As we all still nurse our Open Championship hangovers the women of the golf world start a streak of important tournaments. Thursday 32 of the worlds best will tee it up in the UL International Crown in a eight team format, that’s something the Olympics should have tried…a team format.
Then a quick trip across to England where they will compete in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Woburn Golf & Country Club in Milton Keynes, England.
After a weeks rest we’ll see 60 of them in Rio for the Olympics. For those select few that are fortunate enough to play all three weeks it is bound to be an exciting but possibly exhausting few weeks.
As far as the LPGA’s UL International Crown, this was their answer to the Presidents Cup, sort of. The Solheim Cup which has Ryder Cup-like roots pits the USA against Europe but the best golfers in the world from Asia were not eligible. The LPGA came up with this format and while not perfect it gets many countries, regardless of what continent they reside on involved.
This year the teams include the USA, Republic of Korea, Australia, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, China and England.
Last year’s winner, Spain did not earn enough points over the two year qualifying period to make it back to defend its title.
Team USA consists of Lexi Thompson, Gerina Piller and Cristie Kerr. All but Kerr will be heading to Rio to represent the USA in the Olympics.
World Number one and two, Lydia Ko and Brooke Henderson will not be playing as their countries did not qualify and Inbee Park has withdrawn due to her thumb injury.
But many top players are there with Team Korea looking formidable with Sei Young Kim (5), In Gee Chun (9), Amy Yang (7) and So Yeon Ryu ( 12).
Unlike Rio, this is a true team event, with competition and scoring much like the Solheim Cup.
From the UL International website:
The competition will take place over four days. It will feature three days of four-ball competition and one day of singles matches on Sunday. Five of the eight countries will advance to the Sunday singles matches based on the outcome of the four-ball matches contested Thursday through Saturday.
Points will be awarded per match based on the following – two for a win, one for a tie and zero for a loss. All points from the four-ball matches will carry over to Sunday and the total cumulative points for the four days of competition will be used to determine the overall champion.
Team match play is one of the most exciting formats in golf. Whether it’s the professional ranks, the college kids or our weekly game with a few bucks on the side team play is exciting and keeps the fans interest throughout. This week should be exciting for the women golfers of the world.
Hopefully the International Olympic Committee will be watching.