Golf: Briton's Solheim ticket

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The Independent Online
LORA FAIRCLOUGH, of Lancashire, was beaten into fourth place by the Frenchwoman, Patricia Meunier, in the English Open at Tytherington yesterday.

That was enough to earn an automatic place in Europe's team to defend the Solheim Cup next month. Annika Sorenstam of Sweden is the other newcomer in Mickey Walker's side to face the Americans at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.

Laura Davies, Liselotte Neumann and Helen Alfredsson are the other automatic selections. Five members of the winning side two years ago - Trish Johnson, Alison Nicholas, Catrin Nilsmark, Dale Reid and Pam Wright - were the captain's wild cards, with Kathryn Marshall the travelling reserve.

'I think it is a great team with a wonderful feeling amongst the players. Annika and Lora are great additions to the team and have the respect of the top players,' Walker said.

Meunier became the third first-time winner this season, when a final round of 71 left her with a level-par aggregate of 288, two strokes clear of Marie-Laure de Lorenzi of France and the Australian Corinne Dibnah.

Meunier, 21, a former French amateur champion from Dijon, was playing in only her 10th tournament since turning professional at the start of the season.

WATERFORD DAIRIES ENGLISH WOMEN'S OPEN (Tytherington) Leading final- round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 288 P Meunier (Fr) 73 74 70 71. 290 M-L de Lorenzi (Fr) 78 69 72 71; C Dibnah (Aus) 75 73 67 75. 291 L Fairclough 73 71 71 76. 292 S Waugh (Aus) 71 77 70 74. 293 F Fehlauer (Ger) 73 72 73 75. 294 J Arnold (NZ) 74 74 77 69. 295 D Barnard 76 75 74 70; L Lambert (Aus) 75 76 73 71; M McKinlay 75 73 72 75; S Gronberg-Whitmore (Swe) 75 70 71 79. 296 J Furby 77 74 73 72; L Weima (Neth) 74 76 72 74; S Moon (US) 71 73 76 76; J Morley 73 75 70 78; 297 A Nicholas 71 74 80 72; K Espinasse (Fr) 75 73 74 75; D Dowling 76 73 72 76. 298 S Robinson 76 79 72 71; R Hetherington (Aus) 77 75 73 73; J Forbes 77 73 71 77; G Stewart 75 71 72 80.

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