Davies eyes double

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The Independent Online

reports from Cologne

Laura Davies, the world's leading female golfer, can move a step closer to the double she is chasing in the Hennessy Cup, the second richest event on the American Express Tour, which begins here today.

Although she is maintaining a low profile, Davies is well aware that she could become the first player to win the European Order of Merit and the LPGA money-list titles in one season.

It is a tall order, yet Davies is $100,000 (pounds 63,000) ahead of a chasing pack on the LPGA money list in America, and in Europe her winnings of pounds 56,082 put her ahead of Lora Fairclough.

Three victories this year take her tally to 36 worldwide since 1985, although she has yet to win the Hennessy Cup. "This is the one everyone wants to win because all the girls regard this as a major on our Tour," Davies said.

Scotland's Pam Wright, unable to obtain a release from the LPGA Tour, is the only member of the last Solheim Cup side missing this week. Liselotte Neumann, the British Open champion from Sweden, defends the title she has held for the last two years.

Neumann expects to be fit despite a stomach muscle injury. Another Swede, Helen Alfredsson, Britain's Kitrina Douglas and Trish Johnson, and Marie- Laure de Lorenzi from France are previous winners in the field.