Webb wins Kraft Nabisco Championship

Karrie Webb holed a pitching wedge from 116 yards for eagle on the 18th hole and beat Lorena Ochoa to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship on Sunday.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:39 IST
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Rancho Mirage:

Karrie Webb holed a pitching wedge from 116 yards for eagle on the 18th hole, then returned to birdie the same hole in a playoff and beat Lorena Ochoa to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship on Sunday. Webb's eagle gave her a 7-under 65, and her 7-foot birdie putt on the same hole earned the Australian her seventh career major title. As exhilarating as it was for Webb, it was devastating for those she beat. Ochoa collapsed on the back nine, only to recover with a 5-wood into 6 feet for eagle on the par-5 18th with the island green. Her 15-foot birdie putt in the playoff never had a chance. Michelle Wie, the 16-year-old from Hawaii, was 25 feet away from winning until her chip ran 10 feet by, and her birdie putt to join the playoff caught the left lip. Natalie Gulbis birdied three of five holes down the stretch, only to see her 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole turn away. That left Webb an unlikely winner in a dramatic conclusion to women's golf's first major of the year. It was her first victory since 2004, and her first major since she won the 2002 Women's British Open at Turnberry. She has been retooling her swing, needing to put a few good holes together, then perhaps a few good rounds. What sent her to the top was one of the greatest shots struck in a major championship. She was tied for the lead at 7 under, not knowing that Wie had just hit a wedge inside a 30 centimeters on the 16th hole. Webb had 116 yards to the hole, and her shot looked good from the moment in left her club. Yet another chapter In the playoff, she boldly went after the island green with a fairway metal, the ball going through the green. She hit a flop that rolled 7 feet past the cup, and thrust her arms in the air when she made the putt. Webb, inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame four months ago, finished at 9-under 279 and earned $270,000 for her 31st career victory. Ochoa fought back tears when it was over, adding another chapter to a growing legacy of being unable to close. An eagle on the last hole gave her an even-par 72, but ultimately, it was only a consolation. She lost this tournament along the back nine when she couldn't hit a fairway and twice had to make testy 5-footers for bogey. For Wie, it was a wedge that will be questioned until she gets her next crack at a LPGA major. Needing a birdie on the final hole to get into the playoff, she hit her best drive of the day and hit a flush 5-iron that went about 5 feet too far, sliding down the bank to the right of the flag. Instead of using her putter, she had the pin removed and chipped. The ball came out hot and went 10 feet by, and she crouched in disbelief when the birdie putt caught the left lip. (AP)