Karrie Webb has always been one of the most ardent supporters of honoring the history of the LPGA and its 13 Founders. So it’s perfectly fitting that on Sunday, she became the first two-time winner of the JTBC Founders Cup.
The LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member fired a 9-under 63 in Sunday’s final round to capture a one-shot victory at the JTBC Founders Cup. Webb came from six shots back to defeat third-round leader Lydia Ko and four other players who finished at 18-under-par, including defending champion Stacy Lewis. This is Webb’s 41st career LPGA Tour victory, which moved her into a tie for 10th on the LPGA’s all-time win list with Founder Babe Zaharias.
“I didn’t expect to be sitting here at the start of the day,” Webb said at her post-victory press conference. “Even actually when I finished the day I didn’t expect to be sitting here. So I feel a little bit lucky, I guess, to be sitting here. But it doesn’t make it feel any less special.
Webb received a phone call on Friday night and on the other end of the line was LPGA Founder Louise Suggs. Although Suggs was unable to make it to Phoenix for this week’s, she wanted to tell Webb that she needed to shoot 64 on Saturday to get herself back in the mix. Webb wasn’t able to deliver that right away as she shot a 69 in the third round but she got things going on the back nine on Sunday.
The 39-year-old birdied six of her final eight holes, including sinking a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th that gave her the outright lead at 19-under-par.
“Louise told me that I had to go out and shoot 64 yesterday, which I let her down and I didn’t do that,” Webb said. “So I made it up to her today, though.”
Webb finished her round more than an hour and a half ahead of the final group, leaving her awhile to sit and watch the rest of the players try to make a run at tying her. But no one could catch Webb. And she capped off the special day by donating $50,000 of her $225,000 winner’s check - $25,000 to LPGA-USGA Girls Golf and $25,000 to “The Founders” film, which is a documentary that is being shot about the 13 Founders.
“It’s a very special event, and you know, I thanked Mike Whan out on the 18th green, but it really was a wonderful idea and concept that he came up with four years ago,” Webb said of winning the Founders Cup for a second time. “I hope it’s an event that continues to grow and is around as a part of the LPGA for a very long time.”
The social Scene
39-year old Karrie Webb got into selfies just like the rookies did with a selfie on the 18th green after she won the 2014 JTBC Founders Cup. Follow Karrie on her recently created Twitter account @Karrie_Webb.
Tournament Course record
Karrie Webb shot a tournament course record 63 (-9) today in the final round to win the 2014 JTBC Founders Cup, the 41st LPGA win of her career. It was the second time this week a player shot a 63 here at the Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix. In the third round yesterday, Cristie Kerr shot a 63 (-9), which ties the record set by Ai Miyazato in the first round at last year’s event.
The 63 was just enough to win and it wasn’t something that Karrie hadn’t expected.
“To be honest, I can’t really say I thought about winning today. I thought I could shoot a 63 or 62 and that still would’t be good enough, so I didn’t set my sights on a number.”
Coming up short
Today was the third time Lydia Ko lead or co-lead after 54 holes at an LPGA event and the 16-year old said the more she’s in contention, the more she feels comfortable in the position. Prior to today, Ko won (2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open) and finished third (2013 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open) entering the final day with the lead.
“I had a realy good start.” Ko said. “Making four birdies on the first five holes was really good and I struggled in the holes after that. But you know, I tried to get myself together and I made some bogeys at the wrong time which wasn’t ideal, but I tried my best until the last.”
Despite coming up short, Lydia heads into next week’s Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California with good mementum and a chance to pick up her first victory as a member of the LPGA.
“I think I played really well overall, so I am just going to take the positive out of it.” Ko said after coming off the 18th green.
Quote of the Day
“You know, generations to come aren’t going to be as lucky as we are that have been around when the Founders were still alive. It’s been fun to get to know Louise over the years and for us to call each other friends.”
- Karrie Webb about the importance of having a relationship with the Founders, especially Louise Suggs
Eagles for a cause
“Wounded Warrior Project® Weekends” is a season-long charity program that will be tied into the Race to the CME Globe. Each Saturday and Sunday at LPGA tournaments, CME Group will donate $1,000 to Wounded Warrior Project® for each eagle that is recorded. This amount will increase to $5,000 for each eagle during the weekend of the CME Group Tour Championship and a formal check will be presented to the Wounded Warrior Project® during the trophy ceremony at the CME Group Tour Championship.
