Davies Likes Chances in Mens Event


CHUNAN, South Korea (AP) -- Laura Davies figures she has a chance to make the cut playing against men at the Korean Open.
Her confidence was high after a practice round on the 7,042-yard Woo Jeong Hills Country Club course Wednesday, a day before the Asian PGA Tour tournament begins.
'I'm very pleased the course is not very long, so I have a chance to make some birdies,' said Davies, whose 64 career victories include four major titles.
She'll be following in the footsteps of Annika Sorenstam and Suzy Whaley, two women who played in PGA Tour events this year.
Sorenstam became the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA Tour when she missed the cut at Colonial with rounds of 71-74. Connecticut club pro Whaley qualified for the Greater Hartford Open, where she missed the cut. Michelle Wie, a 13-year-old amateur from Hawaii, played in the Nationwide Tour's Boise Open, missing the cut.
The key to a good performance for Davies?
'Driving!' she said. 'I think if I can play really well, drive the ball really well, I have a chance. But if don't, then I have no chance.'
Davies ranks fifth on the LPGA Tour with an average driving distance of 267.2 yards.
During her 18-hole test run Wednesday, she fell only a few yards short of hitting the green with her second shot on the course's longest hole, 561 yards. She hit a bunker just in front of the green, where John Daly also landed his second shot while playing in a group in front of Davies.
Playing against men won't be a new experience for Davies.
Five years ago, she played in the Johnnie Walker Super Tour against eight men, an exhibition in which four rounds were played in four Asian cities. Vijay Singh won with a 19-under 269, while Davies finished last, 39 strokes behind.
'I'm not trying to beat any of the guys,' she said. 'This is just something that's fun for me to do.'
Justin Rose welcomed Davies to the competition.
'She's not trying to prove anything. It's just a different challenge for her,' he said. 'A lot of ladies who don't hit the ball as far -- I don't see the point in coming to play with men. But Laura hits it so far.'
He added: 'I hope she does make the cut.'
Rose and Davies agreed the short holes will be a big factor in scoring.
'I think the hardest thing for me is the par-3s. They are very long,' Davies said.
The four par-3s include the 219-yard 13th with an island green and the 226-yard 16th.
Davies will tee off Thursday with Daly and South Korean S.K. Ho, who tied for 28th in this year's British Open.
'I don't care if I finish last or 50th or whatever, as long as I feel I had a good game,' she said. 'I won't be ashamed if everyone beats me because I'm just trying my best. That's all.'
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