Date: December 08, 2007
Author: Chris Pike

Team Asia in control of Lexus Cup

Despite Lexus Cup rules stating the captains must start play in the singles on the final day, Team Asia&aposs Se Ri Pak has decided not to play against Annika Sorenstam after Suzann Pettersen withdrew due to injury with Team International already trailing 9 1/2 – 2 1/2. Due to the recurrence of a back injury that almost ended her career in 2005, Pettersen retired after 11 holes in Saturday&aposs fourball. Se Ri hurt her shoulder at the 15th hole on the opening day and struggled through it despite another victory, but decided to sit out the singles and her much-anticipated battle with Sorenstam. Sorenstam and teammate Catriona Matthew lost the last match of day two to Si Re and In-Kyung Kim, but the World No. 3 is confident of winning nine and a half of the singles matches, while also appreciative of the gesture from Si Re. “Suzann Petterson is not going to be play tomorrow, which means I only have 11 players. I had a secret word with Se Ri and she has done something that I appreciate very much that shows tremendous sportsmanship in agreeing to tie that much for my team,” Sorenstam said, who will now play the opening match against Taiwan&aposs Candie Kung. “Anything can happen in match play. Momentum means a lot so we have to get some wins early to start putting some pressure on.” After play on day two, Team Asia held a 9 1/2 – 2 1/2 lead and could have taken the win from Pettersen&aposs forfeit, but due to both a sore shoulder and sportsmanship, Se Ri will be watching from the sidelines. “Because my shoulder has been injured we have decided that I will not play and that way we don&apost win because of an injury, which is probably fair for each team,” Se Ri said. “It will not be easy to not be out there playing, it will be the first time ever that&aposs happened. I&aposll cheer my team on, give them whatever support I can and hopefully see them win.” Pettersen&aposs teammate from the first two days, Natalie Gulbis enjoyed the chance to take on Jee Young Lee and Seon Hwa Lee herself. She almost pulled it off with six birdies, but the Asian pair ended up winning 1 up. She is now looking forward to being in the final match against Korea&aposs Ji Yai Shin. “She is really tough and tried to suck it up, but it just got too bad. I&aposve never heard of anyone going two against one before, so I just wanted to put the heat on them. It was fun, but I really wanted to be able to win,” Gulbis said. “Knowing the quality of my team, they will be hurting after losing and we will be coming out to win every match.” In other day two results, Australian Nikki Campbell and Brazil&aposs Angela Park recorded the international&aposs first points in the first match, beating Korea&aposs Jeong Jang and Shi Hyun Ahn 3 and 2. Despite Cristie Kerr struggling, her American teammate Nicole Castrale set up a 3 and 2 win over Korea&aposs Sarah and Meena Lee. Amy Hung ad Ji Yai Shin beat Maria Hjorth and Brittany Lincicome 2 and 1, while Candie Kung and Ayako Uehara halved their match with American&aposs Stacy Prammanasudh and Morgan Pressel. When play gets underway, Team Asia will hold a 10-3 lead with 11 singles matches to play at the Vines Resort and Country Club.