Womens World Cup Kicks Off LPGA Season


2005 WomenGEORGE, South Africa - The 2005 Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) season begins this week with the inaugural Women's World Cup of Golf in George, South Africa.
The unique tournament offers a $1 million purse (unofficial money) and features 20 two-woman teams representing their respective countries.
The event will be played at The Links, Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate, from Feb. 11-13. The event is co-sanctioned by the LPGA and the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour, with countries qualifying from both tours to compete.
The tournament is the first-ever truly worldwide team competition co-sanctioned by both Tours and consists of a three-day, 54-hole competition with a different format on each day: 18 holes of foursomes; 18 holes of four-ball; and 18 holes of stroke-play. The winners will be determined by combining each team's scores from all three days.
Every country participating is capable of winning, but heading into the event Australia, England, Sweden and the United States have to be among the favorites. Karrie Webb and Rachel Hetherington, who collectively have 38 LPGA career wins, represent Australia and have played this game before. In 2000, the duo won the Women's World Cup of Golf in Malaysia, when it was an unofficial event on the LPGA's schedule.
The flag bearers for England are long-hitting Laura Davies and Karen Stupples. Davies, with mammoth drives, a quick wit and 20 LPGA victories, is a legend of the game. Stupples has only two wins-one being the Weetabix Women's British Open-but they both came in 2004. After finishing sixth on last year's season-ending money list, Stupples is on top of her game, and with Davies, forms a formidable duo.
Carin Koch and Sophie Gustafson team up for Sweden. With Gustafson's length off the tee (led the Tour in 2004) and Koch's accuracy (17th in 2004 in greens in regulation), it would not be a surprise to see them near the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.
The most tenured team in the field is from the United States. If Meg Mallon and Beth Daniel can get things going, they could walk away with the title.
Mallon had a phenomenal year in 2004 winning three times and earning her second U.S. Women's Open championship. Daniel is an LPGA Tour and World Golf Hall of Fame member and is one of the Tour's hardest workers. The tandem represents 51 LPGA career wins.
The wildcard of the tournament may be Japan, represented by Ai Miyazato and Rui Kitada. Miyazato, 19, won five Ladies Professional Golfer's Association of Japan (JLPGA) titles last year and tied for second at the 2004 Mizuno Classic. Kitada won three events on the JLPGA in 2004.
2005 Women's World Cup of Golf final field
1. Australia (Karrie Webb, Rachel Hetherington)
2. Austria (Natascha Fink, Tina Schneeberger)
3. Canada (Lorie Kane, Dawn Coe-Jones)
4. England (Laura Davies, Karen Stupples)
5. Finland (Minea Blomqvist, Riikka Hakkarainen)
6. France (Stephanie Arricau, Patricia Meunier-Lebouc)
7. Germany (Martina Eberl, Elisabeth Esterl)
8. Italy (Diana Luna, Giulia Sergas)
9. Japan (Ai Miyazato, Rui Kitada)
10. Korea (Jeong Jang, Bo Bae Song)
11. Mexico (Lorena Ochoa, a-Alejandra Martin Del Campo)
12. New Zealand (Gina Scott, Lynnette Brooky)
13. Philippines (Jennifer Rosales, Dorothy Delasin)
14. Scotland (Catriona Matthew, Janice Moodie)
15. South Africa (Laurette Maritz, a-Ashleigh Simon)
16. Spain (Ana Belen Sanchez, Paula Marti)
17. Sweden (Carin Koch, Sophie Gustafson)
18. Taiwan (Candie Kung, a-Ya-Ni (Ruby) Tseng)
19. United States (Meg Mallon, Beth Daniel)
20. Wales (Becky Brewerton, Becky Morgan)
Related links:
  • Full Coverage - Women's World Cup