Stupples refreshed and ready

Karen Stupples returns refreshed from a week’s break to boost the British challenge in tomorrow’s inaugural Ginn Clubs and Resorts Open in Orlando, Florida.

Karen Stupples returns refreshed from a week’s break to boost the British challenge in tomorrow’s inaugural Ginn Clubs and Resorts Open in Orlando, Florida.

The new tournament at the Reunion Resort carries a €2.2m prize fund, which is the third richest in the women’s game, and an added bonus for Stupples is that she lives within half an hour of the course.

“I missed the cut in Las Vegas and then withdrew from last week’s event in Atlanta so I could work on my game,” said the former British Open Champion, who is currently the number two British player at 26th on the LPGA rankings. Scot Catriona Matthew is at 23.

“But I feel ready for this important week. It’s a big tournament and being able to stay at home makes it even better.”

For Laura Davies, it is turning into a crisis season as she has yet to make a cut from five starts. Last week, she shot 82 in the first round in Atlanta and then pulled out.

This week offers Annika Sorenstam the chance to prove that last Sunday’s final-round meltdown at the Charity Championship in Atlanta was just a blip for the world number one.

The Swede led going into the final round, but shot 75 and made a double-bogey at the 17th to hand the title to South Korean Sung Ah Yim.

“I’ve already forgotten about last week,” she said. “This is a new week, a new tournament and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The field also includes 13-year-old American Dakota Dowd, for whom it will be a very emotional week.

The youngster was invited six months ago to play in the tournament in order that her mother, Kelly Jo, who is dying from cancer, can watch her daughter fulfil her dream of playing on the American LPGA Tour.

At one stage, it was doubtful whether Kelly Jo would even survive to see Dakota in action this week. But she is determined to battle through the pain and be on the first tee tomorrow.

“I know I’ll be in tears, but it will also be a very special moment,” Kelly Jo admitted.

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