Five-time winner Webb 2 strokes behind at Australian Open

Published 10:44 p.m. ET Feb. 13, 2019 | Updated 2:44 a.m. ET Feb. 14, 2019

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Karrie Webb’s bid for a sixth Women’s Australian Open title began with a 5-under 67 at The Grange, leaving her two strokes behind first-round leaders Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Wei-Ling Hsu.

English player Ewart Shadoff had a bogey-free 65 in calm morning weather Thursday which included four consecutive birdies from the seventh through 10th holes. Hsu had it tougher in the afternoon but still managed five back-nine birdies.

“Perfect conditions … I hit some really close shots and holed some good putts,” Ewart Shadoff said. “Overall, I just hit the ball well.”

Ewart Shadoff is ranked 59th in the world and has made steady improvement in recent years without winning a tournament as a professional. She has twice represented Europe in the Solheim Cup.

Webb has not played full-time since 2017. She spent four months in Australia last year at her Townsville, north Queensland home base, and when she teed it up last week in Barwon Heads in the Vic Open, it was her first competitive outing for almost eight months.

The 44-year-old Webb played just eight tournaments last year and…

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