Annika Sorenstam overcame an early deficit to beat Joanne Morley 2 and 1 on Thursday in the first round of the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship.
"I had a little difficulty with the speed of the greens," Sorenstam said. "I thought they were quite slow after the rain yesterday. ... Coming from really fast greens to really slow was tough. They are in good shape. I just got to hit the putts a lot harder."
After Morley birdied the par-3 seventh to take a one-hole lead, Sorenstam squared the match with a birdie on the par-4 eighth. Sorenstam pulled ahead with a two-putt par on the par-4 13th, increased her margin to two holes with a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-4 15th and parred the 16th and 17th to end the match.
"She made some great shots," said Sorenstam, who teamed with Morley on Europe's 1996 Solheim Cup team. ``Match play is so different. In match play, you only have 18 holes, and sometimes not that many.''
The Swede will face 32nd-seeded Tina Barrett -- a 5-and-3 winner over Young Kim -- in the second round. The tournament will then turn into an endurance test in the sweltering conditions, with the third round and quarterfinals set for Saturday and the semifinals and final Sunday on Hamilton Farm's hilly Highlands Course.
"It was hot, very steamy," Sorenstam said.
Second-seeded Cristie Kerr also advanced, beating Lindsey Wright 2 and 1. Kerr, the Michelob Ultra Open winner early last month, will face Liselotte Neumann on Friday. Neumann beat Moira Dunn 4 and 3.
Third-seeded Lorena Ochoa dropped out, falling 2 and 1 to No. 62 Laurie Rinker.
Fifth-seeded Natalie Gulbis and the sixth-seeded Birdie Kim also were eliminated, with each falling 1-up on the par-4 18th hole after their opponents hit approach shots within short birdie range. European Solheim Cup player Sophie Gustafson holed a 2-footer to beat Kim, and Marisa Baena knocked out Gulbis with a 3-foot putt.
Fourth-seeded Paula Creamer beat Maria Hjorth 4 and 3 to set up a second-round match against slumping Australian star Karrie Webb.
Creamer, the 18-year-old Californian who graduated from high school four days after winning the Sybase Classic last month to become the second-youngest winner in LPGA Tour history, will play slumping Australian star Karrie Webb on Thursday.
Webb beat Kang Soo-yun 3 and 2.
Hall of Famers Beth Daniel and Juli Inkster, the oldest players in the field, opened with victories. The 48-year-old Daniel routed Lorie Kane 5 and 4, and the 45-year-old Inkster birdied her final four holes to beat Sung Ah-yim 3 and 1.
Inkster won four of the first five holes, but was 1-down through 13 after losing three straight and four of five. She has thrived in match play, going 4-1 in Solheim Cup singles play and winning 18 straight matches in her 1980-1982 US Women's Amateur victories.
Young Japanese players Ai Miyazato and Shinobu Moromizato advanced. The 20-year-old Miyazato beat Laura Diaz 2 and 1, and the 19-year-old Moromizato, the only amateur in the field, edged Emilee Klein 2-up. Miyazato earned a spot in the field as the Japan LPGA money leader, and Moromizato received a sponsor exemption.
Defending champion Retief Goosen put aside the disappointment of his final round collapse at the US Open to take a strong position in the first round of the European Open.
A 5-under 67, highlighted by an eagle three at the 18th, left the two-time US Open champion just a stroke behind the leader -- fellow South African Trevor Immelman.
But new US Open champion Michael Campbell could only manage a 2-over 74 after three successive bogeys from the 16th onward.
Francois Delamontagne matched Goosen's 67, while Ireland's Gary Purphy and Jonathan Lomas of England shot 68s.
No.5 Goosen was unperturbed by his final-round 81 at Pinehurst 11 days ago, which he blamed on an alignment problem with his putting.
Ben Curtis, Jim Furyk and Todd Fischer all shot bogey-free, 7-under 64s, getting within a stroke of the Cog Hill course record and sharing the lead after the first round of the Western Open.
The trio were two strokes ahead of Harrison Frazar, former Western champ Robert Allenby and Chad Campbell.
Fan favorite John Daly, playing his first Western since 1996, finished at 2-under 69 after almost holing his second shot on the par-4 18th.
Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh didn't look like the top two players in the world. Woods, who couldn't get the ball close to the pin all afternoon, shot a 2-over 73 and has some work to do to make the cut. Singh shot 72.
Curtis was a rookie just trying to hold onto his PGA Tour card when he won the British two years ago, beating Singh and Thomas Bjorn by a stroke.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
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