2006: LPGA - Webb keeps Wie waiting

Evian, France

Last fall, Karrie Webb entered the Hall of Fame with some impressive credentials.

At just 31 years old, however, Webb isn’t done adding to her resume.

A final-round 68 July 29 added victory No. 3 this year to Webb’s accomplishments and kept 16-year-old Michelle Wie from winning her first professional event.

Webb shot four rounds in the 60s to finish at 16-under 272, one shot better than Wie and Laura Davies.

“I am really thrilled actually. It was sort of an up-and-down day,” said

Webb, who moved past Lorena Ochoa into the No. 1 spot on the LPGA money list with $1,647,433. “I played very solidly. I did not play the front nine as well as I did the first few days. I played the back nine really solidly.”

Webb, who led by one shot entering the final round, was two behind Wie after 11 holes Saturday.

“I kind of told myself to get in there and start trusting myself a little bit more and just start believing in myself,” said Webb, who won for the 19th time in 30 attempts when leading going into the final round. “I played extremely well the last couple of holes. I thought I was going to have to get to 17 under, but 16 ended up being good enough.”

Besides battling Wie, Webb had to contend with veteran Davies, who was looking for her first victory since 2001. Davies just missed a 12-foot eagle putt to tie Webb at the last hole.

“I thought Laura played extremely well,” Webb said. “That is the best I have seen her play in a long time now and it is good to see her in contention and playing well.”

Wie, who will play the Weetabix Women’s British Open this week, tied for second for the second year in a row. Wie was an amateur when she tied for second here last year.

“When I look back at it, I could not have played harder today,” said Wie, who said she woke up with a stiff neck. “I played every shot as best as I could.

I feel like I played a great round today and shot 4 under. I’m getting very close. Today was the closest I’ve ever been. It’s not as easy as it would seem. I’m very proud that I’ve been playing this consistently. It’s an achievement on its own.”

Wie’s bucks: Michelle Wie has finished in the top 5 in every LPGA event she has played in 2006.

Wie was third at the Fields Open ($73,227), T-3 at the Kraft Nabisco ($108,222), T-5 at the McDonald’s LPGA Championship ($57,464),

T-3 at the U.S. Women’s Open ($156,038), lost in the quarterfinals at the Match Play (T-5, $50,000) and T-2 at Evian ($255,333).

She has earned $700,284 in six events and would be 14th on the money list if she were an LPGA member.

Strong finish for Davies:

Laura Davies, who has 20 career LPGA victories, has played 106 LPGA events since her last triumph.

“Under the pressure of this tournament, it’s been a good week, a great week,” said Davies, who tied for second. “Wonderful. I couldn’t be more pleased apart from the fact that the putt on the last missed. But I’ve got a feeling that if I’d have holed it Webby would have holed it too. It’s one of those things.”

Davies last won at the 2001 Wegmans Rochester International.

Short shots: Davies, Nicole Perrot and Lorena Ochoa were among players who competed in a soccer match prior to the start of the tournament. Ochoa scored three goals. . . . In four trips to the Evian Masters, Ochoa has finished fifth or better. Ochoa had an albatross in the final round, holing a hybrid club from 191 yards on the par-5 ninth hole. . . . Two-time Evian Masters winner Annika Sorenstam (2000 and 2002) tied for eighth. . . . Defending champion Paula Creamer shot 65 in the final round to finish seventh. . . .

First-round co-leader Shani Waugh birdied her first three holes and five of her first seven for a 6-under 66. Waugh, who

has nonexempt status on the LPGA, was playing in the event because of her victory at the 2005 Thailand Ladies Open, an event on the Ladies European Tour. “To be honest I can’t visualize myself winning it,” said Waugh after the first day. “It would be too early to think about that anyway, but I’m just going to give it my best shot.” Waugh shot 73-77-75 the last three rounds to tie for 41st. . . . Heather Young aced the 113-yard 17th hole in Round 1 and won a Renault Modus car.

Meg Mallon birdied five holes in a row (Nos. 3-7) in Round 2.

– Staff and wire reports

On the tee

Next up: CN Canadian Women’s Open, Aug. 10-13, London Hunt and Country Club, London, Ontario. 2005 champion: Meena Lee.

The buzz: The tour continues its international route with trip north of the U.S. border following France (Evian) and England (British Open).

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