Date: January 22, 2007
Author: Alistair Hogg

Paraguay wins Women’s World Cup of Golf

By Alistair Hogg Paraguay has held on to it&aposs comfortable lead through the final day to claim the Women&aposs World Cup of Golf by seven strokes ahead of the United States and Korea at Sun City, South Africa. A seven-under round of 65 in the betterball format was enough to see off the competition and deliver South America its first World Cup of Golf. Juliete Granada and Celeste Troche opened up a four-stroke lead on day one and never looked back, leading the field from start to finish. Reflecting after their win, Granada stressed how important it was for them to get off to a good start. Her round of five-under on the first day was the best singles score in the history of the Women&aposs World Cup of Golf. “I think it was key – it was very important,” the 20-year old said. “I wasn&apost expecting to have a four-shot lead with the five-under, but I&aposm glad we did. Looking back now, it makes a huge difference because the alternate shot was such a hard format.” However it wasn&apost all plain sailing for the Paraguayan duo who gave themselves some work to do on the final morning with a pair of three-putts on the opening hole. “I wasn&apost nervous. I just hit a bad putt and I couldn&apost make my second one,” Granada said. “It was kind of a rough start and I think we kind of needed that to keep working on it. Don&apost take it for granted and think it&aposs already done. I think we needed to work hard for it.” And work hard they did. A run of six birdies in the next 10 holes gave the South Americans a large enough cushion to coast to victory on the back nine, fishing with a pair of birdies. “It’s a relief,” Troche said on finishing a round of golf knowing you have the win wrapped up. “You can enjoy the moment, you know, everybody cheering for you. You can actually embrace that and get a little emotional. You can three-putt and still know you will be okay. So I really enjoyed that moment.” Juli Inkster and Pat Hurst toiled hard for the United States in their final round of five-under, but it wasn&apost enough to overhaul the runaway winners. In a reversal of Paraguay&aposs fortunes, the first day severely dented any American hopes of winning. “The first day killed us. We both played horrible,” Inkster said. “But you know what? We came over here with the attitude that we ve both never been here and it was our first tournament of the year and we didn t really know what to expect but we ve had fun. We ve had a blast. The Australian pair of Nikki Garrett and Lindsey Wright can hold their heads high with a respectable sixth place finish after turning in a three-over par for the tournament. The Aussies ran hot and cold throughout the final round with three birdies, three bogeys and an eagle on the par five fifth. Last year&aposs winner Sweden had a dismal tournament finishing 20-over and proved how reliant it was on World No. 1 Annika Sorenstam who did not make the trip to South Africa. Final scoreboard at the Women&aposs World Cup of Golf at Sun City, South Africa: -7: Paraguay -2: United States -1: South Korea +1: Italy, Scotland +3: Australia +5: Taiwan +6: Wales +7: England +8: Finland, New Zealand +9: Brazil +11: France +12: Denmark, Japan +13: South Africa, Spain +20: Sweden +25: Germany, Norway +27: Ireland +51: Kenya