Inkster, Hurst spur U.S. at World Cup golf


SUN CITY, South Africa – Juli Inkster and Pat Hurst shot a 2-under 70 in alternate-shot play at the Women’s World Cup on Saturday, positioning the United States for a final-day charge at first-place Paraguay.

The Americans had the only under-par round on a breezy day to take third place at 219. Paraguay had a 75 for 214, with Italy second at 218 after a 73.

The final round is better ball.

“We have nothing to lose, really,” Inkster said.

They had just one birdie and one bogey on the opening nine, with three birdies and a bogey on the closing nine.

“We battled to get going on the first day, too,” Hurst said. “We will really be trying to get started fast tomorrow.”

The Paraguayan team of Celeste Troche and Julieta Granada managed just two birdies – Nos. 5 and 18 – and saw the U.S. team moving up the leaderboard.

“We found it quite difficult to play alternate shot,” Granada said. “You feel as if you are carrying the expectations of the other player all the time. Tomorrow, we will be able to concentrate on our own games and go for birdies.”

Defending champion Sweden had another bad day, with Helen Alfredsson and Carin Koch carding an 81 to slump to 238. Finland and Brazil both shot 72, the only other nations apart from the U.S. to make par or better.

In fourth place was South Korea, which had a terrible start when Young Kim took a two-shot penalty for moving an advertising board. The 8 on the par-5 hole rattled Young and Ji Yai-shin, and they had a double bogey on No. 12 and a bogey on No. 17.

On No. 18, Ji’s approach caromed off the retaining wall surrounding the water and dropped in. She cried near the green but gathered herself to make a 12-foot par putt to keep her country in contention.

AP-ES-01-20-07 1254EST