Karrie Webb’s Presence Felt In Australia And Beyond
When talking about the global growth of women’s golf the first name that pops up is Se Ri Pak, and rightly so. Others bandied about include Laura Davies, Liselotte Neumann, Helen Alfredsson and Annika Sörenstam. Perhaps shortchanged in this discussion is Karrie Webb, without whom last week’s ISPS Handa Vic Open or this week’s ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open – both in her homeland – might not be on the LPGA schedule.
Pak’s twin LPGA major wins in 1998 ignited massive growth of Korean girls golf. Since 2004, 13 other Koreans have won 23 majors. Davies, of England, won her first of four majors in 1987 while the Swedes, Neumann in 1988 and Alfredsson in 1993, paved the way for Sörenstam, whose 1995-96 U.S. Women’s Open titles were the first of her 10 majors.
No question that Pak grew the game in Korea while Davies, Neumann. Alfredsson and Sörenstam lit a fire under golf in Europe. Their global impact is beyond dispute. But Webb, who predated Pak and was simultaneous with Sörenstam, hit the scene with such force that she qualified for the LPGA Hall of Fame at 25 and was also voted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Karrie Webb in action during the first round of the 2016 U.S. Women's Open. JD Cuban, USGA
She was a catalyst for the game not just in Australia but also throughout Asia, where she competed often and did many corporate outings. Webb, now 44 and playing a limited schedule, including this week, got her fir...
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