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- 27. September 2011.
Solheim Cup stars head to France
Laura Davies has no intention of forgetting Europe's stunning Solheim Cup success at Killeen Castle on Sunday, but insists she will be fully focused on this week's Lacoste Ladies Open de France.
Davies is still on a high after making her 12th Cup appearance in Ireland and helping Alison Nicholas's side to a dramatic 15-13 victory over America. The only player to have competed in every edition of the tournament since 1990, the 47-year-old Englishwoman earned 1 ½ points for the European team after halving her singles match with Juli Inkster. She is now the event's all time leading points' scorer ahead of Annika Sorenstam with 25 points.
Davies hopes to carry the momentum into this week with a strong showing at Paris International Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus design like Killeen Castle. "I love the golf course and I had a chance last year so obviously I will be trying to win the event. It's very good for the long hitters, so I really wanted to play," she said.
"I've played in enough Solheim Cups to know that you enjoy the moment, you enjoy the Sunday and the party afterwards, but when you wake up on Monday you head to the next tournament. Now it's the French Open and that's the reality of Tour life, but I'll never forget."
Europe defeated the United States by a nail-biting 15 points to 13 at Killeen Castle and Davies added: "The last few holes they thought they had it and you could tell by their faces. On 17 they were almost celebrating before the end because they thought they had it. I said to Beany: 'Not again,' because you could almost see it disappearing.
"When Michelle Wie holed her putt on 17, it was down to Suzann (Pettersen). Had she missed her birdie putt on 18 that would have been the end of it but she putted it in and got the full point."
Davies will be joined by her Solheim Cup teammate Caroline Hedwall in France. The 22 year-old Swede made her Cup debut in Ireland as a rookie professional and capped off an excellent week when she clinched the Cup for Europe with a comeback in the Sunday singles to scratch out a halve against Ryann O'Toole in the penultimate match.
Davies paid tribute to Hedwall, who earned 2 ½ points for the European team: "Watching her play reminds me a little bit of me. If she gets in trouble, she can get out. She has a good attitude and is a little quiet but is still quite young and in her rookie year. She's definitely a star of the future and I don't think anyone would argue with that."
Hedwall, who occupies third place on the Henderson Money List standings after three victories this season, is unsure of what to expect in France after one of the most jubilant weeks of her life.
She will be joined by England's Trish Johnson, three times a French Open winner after her play-off victory last year over Diana Luna at Paris International. Johnson, who won the title at the same venue in 1999 and at Le Golf d'Arras in 1996, will be back on course after working as a television commentator last week for Sky Sports.
United States Solheim Cup team member Christina Kim is among those travelling to France and will be a popular draw despite her team's narrow loss to Europe. She personally earned 1 ½ points for the American team including a 4 and 2 singles win over Maria Hjorth.
Former event champions in the field also include Nicole Gergely (2009), Anja Monke (2008), Linda Wessberg (2007), Veronica Zorzi (2005, 2006) and Lynnette Brooky (2002, 2003), while last year's runner-up Diana Luna has had two wins on the LET this year and will also be one to watch.