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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 6:45 p.m., Monday, June 26, 2006

No. 2 Wie qualifies for World Match Play Championship

Associated Press

GLADSTONE, N.J. — Annika Sorenstam and Hawai'i's Michelle Wie topped the automatic qualifiers Monday for the HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship.

The top-ranked Sorenstam, No. 2 Wie and the rest of the top 30 players in the world rankings earned the first spots in the 64-player field next week at Hamilton Farm.

After the 30 players from the world rankings were set, 29 players were added from the LPGA Tour money list. Marisa Baena also got in as the defending champion and France's Gwladys Nocera earned a spot as the Ladies European Tour money leader.

Two sponsor exemptions will be added Wednesday and a spot has been reserved for the winner of the U.S. Women's Open this week at Newport Country Club in Rhode Island. If the Open champion has already qualified, the final spot will go to the next player on the LPGA Tour money list — No. 53 Il Mi Chung.

Australia's Rachel Hetherington took the final spot on the LPGA Tour money list, edging Chung by $1,508 for 52nd place. Hall of Famer Beth Daniel is 54th on the money list, $1,575 behind Hetherington. European Solheim Cup stars Carin Koch and Laura Davies, Canadian Lorie Kane and U.S. Women's Open champion Birdie Kim also failed to qualify.

Six Japanese and Korean tour players — No. 7 Yuri Fudoh, No. 14. Shiho Ohyama, No. 18 Ji-Hee Lee, No. 21 Sakura Yokomine, No. 25 Akiko Fukushima and No. 26 Hyun-Ju Shin — earned spots through the controversial new world rankings.