No lagging behind for fatigued Davies

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The Independent Online
It is not unusual for Laura Davies to skip a practice round before teeing up in the first round of a tournament. The first time she saw the Hanbury Manor course was when she pulled back the curtains of her hotel room yesterday morning.

The policy has not stopped her winning tournaments, even major championships in America. What she is not immune from, although she gives the best impression of anyone in professional golf, is jet lag.

Davies flew back from Chicago on Monday night, after her latest sortie on the LPGA Tour which resulted in a win and a lost play-off.

"It was a bad flight," Davies said. "I didn't get a wink of sleep. The plane was packed."

On Wednesday night, she could only get two and a half hours sleep and finally drifted off with Andre Agassi two sets up in the US Open tennis.

Despite giving the rest of the field in the European Open such an advantage in the shut-eye department, only five players beat her two-under 70. The Australian Corinne Dibnah led with a 66, six under, by one from France's Stephanie Dallongeville. Dibnah did not drop a shot, while Dallongeville captured five birdies in a row from the second, and missed from three feet for a sixth.

Davies' only mistakes were a couple of three-putts, but in spite of her fatigue, the world No 1 enjoyed letting her driver free-wheel on the Jack Nicklaus Jnr designed layout, in sharp contrast to her last appearance in this country at the British Open at Woburn. Davies is on a run of 14 consecutive tournaments, including three spells in the States and trips to Japan and Korea.

What is driving her on is a desire to finish top of the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic, as Annika Sorenstam did last year.

In America, she leads the Australian, Karrie Webb, by $110,000 (pounds 730,000), but in Europe she trails the Swede Helen Alfredsson by just under pounds 10,000.

"I have to say I'm really tired now, but what option is there?" Davies, who has won over pounds 800,000 worldwide this year, said.

"The option is not trying to win both money lists. If I end up with nothing, I won't blame it on the fact that I'm tired. It's a balancing act. I had just got ahead of Alfi [Alfredsson], and then she got past me, and Webby is playing this week and next in America so my lead there could be gone.

"There is a fine line between trying to do too much and I could start playing terribly. It's fun trying to win them both. If I end up with nothing, it's been a hell of a crack trying."

Scores, Digest, page 27; Broadhurst on a high in the Alps, page 24

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