Today, three more players recorded eagles to go with the 11 yesterday. Overall this weekend, $14,000 was raised to go along with the $52,000 through the first four tournaments.
Hee Won Han
THE MODERATOR: Hello, everyone, we would like to welcome the 2014 JTBC Founders Cup champion, Karrie Webb. 41 career wins now on the LPGA Tour, but I know this one's particularly special for you considering the event that it comes at and everything that's happened this week. Just tell me what this win means for you.
KARRIE WEBB: Well, to begin with, I didn't expect to be sitting here at the start of the day. Even actually when I finished the day I didn't expect to be sitting here. So I feel a little bit lucky, I guess, to be sitting here. But it doesn't make it feel any less special.
It's a very special event, and you know, I thanked Mike Whan out on the 18th green, but it really was a wonderful idea and concept that he came up with four years ago, and you know, I hope it's an event that continues to grow and is around as a part of the LPGA for a very long time.
THE MODERATOR: 63 in the final round to come from six shots back. I don't know if you knew this, but in 2011 you were six shots back when you came back to win.
KARRIE WEBB: Oh, really? I didn't know that.
THE MODERATOR: Just talk about what you were thinking kind of going into the final round knowing you were six shots back. There were a lot of players crowded at the top of the leaderboard. What did you think you had to do and how did you get things going on that back nine, which you just seemed to be on a tear.
KARRIE WEBB: To be honest, I can't really say I really thought about winning today. I thought I could shoot a 63 or 62 and that still wouldn't be good enough, so I didn't really set my sights on a number, but my coach, Ian Triggs, has been here all week, which actually, that's two in a row for him because John Senden won last week. But he was here, and you know, I just wanted to make the most of my warmup with him today because he's on a plane back to Australia night, and I wanted to just, you know, nail down a couple of things that we're working on out on the golf course today and sort of take some ‑‑ have a positive round today and take some momentum into next week and then obviously into Kraft.
THE MODERATOR: You had some time to sit and wait before finding out whether you won. I saw when you got on the green you still were a little emotional about the victory, and when you got to hug the Founders, to see Marilynn Smith and Shirley spork who were on the green. You made a donation, I was telling all the media about it, $50,000 total, 25,000 to LPGA USGA Girls Golf and 25,000 to the Founders film, which is the documentary they're shooting about the 13 Founders. Why that donation, and what kind of was your thought process in doing that?
KARRIE WEBB: The Founders movie you mean?
THE MODERATOR: Uh‑huh.
KARRIE WEBB: They interviewed me early in the week for the documentary, and after the interview, I asked them when they thought that they'd have the documentary done. And they said that it all depended on funding and that they had about 10 percent of the total raised for the movie. So I was just standing on the 18th green when Mike was introducing me, and it just came to me that, you know, that you know, I would love to be a part of that movie being ‑‑ or documentary being produced, and I really think it's something that should be produced. And I think there should be a lot of attention put on it so that people are aware and maybe they get the total funding that they need.
THE MODERATOR: Definitely. And then for the future of women's golf, that's amazing, that donation, and you know, what a fitting way to pay tribute to this event with both of those donations in a nice way. Questions for Karrie.
Q. On Wednesday you talked about all the young women out here on the tour. Lydia is 16. Jessica is 21. You're not 16 or 21.
KARRIE WEBB: I'm not even that added up.
Q. Right. Does that make these victories even more meaningful because you don't have probably 10, 15 years to look forward to like they do on tour?
KARRIE WEBB: I wouldn't say it's any more meaningful. Every time I sit here as a winner of an event it's very special, and I probably celebrate those wins a lot more than I used to.
And you're right. I don't have 10 or 15 years left. And honestly, my last event in Singapore I had a three‑shot lead with seven holes to go and didn't get the job done there. And I don't think there's been many times in my career where I haven't won from that situation.
And this definitely erased that really quickly. You know, I was pretty devastated for a few days after Singapore. So you know, the fact that I could win in the next event sort of erases those painful memories as well, so makes it even sweeter that I've won today.
Q. Karrie, I think you were 6‑under in the last eight holes today. What's your thinking is you're going through that? And then you took the lead, I believe, on No. 18 when you sank the birdie. Are you thinking I'm in great shape, this is going to hold up or what are you thinking that?
