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Laura Davies starts season at the Inaugural

Laura Davies chases back-to-back wins on the American LPGA Tour in this week's opening event of the 1999 season, the Healthsouth Inaugural Tournament at Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida.

The English former world number one recovered from an otherwise torrid season to win the end of season PageNet Tour Championship in Las Vegas in November.

And that maintained her impressive six-year record of winning at least once on each side of the Atlantic.

"The Tour Championship win turned a terrible season into a good one," she reflected.

"I've not hit a shot over the past five weeks, but this is a course I like, the weather's good so I'll be giving it my best shot."

The field includes 13 British players - the strongest ever on the lucrative US women's tour.

Eight of the world's top 10 players will tee off in the 550,000 US dollar (£340,000) event.

The 1997 US Open Champion Alison Nicholas is determined to bounce back from a 1998 season bedevilled by illness, while newly-wed Lisa Hackney has her sights set on a debut win.

The 1997 Rookie of the Year married her coach, Martin Hall, a Florida-based English teaching professional, last month, and he is lending his support during this first tournament of the Tour's three-week run in the Sunshine State.

Scot Janice Moodie, who finished 36th on the money-list and earned over 205,000 US dollars (£128,000) during a great rookie year, is in another tipped to hit the high spots.

The 25-year-old former Curtis Cup star based in Orlando is in a confident mood and hopes to grab her first professional win.

"I had a poor finish last season, and it was disappointing just to miss out on top 30 qualification for the Tour Championship," she said.

"I certainly think I can win."

TW 14/1/99