clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

WEBB GAINS 1-STROKE LEAD IN WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN

Karrie Webb, a 20-year-old Australian who turned pro just 10 months ago, eagled the final hole for a 4-under-par 69 and a one-stroke lead Saturday after three rounds of the Women's British Open.

Webb has a 27-hole total of 208, one up on American Val Skinner who had a 67 Saturday to finish at 209.Defending champion Lotta Neumann of Sweden and England's Caroline Pierce and Suzanne Strudwick were tied at 212.

Webb, with her fiance Todd Haller her caddie, rolled in a 40-foot putt on the 18th, pushing her past Skinner and keeping her in the lead she took in the second round.

Even playing in Europe's richest women's tournament with a field that includes world No. 1 Laura Davies and former No. 1 Nancy Lopez didn't seem to faze Webb.

"I thought I would hold together, but I'm sure some people didn't," she said.

She didn't say what Haller thought, but he was rewarded.

"My fiance gets a kiss for every birdie," she said. Asked what he received for the final eagle, she paused, blushed and added, "Two kisses."

Knocked out of the lead by Webb's eagle, Skinner still had the day's best round that included seven birdies. She likes the dry, narrow, well-bunkered Woburn course and said she's in a good spot to challenge in the final round.

Earlier this year she won the world's richest tournament for women, the $180,000 LPGA Sprint International. She's in the midst of her best LPGA season - No. 9 on the money list - after a career-best season in 1994.

"I'm playing well on this golf course," she said. "Even though it's playing fast, you can make some birdies here. It's the kind of course you could really get hot or really get cold on."

Skinner was in a jocular mood after the round. Several British reporters said they'd heard she'd been named an admiral in the Nebraska Navy by the state's governor. Skinner grew up in North Platte.

"So don't cross me," she joked. "With that title it means the fans need to salute rather than applaud when I make a good shot."

Any water in Nebraska? she was asked.

"Not much, some small lakes and a long plane flight to the coast," she said.

The 38-year-old Lopez, playing for the first time in Britain in 14 yeras, had a 3-under 70 to climb to 5-under and six strokes off the pace. She eagled the par-5, 10th when she hit a 4-iron to within a foot of the hole.