Sorenstam, Webb Join Oakmont Field


Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb, the top players on the LPGA Tour the past two years, have committed to play in the Los Angeles Women’s Championship Feb. 9-15 at Oakmont Country Club in Glendale.

Their addition makes the Oakmont field, now comprised of 24 of the top 25 players from 1997 and 95 of the top 100, the strongest non-major field in recent memory.

“It will be the best field on the LPGA Tour this year,” said Rick Groesch, tournament director. “The field is nothing short of spectacular.”


Sorenstam, the 1997 Rolex player of the year and leading money winner, finished second to Terry-Jo Myers in last year’s inaugural Los Angeles Women’s Championship. Webb, the 1997 Vare trophy winner for lowest scoring average and the 1996 leading money winner, did not play last year.

Sweden’s Liselotte Neumann, who finished seventh on the 1997 money list and tied for eighth in last year’s tournament, is the only top 25 player not entered.

LPGA Tour commissioner Jim Ritts attributes the strength of the field to the Solheim Cup, the women’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup, to be played at Muirfield Village in Ohio in September. Since it is a Solheim Cup year, players earn double points in each tournament.

“I expect to see stronger fields across the board this year,” Ritts said.

Long-hitting Laura Davies, Hall of Fame member Nancy Lopez and rising star Michelle McGann are among the notable players who have committed this year that did not play last year.

LPGA legends Pat Bradley, Jan Stephenson, Patty Sheehan and Betsy King return to Oakmont for the second consecutive year as do Kelly Robbins and Helen Alfredsson, winners of the first two LPGA events this year.