Sat, Nov 29, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Candie Kung helps top Sorenstam

AP , SINGAPORE

Taiwan’s Candie Kung, left, and South Korea’s Jeong Jang of Team Asia celebrate after winning by one hole over Team International captain Annika Sorenstam of Sweden and Angela Stanford of the US at the 16th green during the first day of the Lexus Cup Golf Tournament in Singapore yesterday.

PHOTO: EPA

Candie Kung (龔怡萍) of Taiwan and South Korea’s Jeong Jang beat Annika Sorenstam and Angela Stanford 3 and 2 yesterday to help Asia split the six opening alternate-shot matches in the Lexus Cup, Sorenstam’s final LPGA Tour-sanctioned event before she retires.

Sorenstam, set to end her Hall of Fame career next week in the Ladies European Tour’s Dubai Ladies Masters, is the International team’s playing captain.

The teams will play six best-ball matches today and the competition will conclude tomorrow with 12 singles matches.

“They make it look very easy,” Sorenstam said.

“I thought we played quite well, just one or two mistakes. We’re going to regroup. The momentum of some of our players was great and hopefully they can rub it off on the rest of us. I’m pretty happy. I’m just going to gather the troops and go from there,” she said.

The Asian teams of Taiwan’s Yani Tseng (曾雅妮) and Lee Seon-hwa, and Kim Song-hee and Park In-bee, opened with victories on the Singapore Island Country Club’s Bukit Course.

Kim and Park beat Helen Alfredsson and Christina Kim 3 and 2, and Tseng and Lee held off Suzann Pettersen and Natalie Gulbis 2 and 1.

The International teams of Cristie Kerr-Karen Stupples, Paula Creamer-Nicole Castrale and Katherine Hull-Nikki Campbell won their matches.

Kerr and Stupples beat Sarah Lee and Choi Na-yeon 2 and 1, Creamer and Castrale edged Asian captain Pak Se-ri and Ji Eun-hee 2-up, and Hull and Campbell beat Namika Omata and Mayumi Shimomura 3 and 1.

Asia won 15-9 last year at The Vines in Perth, Australia, for its second straight victory. The International team won the inaugural matches 16-8 in 2005 at Tenah Merah in Singapore, and Asia won 12.5 to 11.5 at Tenah Merah in 2006.

“We’ve struggled the last two years so we want that cup back,” Gulbis said.

■ WORLD CUP

AFP, MISSION HILLS, CHINA

The flamboyant Spanish duo of Miguel Angel Jimenez and Pablo Larrazabal surged to a four-shot lead after the second round of the Omega World Cup yesterday.

The pair, who started the day two strokes off the pace after a 64 in the first round of fourballs, combined magnificently in the trickier foursomes (alternate shot) format to fire a stunning 63.

It gave them a two-day total of a 17-under-par 127. Germany, the first round leaders, and Australia are tied for second place on 13-under, while pre-tournament favorites Sweden lie in fourth, a further stroke adrift.

Spain was out of the blocks quickly with three birdies and an eagle in the first five holes. Further birdies at the seventh, 10th and 11th put them on course to break the World Cup foursomes record of 61 set by the Argentinean team of Angel Cabrera and Ricardo Gonzales in 2005. But an uncharacteristic bogey at the par-five 15th, the Olazabal Course’s signature hole, where Jimenez stubbed a chip, put paid to the chance.

Germany, represented by in-form Martin Kaymer and US-based Alex Cejka, recovered from a lackluster first nine holes to card three back-nine birdies for a 69 and remain in the title hunt with 36 holes to play.

Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson, the two highest world-ranked players in the tournament at sixth and 12th respectively, gave Sweden a boost with a determined 67 to stand well placed going into the weekend.

“There’s still a long way to go, and hopefully we can reel the Spaniards in,” said Stenson, a two-time Ryder Cupper.

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