EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Meg Mallon figured she was only playing for second place. Then, she noticed Karrie Webb had stalled.
What followed was a birdie barrage that saw Mallon narrow the Australian star's commanding eight-stroke lead to two shots.
"It was fun to get a chance at it," said Mallon, a Michigan native who had the crowd on her side.
But Webb held on to win the Oldsmobile Classic, closing with an even-par 72 Sunday at Walnut Hills Country Club.
"It was a struggle from the word go," the LPGA's leading money-winner said.
Webb, who started the day with the big lead over Mallon and Cristie Kerr, finished with a four-round total of 265, tying the tournament record of 23 under by Lisa Walters in 1998 at the 6,241-yard layout.
"I didn't think anybody had a chance with Karrie today," said Mallon, whose closing 66 was almost good enough for the 10th comeback win of her career. "Maybe a bit of complacency held her down."
When the day started, it seemed as if Webb's biggest task would be breaking her own LPGA record of 26 under, set last year in the Australian Ladies Masters.
But she never could get her game in gear.
"I just didn't hit my irons with a lot of confidence," said Webb, who has six wins this year, including two majors. "It was one of those days. I just had to keep remembering I was in the lead."
In Saturday's third round, Webb birdied three of the first four holes. On Sunday, she never got into that kind of rhythm.
"I'm just glad I held Meg off and made some pars coming in," Webb said.
Kerr had a 69 and finished third at 270.
In the early rounds, whenever Webb made a bogey, she responded with a birdie on the next hole. Not this time. She made the turn at 1-over 37.
Webb's frustration continued on the back side. She was splitting the fairways with powerful drives of 280 yards, but the rest of her game was definitely not up to her standards.
At the 13th, an uphill par-3, Webb went with a 4-iron off the tee. But she hit the ball so fat that it just barely cleared the duck pond fronting the green. Her chip from a mushy lie landed 20 feet from the pin, and Webb needed two putts to get down.
Now she was back to 22 under, and her lead was reduced to just three strokes over Mallon.
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