Sorenstam to Face 64th Seed Morley in Rd 1

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GLADSTONE, N.J. -- Annika Sorenstam will face Joanne Morley in the first round of the HSBC Womens World Match Championship on Thursday, and U.S. Womens Open champion Birdie Kim will begin play against Sophie Gustafson.
 
The pairings were released Tuesday, two days after Kim took the final spot in the 64-player field with her dramatic victory at Cherry Hills. The 23-year-old South Korean holed out from a bunker on the final hole to beat Morgan Pressel by two strokes.
 
Im very happy to be able to play this week, Kim said. I like match play. Match play is more aggressive than stroke play.
 
Sorenstam, coming off a 23rd-place tie at Cherry Hills, earned the top seed by leading the money list after the Rochester LPGA on June. 19. The Swedish star has six victories'including major wins in the Nabisco and LPGA Championship'in nine starts this year to push her LPGA Tour total to 62.
 
Sorenstam was not available to the media Tuesday.
 
Cristie Kerr, second among the 60 qualifiers from the money list, will face Lindsey Wright in the first round on Hamilton Farms hilly Highlands Course. Third-seeded Lorena Ochoa will play Laurie Rinker, and No. 4 Paula Creamer will face Maria Hjorth.
 
The 18-year-old Creamer won the Sybase Classic last month at Wykagyl in New Rochelle, N.Y., to become the second-youngest winner in LPGA Tour history. She graduated from high school four days after her victory.
 
Ive played a lot of match-play events, Creamer said. I love match play. Youre not playing against the golf course anymore, youre playing against your opponent.
 
After single rounds Thursday and Friday, the third round and quarterfinals will be played Saturday and the semifinals and final are set for Sunday.
 
You definitely have to be in shape on this golf course, Creamer said. Its really hilly and its hot and humid. ... Its going to be an endurance test'both physically and mentally.
 
In other first-round matchups, fifth-seeded Natalie Gulbis will play Marisa Baena, Hall of Famer Juli Inkster will open against Sung Ah Yim, Japanese star Ai Miyazato will play Laura Diaz, Hall of Famer Beth Daniel will face Lorie Kane, and Japanese amateur Shinobu Moromizato will open against Emilee Klein.
 
Miyazato secured a spot last month by topping the Japan LPGA money list, and Moromizato and slumping South Korean star Se Ri Pak received sponsor invitations.
 
Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry designed the hilly Highlands Course on late financier James Cox Bradys former estate 45 miles west of New York City. The scenic property also includes the 18-hole, par-3 Hickory Course, a 64-room Georgian mansion and a lavish stable complex that houses the U.S. Equestrian Team.
 
You cant have a great golf tournament without a great course, and we certainly have one here, LPGA Tour commissioner Ty Votaw said.
 
The winner will receive $500,000 from the $2 million purse.
 
Related links:
  • Macth Play Tee Times
  • Full Coverage - HSBC Womens World Match Championship