Inkster Hurst Carry US Hopes

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WomenSUN CITY, South Africa -- Juli Inkster looks to improve upon the runner-up finish by the U.S. team at the Women's World Cup of Golf.
 
Inkster and Pat Hurst lead the Americans, who lost to defending champion Paraguay by seven shots last year. They are among the favorites when the event starts Friday at the 6,466-yard, par-72 Gary Player Country Club.
 
'We'll just try to play our own game and try make as many birdies as we can and, if we make some bogeys, so be it,' Inkster said.
 
Sophie Gustafson and Maria Hjorth want to prove Sweden doesn't need Annika Sorenstam. They are hoping to repeat Sweden's win from two years ago, when Sorenstam and Liselotte Neumann brought home the trophy.
 
Gustafson topped the Ladies European Tour money list for 2007, while Hjorth was fifth.
 
'I think the way Sophie and I have been playing, especially the second half of last year, coming into this week we have a chance. But we really have to play well and solid,' Hjorth said.
 
They will have plenty of challengers, including Julieta Granada and Celeste Troche of Paraguay. Granada is the only player in the field among the top 10 of LPGA driving accuracy, hitting 74 percent of the fairways
 
The pair had 21 eagles between them on the LPGA tour last year and will attack the pins in the best-ball rounds, knowing the other player can cover for a wayward shot.
 
Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa will be absent, as Mexico is not among the 20 countries to enter a team in the event. South Korea and South Africa are among the teams, along with Germany and France.
 
The format of the tournament changed from 72 holes to 54 this year, with singles dropped to emphasize team play. Friday and Sunday will feature best-ball play, with foursomes on Saturday.
 
Hurst said the foursomes will be one of the keys to victory.
 
'It's going to play an important part because it could shoot you right out of the tournament,' Hurst said. 'You have to go out and play halfway decent and, in this rough, it can be pretty tough.'
 
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