HOUSTON: Patricia Meunier-Lebouc of France, winner of the Nabisco Championship, the first LPGA major of 2003, and Sweden's Annika Sorenstam are the first players to qualify for the Samsung World Championship.
Sorenstam, who finished second to Meunier-Lebouc, qualified as the defending champion as well as the 2002 LPGA leading money winner.
The US$800,000 World meet will be played from Oct 6-12 time at The Tournament Players Course near here.
The 72-hole championship features 20 of the top women's players in the world.
In 2002, Sorenstam broke the Championship scoring record by shooting a 22-under-par 266 at Hiddenbrooke Golf Club in California, to beat Cristie Kerr by six.
The 30-year-old Meunier-Lebouc owns two LPGA titles, after five victories in Europe between 1994-2000.
In winning the first major championship, Meunier-Lebouc pushed her season earnings to US$299,046, which places her at the top of the money list.
“Winning my first major championship was an achievement,” Meunier-Lebouc said after her one-stroke victory over Sorenstam in the Nabisco Championship.
“It hasn't fully hit me. And now I find out this gets me into the Samsung Championship. This is wonderful for me.” – AFP