Austalian Karrie Webb took a four stroke lead into the final round of this year's Women's US Open at The Merit Club, Gurnee, Illinois. She cannot have predicted the rollercoaster ride ahead, and almost blew it in the outward nine, before playing the back nine with a resolve that finished off her challengers and gave her the trophy that she wanted so badly.
Webb hugged her playing partner Meg Mallon, and her caddie Evan Minster, after a birdie on the 18th hole sealed her win. She finished five strokes ahead of the field with a 6-under par 282.
Webb, the world's No. 1 lady golfer has won three of the last four major championships. She won the du Maurier Classic last year and the Nabisco Championship earlier this season, and needs only the LPGA Championship to complete the career Grand Slam.
Just as Tiger Woods has dominated the PGA Tour, Webb has been dominating the LPGA Tour. She has won 21 times in under five years. On Sunday, approximately 20 minutes before Webb teed off, Woods completed his career Grand Slam with a record-setting victory at the British Open.
Like Tiger, even when Webb doesn't play her best, she is very hard to beat. She won by five strokes despite shooting a 1-over-par-73, her worst score of the week.
Webb put her tee shot on the par-3 7th into the water, dropping her into a tie with Mallon who carded a birdie at the 9th. But Mallon bogeyed three straight holes on the back nine, taking the pressure back off Webb.
Another contender, Mi Hyun Kim came within a shot, but she too dropped shots when she went into the water on the 16th hole and missed her bogey putt. Kim finished tied in fourth place with Rosie Jones at even-par 288.
Like all champions do, Webb recovered and finished strongly. She made birdies on the 10th and at 18. As she walked up the 18th fairway after putting her ball on the green, she knew she had the tournament sewn up, and approached the green grinning.
She won $500,000, the largest prize ever in women's golf. She also gets a $250,000 bonus for the Nabisco Grand Slam Challenge.
Having earned $1.486 million this year, Webb needs just $106,324 to break the LPGA single-season earnings record, which she set last year.