The LPGA Tour has created an eight-nation tournament that will identify the best team in the world when it makes its debut next year, two years before golf returns to the Olympic Games.
The inaugural International Crown, a biennial matchplay event featuring four-player teams, is to be held at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland, outside Baltimore, from July 24 to July 27 next year.
“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 in a statement. “Only countries that have produced the best female teams can compete and only four players from any one country will be invited. The International Crown will take women’s golf to the next level and allow fans to rally behind their homelands.”
Players will be selected based on world rankings and teams will be split into two brackets for the US$1.6 million event.
After three days of four-ball matches, the top five teams will advance to the final round of singles matches on the Sunday.
Points accumulated over all four days will determine the champions.
“It’s like preparing for the Olympics,” Taiwan’s world No. 1 Yani Tseng said. “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.”
Based on the current world rankings, South Korea, the US, Japan, Sweden, Australia, Spain, Taiwan and England would compete for the inaugural title.