Written by Jack McCarthy
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 00:00
Sugar Grove's Rich Harvest Farms has been chosen to host the second International Crown in 2016.
Designed, built and owned by Northern Illinois University alum Jerry Rich, the golf course will also serve as the site of a 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Regional hosted by NIU. The NCAA Regional will be the second held at the course, which was rated No. 58 on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses for 2011-12.
The golf course previously hosted the Solheim Cup in 2009.
“We are honored to have the International Crown at Rich Harvest Farms in 2016,” Rich said. “We look forward to welcoming the wonderful spectators and fans of women’s golf including the youth in our community to witness this truly global tournament.”
The International Crown, announced Thursday, Jan. 24, by the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), is a first-of-its-kind, biennial, global match play competition commencing in 2014 that will feature teams from eight countries battling for the right to be “crowned” the world’s best golf nation.
The inaugural tournament will debut July 21-27, 2014 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland, outside Baltimore. Qualification criteria for the International Crown are:
Eight teams based on cumulative Rolex Rankings of each country’s top four players at the conclusion of the 2013 CME Group Titleholders
Four players from each country based on Rolex Rankings at date to be determined.
Whan formally announced the International Crown today at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla. If teams for the Crown were selected according to the current Rolex Rankings, South Korea, the U.S., Japan, Sweden, Australia, Taiwan, Spain and England would battle for the inaugural title.
“Our Tour is so global and we need this type of event,” said Stacy Lewis, the top-ranked American. “People always want to know why golfers from Asia are so good. Well, now we can see how all the countries stack up. The more we can showcase our Tour around the world, the better. Representing your country is the ultimate thing. Getting announced on the first tee when you are representing the USA, it doesn’t get any better than that. It’s a goal of mine to be in the event.”
The format of the International Crown will feature three days of Four Ball matches wherein countries will be seeded into two brackets with four countries in either bracket.
Each country will play every other country in their bracket over the course of the first three rounds to determine which five countries will advance to Sunday singles play. All points from the Four Ball matches will carry over to Sunday’s matches where each country will play a singles match against every other country. The total cumulative points for the four days of competition will be used to determine the overall champion.
“It’s like preparing for the Olympics,” said Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng, of Taiwan. “In Taiwan and 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. Right now, we have three Taiwanese players that play fulltime on the LPGA Tour. Hopefully in the next two years, we can improve our junior program and get more Taiwanese players on the LPGA. This tournament will really help us with that goal.”
In a unique twist, prior to play on Saturday and Sunday, each team will turn in a sealed envelope with the name of one player who will represent their team if a playoff is necessary to break a tie the following day.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 14:28