Daniel Makes Match Play Field

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GLADSTONE, N.J. -- Three Japan LPGA regulars and two South Korean players declined invitations to the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship on Tuesday, opening a spot in the field for Hall of Famer Beth Daniel.
 
Shiho Ohyama, Ji-Hee Lee, Sakura Yokomine, Akiko Fukushima and Hyun-Ju Shin turned down spots in the 64-player field next week at Hamilton Farm a day after qualifying through their top-30 positions in the controversial new world rankings.
 
Daniel, Il Mi Chung, Nancy Scranton, Mariam Nagl and Tina Barrett replaced the Asian players in the field based on their positions on the LPGA Tour money list.
 
Barrett, No. 58 on the money list, got in because No. 57 Marisa Baena had already received a spot Monday as the defending champion. Because only 25 of the 30 qualifiers from the world rankings accepted invitations, the top 34 players on the money list who had not already qualified got spots in the $2 million tournament.
 
Top-ranked Annika Sorenstam, No. 2 Michelle Wie and No. 3 Lorena Ochoa topped the automatic qualifiers Monday, and France's Gwladys Nocera earned a spot as the Ladies European Tour money leader. Wie, Nocera and Japan's Yuri Fudoh -- No. 7 in the rankings -- are the only non-LPGA Tour members in the field.
 
Two sponsor exemptions will be added Wednesday and a spot has been reserved for the winner of the U.S. Women's Open this week at Newport Country Club in Rhode Island. If the Open champion has already qualified, the final spot will go to the next player on the LPGA Tour money list -- No. 59 Candy Hannemann.
 
European Solheim Cup stars Carin Koch and Laura Davies, Canadian Lorie Kane, Meg Mallon and U.S. Women's Open champion Birdie Kim failed to qualify, but two of them could still get into the tournament through the sponsor exemptions.
 
The 64-player field will be seeded Monday based on their positions in the world rankings following the U.S. Women's Open.
 
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