This week the LPGA is at the Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, California for the fifth staging of the Kia Classic.
Spaniard Beatriz Recari is the defending champion, she along with 143 other players will compete for a $1.7 million purse and a $255,000 first place check.
Recari will return to the site of her second LPGA Tour victory when she defeated I.K. Kim in dramatic fashion on the second sudden-death playoff hole a year ago.
Leading the Australian contingent is Rolex Ranked World No. 5 Karrie Webb. The Queenslander is joined in the field by Katherine Kirk, Lindsey Wright, Sarah Jane Smith, Sarah Kemp and Julia Boland.
The World Golf Hall of Famer is coming off a fantastic start to the 2014 season, having won twice, including last week at the JTBC Founders Cup in Phoenix. The win, her 41st LPGA title, jumped Webb into a tie for 10th on the all-time wins list with Babe Zaharias.
Webb could not ignore the special company she joined in the history books with her win last week in Phoenix. The Aussie moved into a tie for 10th on the LPGA Tour’s All-Time Wins List with one of the 13 Founders and LPGA legend Babe Zaharias.
“I think just historically in women’s sport in general, not just in the LPGA history, Babe Zaharias is revered as one of the best female athletes of all time,” said Webb. “So to have my name alongside hers and realize the impact that she had as one of the 13 Founders, impact that she had on our tour, she brought a lot of attention from the outside world to the startup of the LPGA. So it was very special and fitting, I guess, that I got to 41 at the Founders.”
Webb was asked in her Tuesday press conference what her thoughts were on being a big-time closer. Last week marked her third-consecutive come-from-behind victory of at least five shots. Last year at the ShopRite LPGA Classic she had the largest come-back of the season after starting the final round five shots off leader Shanshan Feng. This season, her first win at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, she rallied from six shots back and started five shots off the lead last week in Phoenix.
“I think it’s a good situation to be in because you don’t really have anything to lose, and you can go out there and post a number,” said Webb. “On this past Sunday, I didn’t think 19-under would have been good enough, and I bet if I hadn’t have set 19-under so early, I believe 20, 21-under would have won and there probably would have been two or three players close to that."
Webb finished tied sixth last year in this event and she was asked earlier this week about the course,
“Well, the course conditions are a lot better than last year. I think the course is in a lot better shape.”
“I don't really know what suits my game here. I've never been a huge fan of poa annua greens, but I think I just did a really good mental job here last year, and I've learned to play on poa annua. I wouldn't say I would choose to putt on poa annua greens every week, but I've learned how to play on them. I did a really good job with that last year when we were here, putted actually quite well, just managed my game.“ Webb said.