died Wednesday at a Gold Coast hospital just hours before the star golfer returned from the United States to see him.

Webb arrived at the hospital after her maternal grandfather, Mick Collinson, 71, died. He suffered a stroke last Thursday and had been in intensive care at John Flynn Hospital.

The 26-year-old Australian became the youngest woman to complete a career Grand Slam with her two-stroke win in the LPGA Championship in Wilmington, Del., last Sunday.

An emotional Webb, tears flowing at the 18th hole, dedicated the victory to her grandfather, who helped teach her to play with plastic clubs when she was a small child.

``It is with much sadness that my grandfather passed away in the early hours of this morning, while I was on my way from the United States to Australia,'' Webb said in a statement issued Wednesday. ``As I said at the LPGA Championship, my grandfather was very special to me. Unfortunately, he died shortly before I arrived back in Queensland this morning.''

Collinson's condition worsened as Webb was going into the final round at Wilmington. She said she considered withdrawing before her parents convinced her that's not what her grandfather would want.

``This is for you grandad,'' Webb said after her triumph. ``I don't know how I did what I did today. I don't think I was on my own.''

Originally from Ayr, a small rural town in northern Australia, Webb lives in Florida.

Webb, who asked for privacy for herself and her family, still intends to play in next week's Jamie Farr Kroger Classic in Ohio.

Her next major goal is the women's British Open starting Aug. 2 at Sunningdale, England.

 


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