Friday, September 29, 2006

Longs Drugs Challenge recap

Even though this is several days late, I'm posting this recap for future reference.

Karrie Webb dominated the field over the first three rounds, then held off the hard-charging Annika Sorenstam to win the Longs Drugs Challenge by one stroke. Morgan Pressel was three shots back in third while Lorena Ochoa, Cristie Kerr, Mi Hyun Kim and Stacy Prammanasudh finished tied for fourth.

Webb entered the final round six shots clear, and started off fairly well. The problems came when she double-bogeyed the eighth hole. Annika went to -5 on the day (-11 overall) with an eagle at the 9th to move within two of the lead. The lead became one when Sorenstam birdied the 11th. Karrie righted the ship when she also birdied 11, then bumped her lead back out to three with a birdie at 13. Annika birdied 15 and 17 to close back to within one but couldn't get any more than that while Webb parred out to gather in her fourth win of 2006.

Ochoa made another Sunday run, getting as close as three back when she eagled 11. A couple of bogeys down the stretch derailed her. Pressel was the only player besides Annika to make a back nine run but Morgan was too far back to start with. The third-place finish was the best of Pressel's pro career - she was an amateur when she tied for second at last year's US Open.

This week's Big Surprise was Meredith Duncan, who finished tied for 10th at -7. It was her first Top 10 of the year (previous best was T41) and only the fifth time she had made the cut in 21 events. The $20,000 she won still leaves her about $50,000 short of making the Top 90. I'll update the exemption race in my next post. All three of my picks finished in the Top 10 (hard to go wrong with Annika, Lorena and Cristie these days) but I missed out on the big prize. After an off-week, the ladies will be back in action in Mexico beginning October 5.