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Asia sweeps alternate-shot play in Lexus Cup

Natalie Gulbis, Lexus Cup
AP
Natalie Gulbis lost her match 3 and 2.

PERTH, Australia (AP) — Candie Kung and Ayako Uehara beat Annika Sorenstam and Catriona Matthew 3 and 2 on Friday in the Lexus Cup to help Asia sweep alternate-shot play for a 6-0 lead over the International team.

"I thought we had some great pairings. Everyone was excited to be here and play here. It just didn't turn out," said Sorenstam, the International captain. "We will play better, leave this day behind. We have two more days and 24 more points."

The teams will play six best-ball matches Saturday at The Vines and the competition will end Sunday with 12 singles matches. In the first events at Tanah Merah in Singapore, the International team won 16-8 in 2005 and Asia won 12 1-2 to 11 1-2 in 2006.

"I didn't say anything much," Asia captain Se Ri Pak said. "I just tell them to go out and do their best. That's about all we can do about that. Team International is really tough competitors, it's not easy to just go out and play against them. We'll go out there today, do a little work, and come back ready for tomorrow."

Amy Hung and Ji Yai Shin beat Brittany Lincicome and Maria Hjorth 4 and 2 in the most-lopsided match of the day, while Jee Young Lee and Seon Hwa Lee topped Suzann Pettersen and Natalie Gulbis 3 and 2.

"It hurts! It stings! It definitely stings for us," Gulbis said.

Pak teamed with In-Kyung Kim to beat Morgan Pressel and Stacy Prammanasudh 2 and 1. Pak is playing with a shoulder injury.

"Actually, it was a little painful," Pak said. "I thought it was doing great and stuff in the morning, and on 15, I actually felt that something was going on. Overall, I mean, the results today make it feel a little better."

In the other matches, Jeong Jang and Shi Hyun Ahn beat Angela Park and Nikki Campbell - the lone Australian in the International lineup - 2 and 1, and Sarah Lee and Meena Lee edged Cristie Kerr and Nicole Castrale 1-up.

Kung improved her Lexus Cup record to 5-1-1, tying Sorenstam - also 5-1-1 - as the career points leader with 5 1/2.

"It just happened that we were able to save each other," Kung said. "If she hit a bad shot, I played a good one and back and forth. We got a little bit lucky to beat them 3 and 2, but we just went out there and had fun.

Sorenstam was asked if the flies broke her concentration.

"The flies did not bother me. I don't think they bothered the rest of the team," she said. "We've been out there a few days this week, so we shouldn't be bothered by them. I'll blame today on the flies."

Sorenstam also was asked about the numerous birds and kangaroos on the course.

"Yes, we're enjoying the wildlife," Sorenstam said. "If tomorrow goes wrong, I'll blame it on the birds."

Seon Hwa Lee, the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship winner, improved to 4-0-0 in Lexus Cup play.

"I really enjoyed last year and I think I just really like match play and the team play," the South Korean player said.

Both captains are sticking with the same pairings for the best-ball session.

"It's not broken," Pak said. "We'll come out and try for the same results again tomorrow."

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