LPGA creates global showdown event
27 Jan 2013 - 21:17:12
The world's top women's golfers will meet starting next year in an eight-nation biennial LPGA global match-play event worth $1.6 million.
The International Crown will debut July 24-27 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland, near Baltimore with the second edition to be staged in 2016 at the site of the 2009 Solheim Cup, Rich Harvest Farms near Chicago.
Four-player squads from eight nations will compete with the winning side taking home $100,000 per player.
"It's like preparing for the Olympics," World No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan said. "In Asia, we don't have a team event like this. This is a good opportunity for us to play for our countries. It's really going to be awesome."
The eight nations to compete in the inaugural event will be decided based upon the rankings of each nation's four top players after the season-ending LPGA Titleholders event in November.
Actual rosters for the nations involved will be based upon the rankings at a date yet to be determined.
"Our tour is so global and we need this type of event," said top-ranked US player Stacy Lewis. "People always want to know why golfers from Asia are so good. Well, now we can see how all the countries stack up."
Were the current rankings to be used, the Americans would be challenged for the title by South Korea, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Sweden, England and Spain.
"We celebrate great players from all over the world on a weekly basis, but this is the first time we'll pit country versus country for global bragging rights," LPGA commissioner Michael Whan said.
"The International Crown will take women's golf to the next level and allow fans to rally behind their homelands."
The event will feature three days of four-ball matches with nations split into two brackets of four and round-robin play within brackets to decide which five nations will advance into Sunday singles.
Four-ball points carry over into Sunday when each country will play a singles match against every other nation. Total points to determine the overall champion.