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Webb Wins Again In Australia

Karrie Webb hasn't reached the point where she merely has to show up to walk off with the trophy. She only makes it look that simple.

Perfect in three 2000 starts, the 26-year-old Australian won her third straight Australian Ladies Masters championship with a classic charge Sunday at Royal Pines.

With only Lorie Kane left to finish off, Webb birdied three of the final four holes for a 4-under-par 68 and a one-stroke margin over the winless Canadian.

"It was pretty bloody hard. It's not the prettiest golf I've ever played," Webb said. "Obviously, it feels good to win in Australia. The crowds are great here."

Webb, the sixth player to win an LPGA Tour event three times or more, chipped in for birdie on No. 17 and made a 15-foot putt on the final hole to hold off Kane.

"The whole back nine, I didn't know if I could well I knew I could do it but I really didn't know if I could play the golf shots," Webb said. "I thought I'd have to birdie 17 and 18 to have a chance."

She did just that, although the birdie on 17 was anything but conventional.

"I missed the green on 17, so I thought it was probably over," Webb said. "Then I chipped it in. I tried to get it on line and it went right in."

Webb, who earned $112,500 to top the LPGA Tour money list with $225,000, finished with a 14-under 274 total. She won The Office Depot in January in Florida in her only LPGA start, and added the Australian Women's Open title last week in Melbourne.

She has 18 official LPGA victories in only five seasons, including six last year when she set records with $1,591,959 in earnings and a 69.43 stroke average. She also won the LPGA's 1995 Women's British Open before gaining tour membership.

Two strokes behind Kane and England's Laura Davies at the start of round, Webb got off to a fast start with birdies on four of the first five holes.

"I wanted to let Laura and Lorie know I wasn't going to lie down," Webb said.

Kane finished second for the ninth time in the last four years, closing with 17 straight pars for a 71.

"I'm extremely disappointed," Kane said. "I had a lot of chances. I just didn't have a good feel on the greens. I hit some good shots when I needed to, and I had some great 6-footers to save par, but I couldn't make them when they were for birdie."

Webb consoled the popular Canadian after the round.

"When I hugged her, I apologized to her," Webb said. "She's such a great player. I feel bad for her that she hasn't won, but she's going to win one day. When she oes, she'll win a lot."

Davies shot a 77 to tie for third with Becky Iverson at 281. Iverson finished with a 72.

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