KARRIE WEBB: Well, to start the back nine, we were waiting on the tee for the fairway to clear, and I just said to myself, I almost said it to my caddie, Mikey, but I thought I'd jinx myself if I said anything or I just thought it would sound ridiculous, because I thought what would it take for me to get to 20‑under on the back nine, and that would have been 7‑under I would have needed to shoot.
Then I thought we'll see. I mean it would be nice if I had a chance to shoot 29 on the back nine and win. I didn't even know if 20‑under would be good enough. But I just started hitting some good shots, making some putts, and you know, before I knew it I was a couple of shots behind, and I didn't know ‑‑ I just knew I needed to make that putt on 18.
I didn't know it was to take the lead. I actually thought Lydia was still at 19‑under when I made that.
But yeah, I just knew I needed to get to 19 and that 18 wasn't going to be good enough.
Q. Kind of a two‑part question. I think you had an hour and a half wait before you knew you were the winner. What did you do during that time? And then there were four players that had a chance to birdie 16, 17, 18, get a birdie in closing holes to tie you. I'm guessing you were expecting to be in a playoff?
KARRIE WEBB: Yes. I didn't expect to win out right for sure. I thought best case scenario I was in a playoff and the other scenario that was going through my head was that 19‑under just wasn't going to be good enough. I didn't expect to win outright. That's for sure. What was the beginning?
Q. Did you get a bite to eat?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah. Food, hospitality was closed, and I just really wanted, you know, a peanut butter sandwich was really all I was looking for, and we ended up with about 20 loaves of bread and half a deli to choose from. So I was able to get something to eat.
Q. And I'm sorry. I heard on TV you said you had to change flight plans?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah. Yeah, I have a flight up to San Diego tonight, so I just booked on the next one up.
Q. Karrie, when you made the turn at the back nine, did you notice how far you were back at that time?
KARRIE WEBB: I didn't know ‑‑ oh, I think ‑‑ I think maybe I saw that Lydia was at 19. I'm not sure. I think she was at 19. And I knew that ‑‑ well, at that stage, I didn't even think 20 was going to be good enough, but I thought if I finished at 20, I'd be finishing far enough ahead that that would make them think about it at least.
But I didn't even know if I could get to 20. I mean, you know, if you go out and try to actually do that, it probably never happens. So it's sort of one of those things that just sort of snowballed into a great back nine.
Q. And could you just tell us a little bit more about Louise Suggs? Have you heard from her yet? What do you expect to hear?
KARRIE WEBB: I noticed that she's called me this afternoon. But she called me Friday night, actually, and I was glad that I was around to get her call because it would have been 9:30 or so at night East Coast time. And she told me that I had to go out and shoot 64 yesterday, which I let her down and I didn't do that. So I made it up to her today, though.
Q. You said you weren't aware that you were six back here in 2011, but you were five back in Australia last month. Is there something you feel comfortable chasing leaders and ferrying at pins that enables you to play that well coming from behind on Sundays?
KARRIE WEBB: Well, the last round of the Australian Open was a lot different. I actually thought I had a chance to win that because the conditions had changed considerably from the first three rounds. And I knew that I wasn't going to have to shoot lights out to win, and I knew that gave me a chance.
Today, like I said, I didn't have sights on sitting up here as champion. So two sort of totally different mindsets, but obviously when I got into the middle of the back nine, I knew that I needed to try and post a number, and it's a way more comfortable situation because you've really got nothing to lose, and you just try and post as low a number as you can and see if it's good enough.
Q. So the other side of all the freedom that you played with today is trying to defend the lead. Can you kind of describe that side of the equation as well?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah. I normally have not had a tough time with that in my career. I'd say that I've combat ‑‑ well, a higher percentage than not when I've had the lead.
It is different. It's ‑‑ especially if someone posts a number as early as I did, I think, then you just sort of start playing to that number rather than trying to birdie every hole. Like on a course like this where, you know, if you're out there leading and you're in front, you sort of, you know ‑‑ and then no one's posted a number, the sky's the limit, but when someone's posted a number, I think that limits you to that number.
And so that's probably the tough part for Lydia. Once that number was posted, she knew she had to at least get to that, so you sort of play to that number.
But yeah, it's different, but if you have the right mindset, I don't think it's ‑‑ if you're in the right mindset, I don't think ‑‑ I enjoy being in the lead, because I know that's, you know, I've done well in that position before. So I've obviously enjoyed coming from behind of late, but I'll be happy wherever I win from in a tournament.
Q. So you did some work with your coach before the round today?
KARRIE WEBB: Just all week. Yeah.
