Golf: Davies lifts her hopes

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LAURA DAVIES has a point to prove in the Hennessy Cup which starts at the Refrath course here today, writes John Bolton from Cologne. The 29- year-old English woman is keen to capitalise on her fine form and put her rivals on the European Tour in the shade.

'This is the one title which every player is desperate to win,' Davies said, and she will aim to improve on her third-place finish last year when two rounds of 66 gave her the halfway lead.

Davies was in a similar position in Belgium last week, leading after two rounds before Helen Dobson, a former British amateur champion, took the BMW European Masters to record her first victory as a professional.

Europe's winning Solheim Cup team will all be on parade, including Sweden's Helen Alfredsson, the winner of this title for the last two years. She also won the prestigious Dinah Shore tournament on the LPGA Tour in the United States earlier this year, and her victory was soon emulated by Trish Johnson, twice, and Davies.

Dobson's success last week gave a warning against complacency to the regular winners. Similar breakthroughs could soon come from England's Lisa Hackney and Lora Fairclough while another threat may be posed by Sweden's Annika Sorenstam, who has finished second twice and 11th in her first three events as a professional.