Sunday, July 27, 2014

MVPs in the International Crown

So who won the most points for their team during the inaugural International Crown?

Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu combined for 2 wins and each won a singles match, so together they accounted for 8 of Team Korea's 10 points.  Their only loss came to Sweden's Vikings on day 2.

Speaking of the Vikings, Anna Nordqvist got 3 wins and a halve, all of them coming with partner Caroline Hedwall except for her final individual victory against Japan's Mamiko Higa.  Hedwall had a tougher row to hoe, losing to Park today.  So together they contributed 7 of Team Sweden's 11 points.  Kudos, too, to Pernilla Lindberg for getting hot, contributing to a team win and getting a huge individual win against Ariya Jutanugarn, a much-higher-ranked young star who just had a bad week.  She's the reason they came in 2nd.

The champions from Spain had the most balanced team.  Azahara Munoz and Carlota Ciganda contributed 2 wins in team play and 1 individual win each.  Beatriz Recari and Belen Mozo halved their match on Thursday, but won as a team on Saturday and as individuals on Sunday.  The team's only losses came to Team USA on Friday.

Pornanong Phatlum was responsible for 6 of Team Thailand's 9 points, 2 wins coming in team matches and 1 individually against In-Kyung Kim.  (Kim, by the way, actually played great this week, but didn't get the points to show for it.)

Sakura Yokomine and Ai Miyazato were great as a team, winning twice and halving once to account for 5 of Team Japan's 8 pool points.  But they couldn't get it done against great competitors, Ryu against Yokomine and Munoz against Ai-sama (although if things had gone differently in the Ryu-Yokomine match on 17, the Munoz-Miyazato match would have mattered a lot more and might have ended up differently).  Let's also give Mika Miyazato a lot of credit.  She got Japan's only individual win and combined with Mamiko Higa for a win and a halve.  But she was definitely overshadowed by all the fireworks and drama Sakura and Ai-sama brought to their matches.

So while Nordqvist was the top points-getter, and Park and Ryu were the heart and soul of Team Korea, I'd say that Ciganda was the MVP of the International Crown and Mozo was the Cinderella.

What awards would you give out?

[Update 1 (7/28/14, 11:14 am):  Here's bangkokbobby's take!]


So Yeon fan said...

Negative award to the commentators, who was laughing it up when Sakura hit her tee shot left on seventeen. Typical Golf Channel, no class announcers. They also changed the broadcast, time after the USA team was knocked out.

Colin N.Z said...

I thought we saw some great golf from all the players just some were a little more consistent than others. Like all tournaments the ball going half an inch one way or the other at times and we would see a totally different result but that's golf!!
Now Bruce you can go do a blog on Sadena Parks...

Colin N.Z said...

The tee times were changed due to the weather forecast so TGC had to change the broadcast times as well....still TGC coverage as a whole leaves a lot to be desired. Case of pay TV double dipping with far too many commercials.

Colin N.Z said...

I thought before the tournament the ROK still had the best team and the way the draw and results went the only time Spain needed to play and beat the ROK was in one match on the last day against NYC who currently is only just ranked #4 for ROK on RR. I expect in 2 years we will see a number of different players even within the same teams.

diane said...

Regarding Spain: As far as I can tell from comments by the players, they grow up in a match play-centric culture. The result is it's second nature to them. The current crop of Spanish women are really good. I expect they will generally dominate match play competitions for the foreseeable future.

Colin N.Z said...

Diane I'm sure that helped but as it worked out none of the Spain players had to beat any players in the top 25 RR to win this....That's not to take away from their great win though.

Unknown said...

I have a question. Were Sunday matchups based upon a random draw, or did each team decide which players would go up against which other country?

If it was the latter, I see a possible problem for the future. Countries which might be essentially out of it might try to influence the outcome, or be perceived as doing so, through their choice of which countries will face their top players or their weaker players. There could also be collusion with two countries agreeing to each put weak players up against each other.

The Constructivist said...

I heard the announcers say that each team independently submitted their #1-#4 golfers, without knowing how other teams would rank their players. They then got slotted into the spots you can find on the International Crown fact sheet:

But the fact sheet itself says the pairings are determined by a draw. Wonder which really happened?