Karrie Webb. Photo: Getty
Karrie Webb heads the list of seven Australians competing in the fourth women's major of the season, the LPGA Championship, at Monroe Golf Club near New York today.
The world No. 8 is 10th on the LPGA Tour money list after starting the season with a win in the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open in Melbourne in February, and backing it up with another win in America.
It is the first time that the Donald Ross-designed Monroe has hosted the championship, which was held last year at Locust Hill, just up the road in the Rochester area outside New York, and Webb ticked off the venue, even though it has been drenched by recent rain. "I actually think this is one of the best courses I've played in a long time,'' she said.
"I played Monday evening, and obviously I'd say the set-up for how the course played Monday evening, it was dry and running and just in beautiful shape, but actually, the course has held the water really well. I mean we're not getting any roll off the tee, but there was not an ounce of casual water out there today. I think it's, you know, obviously a very well-maintained golf course.
"I love the green complexes. It's very true Donald Ross green-complexes, and it is a second-shot course, and with the roughs around the greens this week, trying to hit as many greens as possible will be key.''
This is the 60th playing of the LPGA Championship, which is the second-longest running event on the LPGA schedule, and also the last time it will be known as such. Next year the tournament is moving from Rochester to Westchester, will be renamed and have bigger prize purse.
Webb, a seven-time major winner, was tied-11th in the season's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, tied-30th at the Women's United States Open and missed the cut at the Women's British Open. Each of the three majors has had a first-time winner this year, with Mo Martin taking the British, Lexi Thompson the Kraft and Michelle Wie breaking through in the Open at Pinehurst. But Wie is not playing this week, recovering from an injured finger. World No. 2 Lydia Ko, who is having an outstanding first season as a professional, will take over the No. 1 spot from Stacy Lewis if she can win this week, and Lewis does not finish higher than second.
The tournament is being televised by Fox Sports in Australia.
Sarah Jane Smith