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Wie still winless; Webb captures Evian Masters by one
By Sports Network
Saturday, July 29, 2006

Karrie Webb posted a four-under 68 Saturday to hold off Michelle Wie and win the Evian Masters. Webb completed the event at 16-under-par 272.

For Webb, it was her third win of the season and 33rd of her career. She claimed the Kraft Nabisco Championship and Michelob Ultra Open earlier this season.

"Obviously, I am very pleased to be sitting here right now," said Webb, who earned $450,000 to take over the top spot on the LPGA Tour money list. "I am really thrilled actually. It was sort of an up-and-down day. I played very solidly."

Wie matched Webb's 68 to finish in a tie for second place for the fourth time on the LPGA Tour and the second time at this event. She ended at minus-15 alongside two-time Evian Masters winner Laura Davies (67).

Mi Hyun Kim took fourth place at 14-under-par 274 thanks to a six-under 66 in the final round. Lorena Ochoa was one stroke behind her at minus-13 after a closing 67 at Evian Masters Golf Club.

Ochoa was unable to overcome her three-stroke deficit from the start of the round. However, she became the first LPGA player since 2004 to card a double- eagle.

The Mexican's second shot at the par-five ninth found the bottom of the cup for an albatross. Karen Stupples was the last to accomplish the feat at the 2004 Women's British Open, an event she went on to win.

LPGA Championship winner Se Ri Pak was alone in sixth at 12-under-par 276 as she carded back-to-back 70s on the weekend. Paula Creamer, the 2005 champion, fired a seven-under 65 to end in seventh at minus-11.

Women's World No. 1 and two-time champion Annika Sorenstam was joined in ninth place at nine-under-par 279 by Jeong Jang, who will defend her title at the Women's British Open next week.

The final round was a battle between the prodigy (Wie) and the Hall-of-Famer (Webb). Not to be outdone, Davies, a 20-time LPGA Tour winner, fought her way into the fray as well.

Wie birdied the first to join Webb in the lead, but Webb birdied the second from eight feet to regain the top spot. Wie came right back with a four-foot birdie putt on the third to join Webb at minus-13.

The 16-year-old Wie faltered to a three-putt bogey on the fourth to fall one behind. The ninth hole saw Webb get up and down for birdie to move to 14- under. However, Wie drained a 35-foot eagle effort on the par-five to join the Australian atop the leaderboard.

At the 11th, things turned in Wie's favor as she drained a six-foot birdie putt to move to 15-under. Webb faltered to a three-putt bogey, giving Wie a two-shot lead.

Davies moved into the mix as she played the front nine at minus-two. Davies got to 14-under and within one of Wie with birdies at 10 and 12.

Wie found a fairway bunker off the tee at 13 and then a greenside bunker with her second. She blasted to 24 feet, but two-putted for bogey to create a three-way tie for the lead.

Webb took control with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-three 14th. She moved two up on Wie, Davies and Kim with a birdie from 20 feet at 17. Webb parred the par-five closing hole, but it was enough for her first win at this event.

"I thought I was going to have to get to 17-under, but 16 ended up being good enough," Webb said. "I thought Laura played extremely well. That is the best I have seen her play in a long time. I am very pleased to be sitting here, especially after playing for four days against the best players in the world."

Wie made four pars in a row after her bogey on 13. At the par-five last, Wie needed an eagle to possibly force a playoff, but she could only make birdie to end one back.

"When I look back at it, I could not have played harder today," stated Wie. "I played every shot as best as I could. I feel like I played a great round today and shot four-under. I am getting very close. It is not as easy as it would seem, but I feel very good about my game."

Davies parred five straight after getting a share of the lead. Like Wie, she birdied the last to end one behind Webb.

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