Date: November 07, 2008

No retirement plans for Webb

Karrie Webb has no intention of following Annika Sorenstam into retirement – at least not anytime soon. Webb, speaking in Shima Shi on the eve of the LPGA Tour&aposs Mizuno Classic, indicated she had not even given a serious thought to giving up the game. “I don&apost think that Annika retiring makes me think about when I&aposm going to retire,” said the Australian, who only a few years ago was Sorenstam&aposs fierce rival as they traded the LPGA&aposs No.1 ranking back and forth. “I think knowing the age that I am (33), I am probably closer to the end of my career than when I started. I think it is always in the back of your mind, thinking about when enough is enough.” “Right now, I am still working as hard as I have been, so I don&apost see an end in the near future. Time will tell. As far as Annika goes, I don&apost think I was particularly surprised at her announcement, maybe the timing of her announcement, but she has been talking about retiring for a few years.” With the recent dominance of Lorena Ochoa and the ever-growing bunch of Koreans, the Webb-Sorenstam rivalry seems like ancient history to some, but their dominance around the turn of the century drove each other to greater heights. “We definitely have pushed each other to reach high levels. I guess I just feel pretty lucky that I was able to compete well with a player that probably is one of the best players to ever play on the LPGA,” continued Webb, who won five majors in a sizzling seven-event stretch at the peak of her career between 1999-2001. Webb skipped the first two events of the LPGA&aposs Asian swing, which wraps up here after visiting China and Korea, preferring instead to return to Australia, before arriving in Japan last week. And she is confident the break will enable her to end a disappointing year on a high note. “I have swung the club really well, and I just haven&apost been able to get it in the hole as quickly as I would have liked,” said the 2006 champion, who is 20th on this year&aposs LPGA money list. “I think the putting has turned around a little bit, and hopefully I can put everything together this week.” The 78-woman field at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club is split equally between Japan Tour and LPGA members, and the local contingent has an extra incentive, because a victory earns automatic membership of the LPGA Tour. That&aposs how Momeko Ueda gained her ticket to the American-based circuit last year.