Back in time to '99

TODD SAELHOF, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

Look out, Suzann Pettersen and Song-Hee Kim.

Beware, Lorena Ochoa and Catriona Matthew.

Karrie Webb is feeling like a defending champion of sorts.

The LPGA Hall-of-Fame golfer has the leaders right where she wants them heading into the third round of the 2009 CN Canadian Women's Open.

"Well, I guess I'm in a better position after two rounds than I was 10 years ago," said Webb, who won the 1999 du Maurier Open at Priddis Greens despite barely surviving the cut after two rounds.

"I think the course is playing a little bit different than in 1999, but it's coming back to me," continued the Australian veteran. "Even if the memories have faded a little, I know I've played the course and won on this course, and it gives me a lot of confidence."

That can spell trouble for those atop the leaderboard this weekend.

At 5-under 137, Webb is just four strokes off the pace set by Kim and Pettersen.

And the Aussie knows how to win, given her 36 LPGA Tour victories in her 15 seasons on the circuit.

Ten years ago, she was well off the lead with 36 holes to go. With a 1-over 145, Webb barely made the cut and looked out of contention.

But back-to-back 6-under 66s over the final two rounds shot her ahead of the field -- Laura Davies and Juli Inkster finished two and three strokes back, respectively -- and onto the championship for the major triumph and the US$180,000 payday.

She's got work to do with record rounds being put up on consecutive days -- the second a 9-under 62 by Kim yesterday to give the South Korean a share of the lead with Norway's Pettersen.

"I'd like one of those low rounds," Webb said with a grin. "I think the course can give out those low scores.

"I think I can get them," she continued. "I've just got to get the putter going and get a few more birdies first, and then anything's possible. I left a few out there (yesterday)."

If any LPGA star can rally from four shots back -- no matter the deficit -- it's the 34-year-old Webb.

With more than $15 million in career earnings -- second only to the retired Annika Sorenstam -- she knows how to cash in when money's on the line.

Besides, she's getting that feeling back from '99.

"The crowd here's been treating me like a champion," Webb added. "So I feel like a champion."

TODD.SAELHOF@SUNMEDIA.CA


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