LPGA - The Office Depot
LPGA - The Office Depot
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Webb finally breaks away from pack to win

WEST LM BEACH, Fla. Karrie Webb got the 17th hole right this time.

After taking a two-stroke penalty at the next-to-last hole in the third round, Webb birdied No. 17 today to finish at 10-under-par 278 and win The Office Depot, the third tournament of the 1999 LPGA season.

Webb, who also birdied the 16th, was one of five players tied for the lead at 9-under when she arrived at the 17th tee.

It was at No. 17 where Webb nearly lost the tournament a day earlier, when she was assessed a two-stroke penalty for accidentally grounding her club in a hazard that dropped her into a tie for the third-round lead.

"Yes, I thought about it for a moment when I got to the 17th tee today," Webb said. "But I don't think you can say a hole owes you anything.

"I made a mistake there yesterday. Today, I put one of my best swings this week on a 203-yard 3-iron."

The ball stopped 20 feet from the hole and she two-putted for birdie and the lead.

Kris Tschetter and Dottie Pepper tied for second at 9-under 279, with rounds of 66 and 71. At 8-under 208 were Gail Graham, Kelly Robbins and Juli Inkster. Their final round tallies were 67, 71 and 72, respectively.

Webb's misadventure Friday led to an emotional night, even though she said she tried not to dwell on it. But she continued her up-and-down play early in the final round.

She birdied the first and fourth holes, but three-putted the third, sixth and seventh for bogies. Putts of 20 and 10 feet led to birdies at the ninth and 10th. She bogied the 15th, then pulled away with birdies on 16 and 17.

Webb led after all three rounds, but it wasn't until today that she was in first by herself. She was tied with Inkster after the first round, with Betsy King after the second and with Pepper and Inkster after three.

"I'm just emotionally exhausted. But it's good to get a win early in the year. I was in contention the last two weeks," said Webb, who tied for second at Orlando and for seventh at Naples after sharing the third round lead with Inkster.

"My last win was in April at Myrtle Beach. That's the longest I've gone without winning in the U.S."

It was the 10th win for the 24-year-old Australian in a little more than three seasons. In 1996, she was the Rookie of the Year and became the first LPGA player to earn $1 million in one season.

The 72-hole, $675,000 tournament ended a day early to avoid conflict with the Sunday's Super Bowl in Miami.


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