Skip to main content

Sweden Leads Womens World Cup of Golf

The first round of the inaugural Women's World Cup of Golf wrapped up with the Swedish team claiming the lead by one stroke. Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam completed Friday's foursomes format at 5-under-par 67 leaving Australia's team of Karrie Webb and Rachel Hetherington trailing by one.
 
Friday was a special day for the competitors at the Mines Resort and Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Players had the rare opportunity to play for their countries and the pride of doing so was visible on their faces and in their games.
 
It was no surprise when the Australian team, featuring the No. 1 ladies player in the world, took the early lead after dropping to 4-under-par on the sixth. Nor was it a surprise when, just two holes later, the Swedish duo managed to match the Australian's lead by making their birdie putt. Charlotta and Annika put the pressure on by making birdie on the ninth to take the outright lead at 5-under-par.
 
'I am very pleased,' said Annika. 'We both played some great golf. Foursomes are a little tricky. You only get one chance compared to playing best-ball, where you have two chances, so I think we got off to a great start.'
 
The Australian team definitely had their work cut out for them after the Sorenstam sisters carded six birdies early in the day. Wind, almost non-existent on the front-side, picked up on the back making club selection more difficult and inhibiting easy birdie opportunities. Annika and Charlotta's sole birdie on the back nine came on the 469-yard, par-5 17th after knocking in a four-foot putt. 'We made seven birdies, which is phenomenal in an alternate-shot format, so I would take that any day. I am very pleased the way I played, and I think 'Lotta played some outstanding golf, so it was a great start,' Annika said.
 
'I think we had a great start, as you all can see,' said younger sister Charlotta, echoing Annika's words. 'I am really disappointed with myself on the back nine. It was nice to get the birdie on 17 though. I hit the ball really good on the front and then just didn't hit as good on the back, but Annika hit a couple of good chips and saved me a few times, so I am very happy.'
 
There were many eagle opportunities for the Aussies throughout the day yet they were unable to cash in on them. In all, the Australian team made seven birdies and three bogeys and will start Saturday's four-ball play lagging behind by one stroke.
 
'Today, we did pretty well and shot 4-under, and any time you shoot 4-under in foursomes it is a good start to the week,' said Hetherington. 'One shot isn't much at all and we have two rounds to go and two of us to play, so we feel pretty confident.' 'We both played pretty solidly for most of the day,' playing partner Karrie Webb said. 'Rachel putted really well, but we shot four-under and could have been two or three shots better. But we are very happy with 4-under. There is a long way to go because Sunday is pretty much 36 holes when you think about it with both scores to count.'
 
The Canadian team of Lori Kane and A.J. Eathorne finished the first day tied with England's Laura Davies and Trish Johnson and American teammates Meg Mallon and Juli Inkster at 1-over-par.
 
The Canadian team suffered a tough break following a brilliantly executed eagle on the ninth that left them 1-under-par going into the 10th. Eathorne over clubbed on the par-4 10th and as a result hit the ball over the green and into the woods. The Canadians were unable to recover from the setback.
 
As fate would have it, the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked players in the world will be playing against each other in the last grouping of the day. 'I will look forward to playing with Australia and Karrie tomorrow,' said the elder Sorenstam. 'There is a long way to go, and there are still a lot of teams in this tournament. We are going to go out tomorrow and focus on our own game like we did today.'