Tue, Jun 29, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Saiki captures first title at Rochester

DETERMINED Kim Saiki ended a 14-season drought by winning the USLPGA event in New York, while Taiwan's Tseng Ya-ni defeated Michelle Wie for her first triumph


Tseng had three other close calls on her way to the title, winning her semifinal 1 up and her third round match after 22 holes.

British Open qualifying starts

Half of Europe's triumphant 2002 Ryder Cup team tackled the rigors of trying to qualify for next month's British Open over 36 holes at Sunningdale Golf Club in England yesterday.

Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer, Swedes Jesper Parnevik, Pierre Fulke and Niclas Fasth and Irishman Paul McGinley are among 120 players competing for a minimum of 15 spots in the European leg of international qualifying.

Britain's Montgomerie, a talismanic figure for the victorious Europeans in the 2002 Ryder Cup at The Belfry in central England, is trying to avoid missing his first British Open since 1989.

"I want to qualify because I know I have a good chance in the actual tournament," the 41-year-old Scot said on Sunday after tying for 48th in the French Open at Le National.

"Thirty-six holes in a day isn't a problem. But that's just one way of qualifying, there are other ways and means."

Montgomerie and company could also book an Open spot by being one of two qualifiers from a `mini order of merit,' which has run since the TPC of Europe in late May and finishes at next week's European Open in Ireland.

Places are also available to the leading player, not otherwise exempt, at the European Open and also at the Scottish Open, being played at Loch Lomond from July 8 to July 11.

Others in the Sunningdale qualifying hunt are 1999 European Ryder Cup captain Mark James, twice US Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal, former world No. 1 Ian Woosnam, big-hitting Argentina Angel Cabrera and Britain's Justin Rose.

The 36-hole qualifying tournament is one of five taking place around the world between January and June.

The first three were held in South Africa, Australia and Malaysia, with four players qualifying from each.

The final two qualifiers were being played yesterday, at Sunningdale, south west of London, and at Congressional Country Club, Maryland in the US.

Former US Open champions Lee Janzen, Corey Pavin and Steve Elkington of Australia are in the 120-strong field bidding for a minimum of 15 British Open spots at Congressional.

International qualifying tournaments have been introduced by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club to make it more convenient and less expensive for overseas-based players to qualify for the third of the year's four majors.

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