Sorenstam Wie Seeded 1-2 at Match Play

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GLADSTONE, N.J. -- U.S. Women's Open champion Annika Sorenstam will face Virada Nirapathpongporn on Thursday in the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship, while Michelle Wie will open against Candy Hannemann in the other half of the draw.
 
Sorenstam, the top seed in the $2 million event, won her third U.S. Women's Open title Monday, beating Pat Hurst 70-74 in an 18-hole playoff at Newport Country Club. The Swede planned to take Tuesday off, then play in the pro-am round Wednesday.
 
'Maybe not the preparation I had in mind for such a major tournament, but this was the week I had in my mind,' Sorenstam said Monday in Rhode Island.
 
The 64th-seeded Nirapathpongporn earned a spot at Hamilton Farm last week through the LPGA Tour money list. The 24-year-old Thai player won the 2002 NCAA individual title for Duke and the 2003 U.S. Women's Amateur.
 
The 16-year-old Wie, coming off a third-place tie in Women's Open, earned the second seed as the No. 2 player in the new world rankings. She will face the 63rd-seeded Hannemann, the 26-year-old Brazilian who got the last spot in the field Sunday when previous qualifiers Sorenstam and Hurst advanced to the playoff. Hannemann also starred at Duke, winning the 2001 NCAA individual title.
 
Mexico's Lorena Ochoa, the No. 3 seed, will open against No. 62 Il Mi Chung, fourth-seeded Karrie Webb will face No. 61 Nancy Scranton, and No. 5 Paula Creamer will meet No. 60 Miriam Nagl.
 
Other first-round matchups include: No. 13 Hurst vs. No. 52 Reilley Rankin; No. 8 Juli Inkster vs. No. 57 Tina Barrett; No. 10 Ai Miyazato vs. No. 55 Kyeong Bae; No. 12 Morgan Pressel vs. Sarah Lee; and No. 18 Natalie Gulbis vs. No. 47 Lorie Kane.
 
Defending champion Marisa Baena, seeded 37th, will open against No. 28 Wendy Ward. Last season, Baena won the first-year event for her first LPGA Tour title, beating South Korean rookie Meena Lee 1-up in the final. The 60th-seeded Colombian also beat Gulbis, Grace Park, Jennifer Rosales, Webb and Candie Kung.
 
Sorenstam reached the quarterfinals last year. She beat Joanne Morley, Tina Barrett and Rachel Hetherington before falling to Kung.
 
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