Q. And so was that substantive work or was it just polishing what you were already doing?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah. It's, I guess, more polishing than anything. It was just trying to get my body dynamics just sequencings out a little bit, that I'm flighting the ball a little bit too high and just trying to get the flight down a little bit, which this week it didn't really matter because it's not windy, but for future tournaments it will.
Q. Did you find yourself thinking about this work while you were playing today, or you were just shooting at pins?
KARRIE WEBB: No, no. I was thinking about it, yeah.
Q. And so how did you manage to have that in mind and still keep going at the pins?
KARRIE WEBB: I know you guys think that we just go out there and have nice swing thoughts, but I think it's been about 12, 13 years since I've played golf without a swing thought.
I think you always have a couple, and then, you know, having Ian in this week is prep for Kraft, and I'd rather be a little bit more technical this week than I want to be at Kraft. So you know, that's why we were doing that stuff this week.
THE MODERATOR: Any more questions for Karrie? Karrie, congratulations. Your win today ties you with Babe Zaharias for tenth on the LPGA all‑time wins list, a very fitting time to tie one of the Founders on the LPGA Tour. Two wins already this year. Been putting yourself in contention. We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Q. All right. Here with Lydia Ko driving in a cart right now, racing on the airport. Lydia, can you talk about what was working for you today, what wasn't?
LYDIA KO: I had a really good start. Making four birdies on the first five holes was really good, and I struggled in the holes after that, but you know, I tried to get myself together, and I made some bogeys in the wrong time, which wasn't ideal, but I tried my best until the last.
Q. Now, going back to those bogeys, what happened on a few of those?
LYDIA KO: You know, for a couple of those, my shot making, you know, I hit my putts slightly ‑‑ well, not slightly. I hit it way too hard, so I kind of ran past the hole, four, six feet, those kind of putts are not the most ideal lengths to have for your par.
Q. Now, at what point were you aware of Karrie finishing and what you had to do to actually come out on top?
LYDIA KO: I didn't really know until the last couple of holes. I knew when she was 8‑under, but I didn't know that she finished 9, and it was a really good 9, and I knew I needed to make some birdies to catch up with her.
Q. And talk a little bit, did you feel the pressure going on to the 18th?
LYDIA KO: Yeah. I pulled my drive and I left my second shot a little short, slightly too short for a nice little tap‑in birdie.
But that happened, but I gave it a good round with my putt.
Q. Great tournament overall. You feel good heading into Kia next week?
LYDIA KO: Yeah. I think I played really well overall, so I'm just going to take the positive out of it.
THE MODERATOR: All right. We'd like to welcome Stacy Lewis into the interview room. Congratulations, a great final round 66. I know came up a little shy of where you hoped to be, but just take me through your day out there. What really kind of worked well for you today?
STACY LEWIS: You know, I got off to a really poor start and pretty slow start, and then I don't know, I got to the back nine where I'm more comfortable and just kind of started to free things up a little bit, and I made birdie on 14, and you know, I kind of looked at the leaderboard and said if I can birdie the last four, you know, I can get in there and tie Webbie. And unfortunately I just came up one shot short, but to finish the way I did, it was just really nice to hit the shots to make the putts at the end of the round and get some good ‑‑ seeing putts go in always helps going into the next couple of weeks.
Q. How much were you scoreboard watching today, and were you able to kind of watch to see what Karrie was doing on that back nine where it just seemed like she was birdieing almost everything?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah. We didn't really see a leaderboard. I didn't see one for a while. Obviously the front was playing pretty tough, and we got to 12 and I looked up and saw Karrie at 17. I mean it's hard to say you're surprised, but she keeps doing it over and over again, and so I mean she definitely became the person to beat, and you know, when her name gets to the top of the leaderboard, I mean it makes a difference.
Q. Just in terms of her play this year, already one victory. I mean you know Karrie pretty well. To see what she's been able to do so far early on this year, how impressive is that? 40th career victory and now seems to be putting herself in contention quite often.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I think the amazing part is that when you talk to her, when she talks about her golf game she seems very frustrated with it. That's the amazing part of it. So she gets it. She knows how to get it done. She knows when if she's not hitting it as well, or she knows how to make a few putts and hang around. That's what she did yesterday when we played together. She didn't play her best, but she gave herself a chance going into tomorrow and certainly shot the numbers she needed to.
