2000: LPGA - Webb marches toward $2 million earnings mark

Mobile, Ala.

Karrie Webb beat Dottie Pepper on the first playoff hole Oct. 22 to win the AFLAC Champions tournament and clinch LPGA player of the year honors for the second consecutive year.

The victory at Magnolia Grove’s Crossings Course was Webb’s seventh of the season and was worth $122,000. Webb won the playoff with a two-putt par.

“I’ve had two unbelievable years,” said Webb, whose 13 wins are the most in a 24-month stretch on the tour since Nancy Lopez won 17 in 1978-79.

Webb’s victory lifted her 2000 earnings to a record $1,815,053, and if she wins the season-ending Arch Wireless Tour Championship in November, she will become the first woman to win $2 million in a year on the LPGA Tour.

She was the first player to win $1 million on tour in 1996.

Pepper and Webb staged a dramatic head-to-head duel down the stretch of the final round. Nancy Scranton, the tournament leader the first three days, bogeyed the 72nd hole, costing her a chance to advance to the playoff.

Pepper closed with a 67 and Webb a 69 as they tied at 15-under 273. Scranton shot a 72 and was one stroke back.

After making five consecutive pars on the back nine, Webb reeled off birdies at 15, 16 and 17 to catch Pepper at 15 under. Both missed birdie putts on 18, then waited to see if Scranton would join the playoff.

Pepper was first off the tee on the playoff hole – the 18th – and hit the ball in the rough.

“I was going to hit a driver, but when I saw Dottie in the rough I went back to 3-wood, which is what I hit all week,” Webb said. “I just wanted to put the ball in the fairway.”

After Webb hit her second shot 20 feet behind the pin, Pepper’s approach advanced only about 50 yards, well short of the green behind some small trees.

“I had the worst lie you could possibly imagine,” said Pepper, who won $75,500.

Pepper reached the green with her third shot, then almost made her 30-foot par putt.

– Associated Press

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