It has been a big month for announcements for the LPGA. This month they have already announced that new tournaments in Texas, The Bahamas, and China have been added to the 2013 schedule. They have now announced a new one for the 2014 schedule, The International Crown.
Here are some of the key details.
The tournament will make its debut in July of 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland, it will then be moved to Rich Harvest Farms, in Chicago Il. Rich Harvest Farms, as you might well remember, was host to the 2009 Solheim Cup.
Eight teams based on cumulative Rolex Rankings of each country's top four players at the conclusion of the 2013 CME Group Titleholders will qualify for the event. If teams for the Crown were selected according to the current Rolex Rankings, South Korea, the U.S., Japan, Sweden, Australia, Spain, Taiwan, and England would battle for the inaugural title.
The final field of 32 players will be determined after the Rolex Rankings have been published on the Monday of the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship week. At that point the top 4 ranked players' from each pre-qualified country will make up their country's team.
This will be a four day competition. It will feature three days of four-ball competition and one day of singles matches on Sunday. There will be a cut after the completion of Saturday's play, with only 5 teams moving on to Sunday.
Points will be awarded per match based on the following:
2 points for a win
1 point for a tie
0 points for a loss
The eight countries will be seeded #1 through #8, and will be divided into two brackets based on the cumulative team score of the four players Rolex Ranking on the Monday of the Kraft Nabisco Championship week.
Bracket A Bracket B
Country #1 Country #2
Country #3 Country #4
Country #5 Country #6
Country #7 Country #8
At the conclusion of the 3 days of four-ball competition the two teams with the most points from each bracket and one wild card team will advance to Sunday's singles matches.
My thoughts on this event:
Once again Commissioner Michael Whan's ability to think "outside the box," has led to another exciting tournament. This is the event we have all been waiting for. It will be played on even numbered years, as the Solheim cup is played in odd numbered years. Can you imagine a South Korean team made up of I.K. Kim, Na-Yeon Choi, Inbee Park, and So Yeon Ryu? It really scares me, but I will be looking forward to the challenges it will provide to all the other teams, and how they will react to that challenge.
Like everything else, this will have its imperfections. As I look at the Rolex Rankings, Suzann Pettersen will not be eligible because Norway doesn't have 3 other ranked players.