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Stats and Stuff: Kia Classic

Karrie Webb

Karrie Webb of Australia celebrates a birdie putt on the 18th green to complete the final round of the JTBC LPGA Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club on March 23, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Webb’s win earns top spot in major categories

At age 39, Karrie Webb could be a motherly figure to the newest wave of the LPGA’s young stars. Perhaps, that position has developed an authoritative attitude for the World Golf Hall of Famer.

With her victory in the JTBC Founders Cup last Sunday, Webb moved to the top of this season’s most important categories and inched even higher in the career rankings.

  • This year: Webb is first in the inaugural Race to the CME Globe standings (1,242 points), earnings ($519,597) and the Rolex Player of the Year honor (69 points). She is also the first player to win multiple times this season (also the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open). Webb’s final-round 63 (with 10 birdies and one bogey) at the JTBC Founders Cup established a new course record at The Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Webb, the 1999 and 2000 Rolex Player of the Year, is looking for an unprecedented season – no player has won another Rolex title more than 10 years after the previous one.
  • Career: Webb’s 41st career victory moved her to a tie for 10th with Babe Zaharias on the LPGA career victory list and upped her career earnings to $18,687,694, second all time, and just less than $4 million behind leader Annika Sorenstam.

Here is the LPGA career victory list top 10:

1. Kathy Whitworth, 88 (6 majors)
2. Mickey Wright, 82 (13 majors)
3. Annika Sorenstam, 72 (10 majors)
4. Patty Berg, 60 (15 majors)
5. Louise Suggs, 58 (11 majors)
6. Betsy Rawls, 55 (8 majors)
7. Nancy Lopez, 48 (3 majors)
8. JoAnne Carner, 43 (2 majors)
9. Sandra Haynie, 42 wins (4 majors)
T10. Babe Zaharias, 41 wins (10 majors)
T10 Karrie Webb, 41 wins (7 majors)

Pressel’s close call

Morgan Pressel’s super-fast start in last week’s first round of the JTBC Founders Cup occurred in the right place. Of the five rounds of 60 or below in LPGA history, three occurred in Arizona where Presel was playing. Also, only two, Annika Sorenstam with her record 59, and Paula Creamer with a 60, won the tournament.

Pressel was 9-under-par through her first 11 holes. Starting her round on the 10th hole, Pressel made the turn at 7-under after shooting a 29 thanks to five birdies and an eagle. She then birdied the first and second holes. But two bogeys followed and she finished with five pars to shoot a 7-under-par 65.

“I don’t know if I was necessarily thinking 59, but I probably just got a little bit excited, because I had never been that many under par in that short of a span of time,” Pressel said. “I just got a little bit quick, and came back to earth.”

Here are the five lowest rounds in LPGA history:

59 (28-31) Annika Sorenstam, Moon Valley Country Club, Phoenix, Ariz., second round, March 16, 2001, Standard Register PING, par 72, finished first

60 (30-30) Meg Mallon, Dell Urich Golf Course, Tucson, Ariz., second round, March 14, 2003, Welch’s/Fry’s Championship, par 70, finished T2

60 (29-31) Jung Yeon Lee, Dell Urich Golf Course, Tucson, Ariz., first round, March 11, 2004, Welch’s/Fry’s Championship, par 70, finished T2

60 (31-29) Anna Acker-Macosko, The Ridge Golf Course, Auburn, Calif., final round, Sept. 26, 2004, Longs Drugs Challenge, par 71, finished T5

60 (33-27) Paula Creamer, Highland Meadows Golf Club, Sylvania, Ohio, first round, July 10, 2008, Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger, par 71, finished first


Back to Avaria Hills

The Kia Classic moved to Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, Calif., last year, the third course in the four-year history of the tournament. The first event in 2010 and the 2012 tournament were held at La Costa Resort and Spa across town in Carlsbad. The 2011 tournament was held at Industry Hills Golf Club.

Aviara Hills will play 6,593 yards and to par 72 this week. If the 382-yard, par-4 18th hole looks familiar, just look at last week’s PGA Tour event, the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The 18th hole at Bay Hill Club is a dogleg-right par 4 with water on the right in the landing area and guarding the right and front of the green. Aviara Hills’ 18th hole is very similar, only about 70 yards shorter with water predominately to the right of the green. Palmer designed both courses.

Aviara Hills also draws attention because the course winds through what appears to be a botanical garden, especially on the tight front nine. The back nine is more open, bringing the nearby Pacific Ocean winds into play. Because of strict environmental rules, Aviara Hills took nearly a decade to open before debuting in 1991.


Morgan Pressel and Jenny Shin both shot nine-hole scores of 29 at the JTBC Founders Cup, the lowest nine-hole total on the LPGA this season. … Karrie Webb has the lowest start by a winner this season (66, last week at the JTBC Founders Cup) and the highest start (71, ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open). … So Yeon Ryu enters this week with a streak of 60 consecutive holes without a bogey. After bogeying the 12th hole in her first round last week at the JTBC Founders Cup, Ryu made 16 birdies and 44 pars to complete the tournament. The two bogeys she made in the first round (on the ninth and 12th holes) came on three-putts as she hit all 18 greens in regulation. … When Yani Tseng won the 2012 Kia Classic by six strokes, it was her third victory in five starts to open that season. Tseng hasn’t won on the LPGA since.

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