With less than a month remaining until the eight participating countries tee off, it’s time to start meeting the teams who’ll compete in the inaugural LPGA International Crown, a one-of-a-kind, four-day match play tournament, July 24-27. This biennial, global match play competition will feature four-woman teams from eight countries, battling for the honor of being recognized the “world’s best golf nation.” This year teams from the United States, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Spain, Sweden, Chinese Taipei, and Australia will tee off against each other at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mill, Maryland.
The final field of eight countries was determined by the combined Rolex World Rankings of the top four players from each country as of the Rolex World Rankings published at the conclusion of the 2013 CME Group Titleholders event on Sunday, November 24, 2013. (Countries must have had a minimum of four ranked players to be eligible.) The final field of 32 players was determined on Monday, March 31, 2014 according to the Rolex World Rankings at the conclusion of the Kia Classic.
Team Australia, ranked eighth among the competing countries, will be led by Karrie Webb. The Aussies couldn’t ask for a stronger team anchor. Webb’s seventh in the world rankings and brings the experience of 53 international victories to Team Australia.
She’ll be joined by the world’s top-ranked amateur, Minjee Lee, and two deeply experience Tour players, Katherine Kirk, and Lindsey Wright as this tightly knit foursome takes on teams that collectively outrank them but will be hard-pressed to outplay them.
Webb’s warming up for the International Crown by defending her title at the Ladies European Masters this week, where Minjee Leee is in the field and competing against her mentor; and both Webb and Lee are in the field at the RICOH British Women’s Open, July 10-13 at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, Lancashire, UK.
I’m expecting Team Australia to be primed and ready to play well above their collective rankings when they tee it up on Thursday, July 24 for the opening round robin four-ball matches at the International Crown.