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.
Colin Montgomerie’s hopes of defending his World Cup crown with fellow Scot Alastair Forsyth are but all over after they slumped to a 73. The duo is placed 17th on three-under-par.
Taiwan’s Lin Wen-Tang (林文堂) and Lu Wen-Teh (呂文德) had a round of 75 for a two-day total of 143.
■ AUSTRALIAN MASTERS
AP, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
First-round co-leader Tim Clark of South Africa shot a 2-under 70 yesterday at Huntingdale to take a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the Australian Masters.
Clark had a two-round total of 7-under 137, a stroke ahead of Australians Anthony Summers, who shot 68 yesterday, and Michael Sim, who had a 66.
One stroke further back at 5-under 139 was a group of seven players, including former winner Robert Allenby, who picked up five shots on the back nine for a second-round 66. Another in that group was Australian Aaron Townsend, who had a second-round 64 after completing his first round yesterday morning with a 75.
John Daly shot a 73 Friday after an opening 76, but his 5-over total meant he missed the cut. He plans to stay Down Under for another week and play in next week’s Australian PGA at Coolum in Queensland state.
“I had a couple of eagle opportunities and hit horrible putts, and three-putted one of them,” Daly said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very