DAYTONA BEACH, July 16, 2018 – With the third edition of the UL International Crown less than three months away, players from the eight competing countries have confirmed their availability to take part in the biennial event that will be held this year at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon City.
A total of 31 of the 32 players who qualified are set to compete in the third playing of the UL International Crown October 4-7.
The confirmed team lineups are: Republic of Korea (Sung Hyun Park, So Yeon Ryu, In-Kyung Kim, In Gee Chun); USA (Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie); Japan (Nasa Hataoka, Ai Suzuki, Misuzu Narita, Mamiko Higa); England (Charley Hull, Georgia Hall, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Bronte Law); Australia (Minjee Lee, Katherine Kirk, Sarah Jane Smith, Su Oh); Thailand (Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Pornanong Phatlum, Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong); Sweden (Anna Nordqvist, Pernilla Lindberg, Madelene Sagstrom, Caroline Hedwall); and Chinese Taipei (Teresa Lu, Wei-Ling Hsu, Hsuan-Yu Yao, Candie Kung).
The lone player who qualified and will not participate is Inbee Park. The seven-time major champion, who has reduced her playing schedule over the past two years, wants to give another golfer from Team Korea the chance to represent her country in front of her home fans.
"It was my pleasure and honor to participate in the first UL International Crown in 2014 and at the 2016 Olympics, and I cannot describe in one word how amazing the atmosphere was to compete as a representative of my country,” said Park. “There are so many gifted and talented players in Korea and I thought it would be great if one of the other players was given the chance to experience the 2018 UL International Crown."
Replacing I. Park on Team Korea will be two-time major winner Chun, who joins S.H. Park, Ryu and Kim as the four representatives for the top seed and tournament host of the 2018 UL International Crown.
"Assuming I would not be qualified to play at the UL International Crown, I had already verbally committed to play at the HiteJinro Championship, a Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association’s major tournament. I have postponed this to a future date and decided to play at the UL International Crown this year,” said Chun. “I am going to do my best to have myself ready and make contributions to Team Korea and to the success of the UL International Crown. I am very grateful to UL and LPGA for this opportunity, and especially to HiteJinro for supporting my decision."
Two players from the Republic of Korea (Hye Jin Choi and Jin Young Ko) were ahead of Chun in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings on July 2 when the teams were announced but both declined based on prior commitments to compete in the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association major that week.
The final country seedings and the eight four-player teams were confirmed on July 2 via the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, after the conclusion of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes on the outskirts of Chicago. Countries required a minimum of four ranked players to be eligible.
Based on those seedings, the eight countries have been divided into two pools:
Pool A Pool B
Korea United States
Chinese Taipei Sweden
If a player ranked in the top four of a pre-qualified country is unable to compete in Korea for any reason that spot will be filled by the next highest-ranked available player from the Rolex Rankings as of July 2, 2018. Player substitutions will not be allowed once pairings are published for the first round of matches at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea.
LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Se Ri Pak, who inspired generations of players in her native Korea, has been appointed as the Honorary Director for this year’s UL International Crown, adding to the prestige and symbolism of this high-profile event.
The UL International Crown was first held in 2014 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md., where Spain, represented by Azahara Munoz, Beatriz Recari, Carlota Ciganda and Belen Mozo, won all four singles matches on the final day to become the inaugural champions.
Two years later, a powerful United States lineup of Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson and Gerina Piller came from behind to win the prestigious title at Merit Club in Chicago where Spain failed to qualify for the event.