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LPGA Match Play field taking shape

Laurie Rinker tied for fifth Sunday in the Rochester LPGA to earn a spot in the inaugural 64-player HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship in two weeks at Hamilton Farm Golf Club.

The top 60 players on the money list received spots in the $2 million tournament, with Rinker earning $56,118 on Sunday to jump from 114th to 56th with $80,179. The two-time LPGA Tour winner had weekend rounds of 68 and 66 to finish eight strokes behind winner Lorena Ochoa.

Maria Hjorth, Angela Stanford and Lindsay Wright also moved into the top 60 on Sunday. Hjorth earned $25,640 with a 10th-place tie to jump from 65th to 53rd with $86,892, Stanford made $11,990 with a 28th-place tie to go from 61st to 57th with $80,051 61, and Wright earned $10,625 for a 32nd-place tie to move from 63rd to 58th with $76,775.

Joanne Morley took the 59th spot with $76,182 58, and defending U.S. Open champion Meg Mallon took the 60th position at $75,709 after skipping the Rochester tournament.

Brittany Lincicome, 61st at $75,156 66, will get into the field if a player who has already qualified wins the U.S. Women's Open next week at Cherry Hills. Nancy Scranton finished 62nd at $72,166, followed by Aree Song at $71,921.

Annika Sorenstam easily earned the top seed, topping the money list at $1,503,238. The Swedish star, who took the week off after winning the LPGA Championship for her second straight major victory, has six wins in eight starts this year.

Cristie Kerr took the second spot at $831,602, followed by Ochoa ($762,268), Paula Creamer ($636,740), Rosie Jones ($432,153), Catriona Matthew ($403,742), Juli Inkster ($398,058), Natalie Gulbis ($397,190) and Gloria Park ($383,835).

Ai Miyazato earned a spot earlier as the leader on the Japan LPGA Tour money list, and tournament officials will complete the field with two sponsor selections. Four-time major champion Se Ri Pak (102nd at $35,140) and 2003 Kraft Nabisco winner Patricia Meunier-Lebouc (99th at $36,288) are among the top players who failed to qualify.

Michelle Wie is not eligible to receive a sponsor exemption because she has already accepted the maximum number allowed by the LPGA Tour, but could earn a spot with a victory in the U.S. Women's Open.

 

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