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International team falls for second straight year at Lexus Cup

PERTH, Australia -- South Koreans Jee Young Lee, Seon Hwa
Lee and In-Kyung Kim won early matches Sunday to give Asia an
insurmountable lead en route to its second straight Lexus Cup
title, a 15-9 victory over the International team.


After sweeping the opening alternate-shot session Friday, Asia
took 3½ of six points in best-ball play Saturday to take a
seven-point lead into the Sunday singles matches, reduced from 12
to 11 when Norwegian star Suzann Pettersen was forced to withdraw
during her match Saturday after aggravating a back injury.


"Everybody knows now that the strength of women's golf in Asia
is growing," Asia captain Se Ri Pak said. "There is a lot of
pressure. I was very proud of them. Very proud of them. ... I think
we all bonded as a team. It doesn't matter that we come from
different places. ... Overall, this is a great team, great
teamwork. We all had the same goal, and we all support each
player."


Pak, bothered by shoulder pain, also sat out Sunday, with the
South Korean star and International captain Annika Sorenstam
agreeing to halve the match.


With that match leaving the score 10-3, Asia needed only two
points Sunday to retain the cup and 2½ to win outright.


"I didn't really need to say anything to my team," Pak said.
"When I got to the first tee, I saw that our players thought there
would be tight matches. However, they all did a really, really good
job."


Sorenstam opened the singles with a 4-and-3 victory over Candie
Kung, but Jee Young Lee countered with a 2-and-1 decision
over Nicole Castrale in the second match. Angela Park then beat
Asia's Amy Hung 3 and 1, and Kim secured at least a tie with a
2-and-1 victory over Stacy Prammanasudh.


Seon Hwa Lee, the HSBC Women's World Match Play winner, put Asia
over the top, beating U.S. Women's Open champion Cristie Kerr 3 and
2. Seon Hwa Lee is 6-0-0 in two appearances in the competition.


"No, I don't own the Lexus Cup, but it is a good feeling," she
said through a translator. "First and foremost, good teammates
helped me score the points. Second, I'm lucky to be in the
position, but I did work hard to be in this spot. Having some
younger players around actually helped the players loosen up a bit,
feel more comfortable, play their own game."


Sarah Lee also won for Asia, beating Australia's Nikki Campbell
3 and 1.


"Everybody wants to win no matter what," said Sarah Lee, Pak's
vice captain. "I knew that we are a tight group and I wanted to
win my match. I had a lot of fun. ... am so proud of my team. It's
all about the team. ... We will celebrate tonight."


Ayako Uehara and Ji Yai Shin earned half-points for Asia.
Catriona Matthew won the 18th with a par to halve with Uehara, and
Shin took the 17th and 18th to finish all-square with Natalie
Gulbis.


"I enjoyed it very much and it was great playing with so many
big-name players," said Uehara, the lone Japanese player in Asia's
lineup. "I was very nervous at the start, but I had fun.


Maria Hjorth, Morgan Pressel and Brittany Lincicome won matches
for the International side. Hjorth beat Shi Hyun Ahn 3 and 2,
Pressel defeated Jeong Jang 2 and 1, and Lincicome won the 18th
with a par to edge Meena Lee 1-up.


Asia successfully defend its title after beating the
International team 12½-11½ last year at Tanah Merah in Singapore.
The International team won the inaugural matches 16-8 in 2005, also
at Tanah Merah.


"Just the first year compared to this year is so much
different," Kung said. "The team is all different, the team
spirit and everything. The first year was special, because we were
in Asia and it was so new to us. It's just like the U.S. playing
the Europeans for the Solheim Cup, this is the same thing to us. We
want this tournament to be around for many years. It is special to
us."

Lexus Cup results
Asia 15, International 9
Singles
International 6½, Asia 5½

Se Ri Pak, Asia, halved with Suzann Pettersen, International, in
match not contested because of Pettersen's back injury.
Annika Sorenstam, International, def. Candie Kung, Asia, 4 and
3.
Jee Young Lee, Asia, def. Nicole Castrale, International, 2 and
1.
Angela Park, International, def. Amy Hung, Asia, 3 and 1.
In-Kyung Kim, Asia, def. Stacy Prammanasudh, International 2 and
1.
Seon Hwa Lee, Asia, def. Cristie Kerr, International, 3 and 2.
Sarah Lee, Asia, def. Nikki Campbell, International, 3 and 1.
Maria Hjorth, International, def. Shi Hyun Ahn, Asia, 3 and 2.
Ayako Uehara, Asia, halved with Catriona Matthew, International.
Morgan Pressel, International, def. Jeong Jang, Asia, 2 and 1.
Brittany Lincicome, International, def. Meena Lee, Asia, 1-up.
Ji Yai Shin, Asia, halved with Natalie Gulbis, International.

Saturday
Best Ball
Asia 3½, International 2½
Park and Campbell, International, def. Jang and Ahn, Asia, 3 and
2.
Jee Young Lee and Seon Hwa Lee, Asia, def. Pettersen and Gulbis,
International, 2-up.
Kerr and Castrale, International, def. Sarah Lee and Meena Lee,
Asia, 3 and 2.
Pressel and Prammanasudh, International, halved with Kung and
Uehara, Asia.
Hung and Shin, Asia, def. Lincicome and Hjorth, International, 2
and 1.
Pak and Kim, Asia, def. Sorenstam and Matthew, International, 1

Friday
Alternate Shot
Asia 6, International 0
Jee Young Lee and Seon Hwa Lee, Asia, def. Pettersen and Gulbis,
International, 3 and 2.
Sarah Lee and Meena Lee, Asia, def. Kerr and Castrale,
International, 1-up.
Jang and Ahn, Asia, def. Park and Campbell, International, 2 and
1.
Pak and Kim, Asia, def. Pressel and Prammanasudh, International,
2 and 1.
Hung and Shin, Asia, def. Lincicome and Hjorth, International, 4
and 2.
Kung and Uehara, Asia, def. Sorenstam and Matthew,
International, 3 and 2.