Monday, February 05, 2007

Webb wins Australian Open, US Open playoff rules changed

Karrie Webb captured the Women’s Australian Open title on Sunday, winning by six strokes. Yun-Jye Wei of Taiwan was second while Paula Marti and Minea Blomqvist were both third, eight shots back. Brittany Lincicome posted an impressive fifth place finish. This was the third time Webb has won this event, but her first since winning it back-to-back in 1999 and 2000. The LET plays Down Under again this week at the ANZ Ladies Masters.

The USGA announced that the US Women’s Open will adopt a three-hole playoff format beginning with the event this June in Southern Pines, NC. Any players tied for the lead after 72 holes will immediately begin a three-hole playoff which will continue with sudden-death holes until a winner is determined. Previous ties were broken by an 18-hole playoff held on Monday – Annika Sorenstam defeated Pat Hurst in such a playoff in last year’s Open. Aside from breaking tradition, there are really no good reasons not to make this change. Playing 18 holes on Monday has always had an anticlimactic air about it, the TV people really hate it, the galleries are nearly non-existent, and they have tended to be one-sided matches anyway (like Annika vs. Pat). This is a good move that the men should emulate.

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