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South Africa set for first Women's World Cup

Strong field set for Women's World Cup

The 2006 Women’s World Cup of Golf at Sun City will feature the strongest field in the history of this global event.

The full 20-nation field for the January 20-22 event was announced in Johannesburg on Wednesday, and will include six Solheim Cup players, 10 of the LPGA Tour’s top 30 players and 13 of the top 30 from the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour.

The field will also include three new countries in Taiwan, Columbia and Brazil. This is the first time South America is being represented at a Women’s World Cup of Golf.

World number one Annika Sorenstam is the biggest name headed for Sun City and will represent Sweden along with partner Liselotte Neumann.

But another major coup for the tournament is the presence of Americans Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis, who both competed in the Solheim Cup this year.

Creamer qualified to represent the United States by ranking second behind Sorenstam on the ADT Official Money List, and selected sixth-ranked Gulbis as her teammate.

Creamer is still in her rookie year on the LPGA, but has already made a significant impact, stringing together one of the most impressive displays ever by a rookie on the Tour.

At the age of 19, Creamer already has two wins behind her name, eight top-10 finishes, and became the youngest and quickest player to earn over $1-million in career earnings.

Gulbis completes what will be one of the most attractive combinations on Sun City’s fairways.

The golfer who has her own website, calendar and reality TV show has yet to claim her maiden professional victory, but has had 11 top-10 finishes in an impressive career to date.

“This is another massive coup for us,” said Chief Executive Tania Fourie. “This is by far one of the strongest fields in the women’s game worldwide. We have the experienced players here, and the next generations of young stars as well. To have them all in South Africa will do wonders for the World Cup and the development of women’s golf in this country.”

The experienced Laura Davies, who made her ninth appearance in the Solheim Cup this year and has 20 LPGA Tour victories, and more than 45 worldwide, will again lead England.

The French challenge boasts the talent of Gwladys Nocera, who has played in South Africa on several occasions before on the Nedbank Women’s Golf Tour. Nocera is currently ranked fourth on the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit and represented Europe in the Solheim Cup earlier this year.

Italy has Sylvia Cavalleri as their main star. Cavalleri was one of the game’s top amateurs and was crowned the 1990 British Girls Champion, the 1996 World Amateur champion, the 1996 and 1997 European Amateur champion, and the 1997 US Women’s Amateur champion. She qualified for the LPGA Tour in her first attempt.

South Africa’s Laurette Maritz – who will partner Ashleigh Simon in the event – believes the quality of players coming out is a reflection of how the tournament is growing in status worldwide.

“After watching the 2005 Women’s World Cup on television, reading the media coverage and hearing about the event from other pros, they are all very excited about the 2006 World Cup and the opportunity to participate in such a prestigious event,” said Maritz.

“The 2005 event was run so well that the players only had wonderful things to say about it, which in turn encouraged those who were not involved in the inaugural event to do so in 2006.

It has become one of the more prestigious events on the women’s professional golfing calendar. They are also excited about the opportunity to visit our country.”

Maritz and Simon will lead the South African challenge as they attempt to improve on their 12th place in the inaugural event at Fancourt.

“We are extremely pleased to see that the players have responded as well as they have to this event,” said Fourie. “It just goes to show how seriously they take it and how important it is becoming in the global women’s game. It is going to be a feast of golf for South Africans.”

Tickets are available from Computicket (083 915 8000 or www.computicket.com), but season tickets will only be sold through physical Computicket outlets.

Corporate hospitality now available. To find out more about the event, the players and special events, visit the official web site at www.womensworldcupofgolf.com.

TEAMS:

Australia – Shani Waugh and Rachel Hetherington

Brazil – Candy Hannemann and Luciana Bemvenuti

Canada – Lori Kane and AJ Eathorne

Columbia – Marissa Baena and Cristina Baena

England – Kirsty Taylor and Laura Davies

Finland – Minea Blomqvist and Riikka Hakkarainen

France – Gwladys Nocera and Karine Icher

Germany – Anja Monke and Miriam Nagl

Italy – Veronica Zorzi and Silvia Cavalleri

Japan – to be advised end November 2005

Korea – Meena Lee and Bo Bae Song

New Zealand – Lynnette Brooky and Gina Scott

Philippines – Jennifer Rosales and Ana Larraneta

Scotland – Catriona Matthew and Janice Moodie

South Africa – Laurette Maritz and Ashleigh Simon

Spain – Marta Prieto and Paula Marti

Sweden – Annika Sorenstam and Liselotte Neumann

Taiwan – Amy Hung and Yu Ping Lin

United States – Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis

Wales – Becky Brewerton and Becky Morgan

November 10, 2005

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