Webb leads in Australia; Thompson 8 back

Karrie Webb during the 2010 Women's Australian Open.

Karrie Webb during the 2010 Women's Australian Open.

MELBOURNE, Australia – Four-time champion Karrie Webb shot a bogey-free 3-under 70 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead in the Women’s Australian Open.

Webb, the Australian star coming off her seventh Australian Ladies Masters title, had a 6-under 213 total on the Commonwealth Golf Club course.

“It was really solid today, no bogeys,” Webb said “I hung tough when I needed to and made a couple of good pars coming in. It’s the first time in a while I’ve played four weeks in a row, so I hope I’ve got one good round left in me.”

Italy’s Giulia Sergas, the second-round leader, bogeyed the final hole for a 75, leaving her a stroke behind Webb – the tournament winner in 2000, ’02, ’07 and ’08.

Defending champion Laura Davies was 4 under after a 71. The 46-year-old English star won the New Zealand Women’s Open two weeks ago for her 73rd worldwide title.

Australia’s Katherine Hull (72) was 3 under, and Taiwan’s Yani Tseng (72) and South Korea’s Yang Soo-jin (75) were another stroke back.

Last week at Royal Pines, Webb finished with a course-record 61 to win the Masters.

“I still hope I have a special round tomorrow so I can hold that trophy,” Webb said. “I’d like to see the wind up like it is today to add to the challenge.”

Both Davies and Hull had birdie putts lip out on 18. But Davies chipped in from off the green once and holed a bunker shot.

“This course wears me out,” Davies said. “I haven’t hit it particularly well off the tee, but it’s tiring. But close to the lead is where you want to be.”

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