GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP – Karrie Webb became the 6th Hall of Fame golfer to win the $1.5 million ShopRite LPGA Classic today.
Webb shot a 3-under-par 68 in windy conditions on the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club to win the tournament with a 54-hole total of 4-under 209 – two shots better than runner-up Shanshan Feng of China. Webb earned $225,000.
The victory is Webb’s 39th on the tour. Her last win came on March 20, 2011 at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix.
"It never gets old, and it never gets any easier," Webb said.
The wind, which gusted up to 35 mph and whipped across the bay holes, made the course play tough again.
“I was happy it was windy,” Webb said.
Fans surrounded the first tee to watch the leaders tee off. The crowd packed the grandstands at the 18th hole as the players finished.
A fan on top off a luxury box shouted “C’mon Aussie” as Webb left the 18th green.
Webb, 38, began the round five shots back of second round leader Shanshan Feng of China.
Webb grabbed the momentum immediately. She sank a 25-foot birdie putt on the second hole, a 420-yard, par-4 that plays straight into Reeds’ Bay and is the toughest hole on the course.
Webb then eagled No. 3 – a 484-yard, par-5. She hit her second shot to within 6-feet of the pin and sank the putt.
“I had to control my adrenalin after that,” Webb said.
Webb took her first lead of the day when Feng bogeyed the 405-yard, par-4 13th hole after leaving her approach shot short of the green in the rough.
Webb took a two-shot lead when she sank a 5-foot putt to birdie the 18th hole.
Feng birdied the 16th hole to close within a shot of Webb. But then bogeyed the 115-yard, par-3 17th hole after she hit her tee shot in the front bunker.
Feng needed to eagle the 18th hole tie Webb, who practiced the putting green in case there was a playoff. Feng did not even try to reach the green in two.
Webb was easily the most accomplished player of the golfers who began the day on the leader board. The 38-year-old has won seven LPGA major championships. She was the LPGA Player of the Year in 1999 and 2000.
Webb’s winning score matches the highest at Seaview in Classic history, tying the mark of 4-under 209 set by Juli Inkster at the very first Classic in 1986.
The Classic has often been a birdie fest since then. Since the tournament returned to Seaview in 1998 the winner has always been at least -11 under.
Webb joins Juli Inkster (1986, 1988); Betsy King (1987, 1995, 2001); Nancy Lopez (1989); Annika Sorenstam (1998, 2002, 2005); and Se Ri Pak (1999) as Hall of Famers to win the Classic. All of those players – except Lopez – won at least one Classic at Seaview.