Q. Questions for Stacy?
STACY LEWIS: Can I introduce my friends up here? This is Zoe and Zaley, and I've met them throughout the week and just wanted to come and give them a little behind the scenes tour of what we get to do.
Q. I almost hate to say it, but second place again, looking at the overall perspective as you're getting ready for the Kraft, what's it tell you about your game?
STACY LEWIS: Coming off Asia I wasn't really happy with my game, so to come out here and play the way I did and make some birdies at the end of the round, that's kind of what's been my Achilles heel over these last of couple months. So to make some birdies at the end of the round is really encouraging. I'm still starting to feel more comfortable with the putter. It's still not quite where I want it, but this is really good to build off of for going into Kraft in the next couple of weeks.
THE MODERATOR: Stacy, with having these two girls up here, you guys are kind of what this week is all about. We talk about honoring the Founders and the future of the game. What does this week mean overall and as you perform so well here, does it mean something more special when you do play well at this event.
STACY LEWIS: I don't know what it is. I think I come to this event more relaxed. I don't normally do it, but I was signing autographs for the kids throughout the round and just talking and hanging out afterwards. That's what this week is about, and maybe I need to carry that forward in the other weeks, but I just seem to be a little bit more relaxed this week and enjoying this, because that's what this week is about. It's about them. They're the future of this game, and I think we have some future golfers here, maybe a pop star, I've heard, too.
So you know, that's what this week is about is about having fun and honoring our Founders and growing the game forward.
Q. Karrie and you are very similar in the respect you have for the Founders, and you're a South Floridian now like Karrie. And you probably have gotten to know Louise Suggs. Can you talk about the relationship that Louise and Karrie have had? Have you observed that much and what it's meant to Karrie?
STACY LEWIS: I mean I know they have a really close relationship. I haven't really seen it much past that. But I've watched the way Karrie is with the older players and with the Founders, and there's a lot that a lot of the younger players can learn from her.
I've gotten to know her since I've gotten on tour, and she's been somebody I've always looked to and how to do things right and do it the right way. And she does that, and that's probably why she's playing well here this week, too. You know, she gets it. She gets what this week is about.
Q. So if this week was more relaxed, can you describe what your normal situation is?
STACY LEWIS: I guess, I mean I tend to probably get too focused at times, and you get the binders on and not really pay any attention to what's going on around you. But I don't know, I just ‑‑ I try to do that more this year and be more relaxed and kind of let things happen a little bit more. And I'm getting better with it. I still struggle at times, but just definitely getting better with it.
Q. But isn't being very focused the key to being able to hit the shots?
STACY LEWIS: It is. It's being focused at the right time. It's ‑‑ you have to know when to shut it off and when to relax a little bit. You can't go out there and be stressed and be tense for five hours because that's going to be a really long day. So it's knowing how to kind of relax in between shots and enjoy the moment, enjoy the scene. That's what I remember last year walking up that last hole when all the kids came walking up around me. You know, I really tried to take it in because there's no other tournament where we're going to have that.
THE MODERATOR: Any more questions for Stacy? Girls, do you guys have any questions?
Q. When did you start playing?
STACY LEWIS: I started playing golf when I was eight, about your age. Right? So I started playing golf with my dad, and just kind of kept playing with him for fun and went to college and now we're here, but I know you can beat your dad. Right? Can you beat your dad yet.
STACY LEWIS: No? I think it's coming pretty soon. Do you have a question? You're getting shy on me all of a sudden, aren't you?
Q. What's your favorite ice cream?
STACY LEWIS: My favorite ice cream, I like vanilla ice cream with a lot of sprinkles on top. What's yours? Do you like chocolate or vanilla?
Q. I'd say chocolate?
STACY LEWIS: You're more chocolate. I like lots of sprinkles, though. Gotta have lots of toppings; right? You have another question?
Q. When did you get famous?
STACY LEWIS: When did I get famous. (Laughs). I guess when I came out on tour here I got pretty famous. I don't know. I guess you'd have to tell me that. When did you see me the first time? Is did you see me on TV before? Or did you see me at this tournament?
Q. I don't know?
STACY LEWIS: You don't know. I don't know. You keep working really hard and you'll be right up here one day. Sound good?
Q. What would you say your best part of the game is?
STACY LEWIS: Probably my consistency. I hit the ball really good. The putter gets a little streaky. So the putter needs to get a little bit better, but I always seem to hit the ball really solid. Anything else? Did we cover it?