Karrie Webb. Photo: Getty
Five Australians will be teeing it up this week in the first major of the year, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, with each of them hoping to be the one leaping into Poppie’s Pond come Sunday afternoon (US time).
Queensland’s Karrie Webb will be leading the Aussie assault and has twice made the leap as the champion, which is a tradition at the tournament played on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club, Rancho Mirage, California.
Webb is joined in the field by fellow professionals Queenslander Katherine Kirk and Victorian Lindsey Wright. Aussie amateurs Minjee Lee and Su Oh are also playing this week after they both received sponsor invitations due their high standings on the Rolex Amateur World Rankings.
The seven time major champion won the tournament first back in 2000 and then again in 2006. Webb has been in tremendous form so far in 2014, in five starts she has won twice, ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and the JBTC Founders Cup, finished third in Singapore and tied 19th in Thailand.
The Kraft Nabisco is one of Webb favourite events of the year as she explained earlier this week.
“It’s great to be here. I’m always excited. I’ve always played well here, obviously won a couple of times.
“I love this event. I love the history and the tradition. I love that I’m a champion of this event, being a part of that history.”
When asked about her game coming in, she replied, “I feel like my game is as good as it has ever been as far as having the ability to win majors. Obviously starting off the year as well as I have, it gives me that little bit of confidence going into this week that is I can get things going, hopefully down the stretch on Sunday I’ll have a shot to win it again.”
Webb has played in the Kraft Nabisco 19 times and has finished in the top-20 all but three times including 11 top-10s.
It will be interesting to see how Lee performs this week, the talented West Australian has been in fantastic form this year, contending in all the major ALPG events and then winning the Oates Victorian Open at 13th Beach.
The defending champion is Rolex World No. 1 Inbee Park. Wbb and Swede Anna Nordqvist have both won twice on the LPGA in 2014 so they will definitely ones to watch. Another player to keep an eye on is New Zealand’s Lydia Ko who will be making her second appearance at the tournament, her first as a professional.
111 players will tee it up this week. Prizemoney for the Championship is US$2 million.