Davies Defends Kathy Ireland

The Kathy Ireland Championship honoring Harvey Penick starts tomorrow; Davies is defending champion...

Davies Defends Kathy Ireland

AUSTIN, Texas – After 13 years on the
LPGA Tour, 19 career LPGA Tour victories,
61 international victories and
amassing a total of 24 LPGA Tour Hall
of Fame points, defending champion
Laura Davies returns to the Lone Star
state to defend her title at this week’s
$900,000 Kathy Ireland Championship
honoring Harvey Penick, April 26-29.
Last year’s win was her second of two
victories in 2000; which helped her become
the ninth LPGA player to cross the
$5 million mark in career earnings.

This is the second LPGA event sponsored
by Kathy Ireland. A lifestyle designer
and avid golfer, Ireland sponsored
last year’s Kathy Ireland
Greens.com LPGA Classic in Myrtle
Beach, S.C.

Davies Defends Kathy Ireland
Laura Davies looks to defend

This week will be Davies’ third appearance
at the Austin, Texas, event, the
LPGA’s only Texas stop. In addition to
her 2000 win, Davies has had a good run
at Onion Creek: she tied for 27th in 1999
and has posted under-par scores during
five of her eight tournament rounds.

Davies faces a full of 144-player
field, which includes LPGA Tour Hall
of Famers Amy Alcott, JoAnne Carner,
Beth Daniel and Betsy King. Five 2001
tournament winners Sophie Gustafson,
Lorie Kane, Catriona Matthew, Se Ri Pak
and Grace Park are also competing.
Meg Mallon and Mi Hyun Kim, both of
whom won in 2000, are also playing.

Pak will be one of Davies’ toughest
challenges this week. Pak has won twice
in 2001, including last week’s Longs
Drugs Challenge. She also was runnerup
to Annika Sorenstam on two occasions
this season: the Welch’s/Circle K
Championship and the Standard Register
PING. This week will be Pak’s first
appearance at the Kathy Ireland Championship
honoring Harvey Penick.

The winner’s circle has eluded the
long-hitting Brit thus far in 2001. Her
best finish in seven events is a tie for fifth
at the Subaru Memorial of Naples. A
win this week would give Davies one
of the three remaining LPGA Tour Hall
of Fame points she needs to qualify for
the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame. In 2000,
she also won the 2000 Los Angeles
Women’s Championship.

In last year’s event, Sherri
Steinhauer and Sherri Turner led the
first round with a five-under-par 65, a
two-shot lead over the field. In the second
round, Davies carded a three-under-
par 67 to claim the lead, which she
held for the remainder of the event. In
the final round of play, Davies began the
day at seven-under-par with a threeshot
lead over Tammie Green and Susie
Redman. While the duo of Davies and
Redman battled throughout the day
gaining and losing shots throughout the
entire round, Green, who was suffering
from the flu, slipped off the leaderboard.

Davies played the final five holes of
play the same way she played the entire
first three rounds of the event, with
steady, smooth iron strokes. The Brit
survived swirling winds and recorded
pars on the last five holes coming down
the stretch to finish at five-under-par 275
and claim her 19th LPGA Tour victory
by two strokes over Dottie Pepper.

Moira Dunn posted a four-day 278 (-
2) to finish in a three-way tie for third with
Alison Nicholas and Redman. Kelly
Robbins, Dawn Coe-Jones and Steinhauer
tied for sixth at 279 (-1), followed by seven
players tied for ninth at 280 (E).

Proceeds from the Kathy Ireland
Championship honoring Harvey Penick
will benefit Neighborhood Longhorn, a
local charity that targets youths in
grades three to eight to encourage personal
development and inspire students
to pursue higher learning through exposure
to college experience.

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