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International Team seek Lexus Cup repeat

World number one Annika Sorenstam will be looking for a repeat performance from her International team at the Lexus Cup this week, one year after the Swede led her side to victory in the match play event.

Returning to Singapore for the second running of the Ryder Cup-style tournament for women, the Internationals face an Asia team captained again by Korea's Grace Park, who has vowed to take revenge following the 16-8 defeat 12 months ago.

Sorenstam named that 12-player team herself, but with the LPGA now sanctioning the event, a more formal qualification process means eight members of each squad were selected based on their ranking and season earnings.

The remaining four players are comprised of two captain's picks and two sponsor's exemptions.

The Internationals are spearheaded by seven Americans, including world match play champion Brittany Lincicome, British Open winner Sherri Steinhauer and promising teenager Morgan Pressel. Joining them are Solheim Cup players Laura Davies of Britain and Sweden's Carin Koch, as well as Paraguay's Julieta Granada, who stormed to an improbable victory at last month's Tour Championship to cap a stunning rookie campaign.

"I am pleased with the mix of experience and youth we have this year and am delighted with the selections made by the sponsors to add to a very competent team," Sorenstam said. "The more experienced ladies will no doubt lead from the front with myself, and we will look at up and coming players to shine in the team-play format with their enthusiasm and skill."

Park leads an army of South Korean golfers, with all eight automatic qualifiers sharing the same nationality as their captain, who opted for Taiwan's Candie Kung and Jennifer Rosales of the Philippines as her picks.

World number 18 Sakura Yokomine is the other non-Korean in a side Park feels is strong enough to reverse last year's result.

"We know we face a strong opposition but the way my players have performed this year ensures we will have a good contest," Park said.

"With the team now decided, I am able to think about the pairings and aim to match up my team in a way that will bring out the best in them.

"They are extremely talented and with the right attitude on the course, we can certainly challenge for the trophy."

Not lacking in confidence, Park plans to adopt an aggressive approach from the first day.

"My strategy is to win every match, win every day and win the cup," she added.

"This year my team is going to be ready to win -- I am going to be ready to win."

The tournament tees off on Friday at the Tanah Merah Country Club's Garden Course with six foursomes, followed by six fourballs on Saturday and the concluding 12 singles matches on Sunday. The format ensures that every team member will play three times.

 

 




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