Date: July 10, 2015
Author: Martin Blake

Webb in lead at US Open

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Still getting it done after two decades, Karrie Webb is in contention for a third United States Women's Open title after a brilliant finish to her opening round at Lancaster Country Club today. 

In her 20th appearance at the most prestigious event on the women's calendar, the 40-year-old Webb bolted through the front nine with four birdies after playing the back nine in even par first.

She had turned in 35, but birdies at the second, fourth, sixth and eight holes set up her round along with a great up-and-down at the ninth, her last hole.

Webb shares the outright lead with American Marina Alex, although some players were still on the course when weather intervened.

"Very solid round," Webb said. "I hit every fairway, missed just the last green on nine. And pretty patient. I had some looks on the back nine, which was my first nine, and didn't get anything to go. Hit a nice iron shot into the second and that was about a two or three-footer. So it got me into red numbers, and I played a really great front nine or back nine to finish.''

Webb, who won the Open in 2000 and 2001, is one of six Australians in the field for the $US4 million major.

Sarah Jane Smith (76) and Su Oh (79) struggled, but world No. 16 Minjee Lee is still on the course at one-over par through 14 holes. 

Asked afterward if she pondered the history of being a seven-time major winner, Webb was blunt. "That is way too early to ask me that question. Ask me on Sunday. No, honestly I don't — I could probably guess at who's won more majors, but I can tell you I've never looked. I know Patty Berg has the most, that's probably the number that I know. But that's never been a goal of mine. I'm just happy to get off to a good start and hopefully continue to play this good for the next three days.''

The Australian said her change of coach — from Ian Triggs to American Mike McKedrick — was also starting to register. "Playing rounds like this is what motivates me. I've worked really hard over the last year, because I changed coaches. And what's really pleasing is to play like this, because I know that I've worked really hard and the swing is starting to be a little more automatic. I don't have to think about what body part moves when. And it's nice to have played so solidly today and really feel like I didn't have to think technically too much at all.''

World No. 1 Inbee Park is also in the mix at two-under through 14 holes of her first round, while world No. 2 Lydia Ko carded an opening 70, even-par.