Annika Says Good Bye At Lexus Cup

After two
years of success by Team Asia, the Internationals are fired-up to win the
year-ending USLPGA Lexus Cup this week and give Annika Sorenstam a fitting
send-off into retirement.

    The veteran
Swede captains Team International at the Singapore Island Country Club from
Friday, in her penultimate event before drawing the curtain on her long career.

    Sorenstam
has her own motivation to win after missing the cut at her final tournament in
the United States
last weekend, determined more than ever to go out on a high after more than 90
career victories.

    But the
task will not be easy, with Korean icon Pak Se-Ri skippering a talented Asian
contingent headed by world number three Yani Tseng from Taiwan.

    Also on the
team is another Taiwanese in Candie Kung, Koreans Jang Jeong, Lee Seon-Hwa and
Sarah Lee, and Japan’s
Mayumi Shimomura.

    Four
players are making their Lexus Cup debuts and they are all South Korean — Park
In-Bee, Choi Na-Yeon, Ji Eun-Hee and Kim Song-Hee.

    The Asians
won the matchplay event in dominant fashion in Perth
last year, hammering the Sorenstam-led Internationals 15-9 to build on their
victory from 2006 in Singapore.

    “We
have a mix of youth and experience on my team this year and I am really excited
to see how we will perform,” said Pak.

    “It is
very important for me to have youth in the team as I feel they bring a fresh
and exciting element to the tournament, and they are hungry to win.

    “The
young girls have all had very strong seasons and we have a lot of champions on
our side, and this confidence will be a great boost to the team.

    “I
know all the girls really enjoy playing in Asia
and we will work very hard to make sure we retain the trophy.”

    Joining
Sorenstam is American world number four Paula Creamer, fifth-ranked Suzann Pettersen
of Norway and experienced Americans Cristie Kerr, Angela Stanford, Nicole
Castrale and Natalie Gulbis.

    Also in the
team are England’s Karen
Stupples, Sweden’s Helen
Alfredsson and Australia’s
Katherine Hull.

    “We
haven’t won it in two years so we need to get out there and do a lot of work to
win,” said Sorenstam, whose final event as a professional is in Dubai next month.

    “But I
feel very comfortable and confident in our team this year. We have some of the
best players in the world on our side, but you’ve got to remember that we all
have to step up to the challenge and do the best we can.

    “Every
player has their purpose and their role, so we’re all equally important.

    “This
shows the strength of golf in our region, and I know Team International will be
left in good hands … when I step away from my professional career.”

    On her own
pending retirement, the Swede said she had no regrets.

    “You
know, I’m content. I’ve said it all along, I feel good.”

    The
tournament starts with foursomes on Friday.

 

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