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Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, February 7, 2001

L P G A _ H A W A I I

Associated Press
Karrie Webb returns to defend her title in this
week's LPGA Takefuji Classic in Kona.

Webb Master

The Austrialian returns
to defend her LPGA
Takefuji Classic title

By Bill Kwon

At this time last year, Karrie Webb had already won twice going into the inaugural LPGA Takefuji Classic, an event she won in a playoff over Annika Sorenstam.

Webb defends her title but is still looking for her first victory in 2001. The 54-hole Takefuji Classic starts tomorrow at the Kona Country Club on the Big Island.

Takafuji logo The reigning two-time LPGA Player of the Year is still the one to beat in the 132-player field that includes Sorenstam and two 2001 winners -- Sophie Gustafson and Grace Park.

Se Ri Pak, who won the season opener in Orlando, Fla., isn't entered in either the Takefuji Classic or the Cup Noodles Hawaiian Ladies Open at Kapolei next week.

Webb, who skipped Kapolei last year, is planning to play both tournaments. Sorenstam will be making her 2001 debut on the Hawaii swing.

A seven-time winner last year, Webb still tops the 2001 money list after runner-up finishes to both Gustafson and Park. It's only the second time in her six-year career that Webb has gone 0-for-January.

Others in the $850,000 Takefuji Classic -- which pays $127,500 to the winner -- include three-time 2000 winner Lorie Kane, rookie of the year Dorothy Delasin, Mi Hyun Kim, Pat Hurst and Hall of Famer Betsy King, the Hawaiian Ladies Open defending champion.

Also entered are Hall of Famer Patty Sheehan, former University of Hawaii golfer Cindy Flom, and 2000 tour winners Laurel Kean, Michele Redman, Nancy Scranton and Charlotta Sorenstam. Brandie Burton, the 2001 scoring average leader at 69.86, will also play both tournaments.

The 144-player Hawaiian Ladies Open field next week will include 12 members of the Japan LPGA Tour. One of them, Kasumi Fujii, is playing in the Takefuji Classic on a sponsor's exemption.

Both events will have TV coverage all three days on The Golf Channel and in Japan.

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