31 year-old Karrie Webb continued her journey back up the world rankings on Sunday by securing her third win of 2006 in the Evian Masters. The former world number one from Australia held off the USA’s Michelle Wie and Britain’s Laura Davies by one stroke, with her final round of 68 giving her a winning total of -16.

Webb started the final round with a one stroke lead over Wie, but the 16 year-old American found herself two shots in front after adding a birdie at the 11th to her eagle three on the par-5 9th. However, a bogey by Wie on the 13th and birdies from Webb at the 14th and 17th restored the Australian’s advantage, and the experienced campaigner got a solid par at the final hole to secure the title.

Both Wie and Davies, whose lipped eagle attempt on the 18th would have forced a playoff had it dropped, performed admirably and bravely in defeat. Wie was seeking her first-ever win on the LGPA Tour, and she has now finished in the top ten thirteen times – a maiden win is surely not too far away. Davies, who hasn’t won in over two years, will have been encouraged by her second place finish and both ladies will see their performances as ideal preparation for this week’s Weetabix Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham & St Anne’s.

“I’m really thrilled,” said a delighted Webb after her win.

“No matter how often you win it always feels like the first time. When Michelle went two shots ahead after 11 holes I just told myself to trust my swing. Both she and Laura played very well today. It’s great to win for a third time in a year. It was close all day and I’m just glad I was able to come out on top.”