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South Africa set for first Women's World Cup
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English team hopeful for World Cup success

England's Laura Davies and Karen Stupples exuded relaxed confidence going into the inaugural co-sanctioned Women's World Cup of Golf starting on Friday.

Davies, who has won 66 tournaments and four majors in a 17-year professional career, only arrived on Wednesday because of a delay from Singapore and had yet to see the course.

Instead of fretting about lack of practice, however, the 42-year-old went down to a local pub to watch the cricket one-day international between South Africa and England.

"We (England) were getting drubbed in the cricket last night," she told reporters. "They were rubbing it in a little bit when all those sixes were flying all over the place, but it was all in good fun."

Referring to the golf she said: "I think we have very similar games so I don't think I can put Karen in too many places or Karen can put me in too many places that we have not seen before."

"Hopefully, we will play well because we are both very aggressive players."

The tournament, with a purse of $1 million, consists of 20 teams playing fourballs, foursomes and singles over three days of competition.

Although two versions of the Women's World Cup have previously been held, this is the first time the event is co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour (LET) and the Ladies Professional Golfers' Association (LPGA).

Stupples, who won the 2004 British Open, played a practice round on Wednesday and warned that the course, which hosted the 2003 President's Cup, was going to ask serious questions.

"There are not a lot of spots you can miss, so you have to hit some precise shots," Stupples said. "It is quite an exciting prospect, it means that you have to concentrate on every shot and play well."

Australia, Sweden and the United States are the other favourites, according to bookmakers.

Former world number one Karrie Webb and Rachel Hetherington represent Australia, and the Swedish team is Carin Koch and Sophie Gustafson.

The U.S. have great experience in LPGA hall of famer Beth Daniel and 2004 U.S. Open champion Meg Mallon.

"We have played a lot of matchplay golf together and have had a lot of great matches," Mallon said. "We know each other's games so well and know what to expect from each other.

"Alternate shot is the most difficult but we have played a lot of that so we don't have to go through the pains of getting to know one another."

Hosts South Africa feature veteran Laurette Maritz and 15-year-old sensation Ashleigh Simon, the only amateur in the field.


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