Paraguay fires 7-under 65 to win Women's World Cup

Updated: January 21, 2007, 3:13 PM ET
Associated Press

SUN CITY, South Africa -- Celeste Troche and Julieta Granada of Paraguay combined for a 7-under-par 65 in better ball Sunday to win the Women's World Cup, beating the runner-up United States by seven strokes.

Troche & Granada
Troche & Granada
1. Paraguay (-9)
2. United States (-2)
3. South Korea (-1)
T-4. Scotland (+1)
T-4. Italy (+1)
6. Australia (+3)
7. Taiwan (+5)
8. Wales (+6)
• Complete scores

Paraguay finished at 9-under 279 at Gary Player Country Club. The U.S. team of Pat Hurst and Juli Inkster (67) was at 286, with South Korea (67) third at 287.

Paraguay had a four-stroke lead over Italy entering the final round, but Inkster and Hurst started with three birdies on the first six holes to put the U.S. within reach. A bogey on the ninth hole slowed the Americans as Paraguay got rolling.

"Paraguay deserved it. They played well all week," Inkster said.

Granada had five birdies and Troche added three, including a chip-in at the 17th. A dropped shot on the opening hole was Paraguay's only blemish.

"I just said to Julieta that there were 17 more holes to play, and there were birdies out there after we dropped that shot," Troche said.

Troche sank the final birdie putt on the 18th after Granada had missed a 6-foot putt.

"I can't begin to explain how I felt when it went in," Troche said.

Granada was a rookie on the LPGA Tour last year, and she asked how she could get into the World Cup. She was told Paraguay -- a country with just six golf courses -- was not even invited.

"So I tried really hard all year," said Granada, who won the season ending ADT Championship on the LPGA Tour. "And I hope now that young people in my country will take up the sport, but more importantly, that they never give up."

Ji Yai Shin and Young Kim of South Korea, who were penalized two strokes for moving an advertising board during the second day, faltered on the 17th with a double bogey.

Italy (71) fell away on the back nine and finished fifth. Giulia Sergas and Veronica Zorzi shot a 33 on the front nine, but were unable to get a birdie on the back nine.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press